Asked on Jan 08, 2017

What should I do with this space after my dishwasher is gone?

by Michelle
Good morning need some help please. House built in 50's. Previous owners ripped out cabinet and put dishwasher in. I don't use it. It is only me in the home with pets. I also don't need storage so ideas are needed. Contractor will be replacing the countertop first then whatever I decide he will do afterwards. I have under the sink storage and a good size lower cabinet on the other side. You hometalkers are a creative bunch can't wait to see your ideas thanks!
  64 answers
  • Annie Annie on Jan 08, 2017

    Do you Iron ? How about a pull out ironing board with Iron supplies under and beside that a drying rack

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 08, 2017

    Brillant idea love it

  • Since you have pets, why not make it a pet storage station for their food, treats, leashes, brushes, shampoo, blankets, etc? Have your contractor make two sets of shelves along both sides and the back. Make or purchase bins to place all the little stuff in to keep it tidy. Add a door to match the rest of your kitchen. Or just add a door and when you get a deal on paper towels or toilet paper, or anything bulky, you have a great place to store.

  • Our 1938 house had a dishwasher but we didn't want the look. We have a white bin for recycle and a stool in front. You can also put a fabric door in front or have another cabinet made for more storage.

  • Kandee S Kandee S on Jan 08, 2017

    I would use it for recycle trash area. two bins on roll out shelf. nice lookig cans and no curtain needed

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 08, 2017

    All wonderful ideas!, I actually decided to take some of your ideas. First I will have the contractor finish walls inside the space with beadboard. I have some flooring left over when the floor company installed the kitchen floors. I am going to put trash and recycle under there. ALso dog food bin, with there food/water bowls. Again thank you for the ideas. I stash extra toilet paper under the guest.

    • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Jan 11, 2017

      Sounds great. Remember that your furry friends have sensitive sniffers if you're going to put their food/water nearby. I don't think that I'd want to eat next to a trash can but it may also smell like a buffet to them!

  • I flip houses and I had a similar issue. I removed a dated trash compactor and this is what I did in its place:

  • Jodi Murray Hendon Jodi Murray Hendon on Jan 09, 2017

    I can't imagine giving up my dishwasher, but we have a trash compactor we don't use, because we recycle everything. I turned it into a recycle stop and let it fill up before taking recycling to the big bin outside. I used a label maker to make a neat easy-to-read label so nobody mistakes it for a trash bin anymore.

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 09, 2017

    love the idea, thank you

  • Toc15434384 Toc15434384 on Jan 09, 2017

    storage we all need more storage space maybe pull out drawers

  • Ojoyner12 Ojoyner12 on Jan 09, 2017

    I removed a dishwasher and replaced it with a wine station

  • Bde4945395 Bde4945395 on Jan 09, 2017

    We put in a 3 shelf metal rack that holds my crock pot, electric fry pan. This frees uo my under counter place. Fits perfect.

    • Lea10012150 Lea10012150 on Apr 08, 2017

      We did the same thing, and also holds a large rectangular shallow basket on top shelf to hold my husband's multitude of meds he takes every day. It also holds an oval basket for the bread as well.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 09, 2017

    My first choice would be to have the carpenter dress it out with boards suitable for painting, add some molding around the edges and put in a shelf to divide the space vertically; then put in dowels as dividers to make a spaces to stand up cookie sheets, platters, casserole dishes, pot tops, etc. that you never have a place to store.

  • UpState UpState on Jan 09, 2017

    Small TV & stereo center !

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Jan 09, 2017

    Lots of ideas.Book shelves for kitchen items.Shelves for plants that do not need tons of natural light.A fish tank.Music center or TV center.

    • Michelle Michelle on Jan 09, 2017

      thanks, as I mention I don't own a TV, microwave, dryer or stereo system.

  • B J  Alexis B J Alexis on Jan 09, 2017

    Have the carpenter finish off the area as though it was always an open area in your cabinets then if your pets are small, place pet beds in that area so they can keep you company while you work in the kitchen and not be underfoot.

    Or if you have cats, have a door that opens/latches built to coordinate with the existing cabinets, with a pet door cut into the bottom, it would be the perfect space to hide a litter box.

  • Mary Mary on Jan 09, 2017

    Why not make it a hideaway trash can cabinet that pulls out, could make the kitchen look nicer.

  • Dea12969926 Dea12969926 on Jan 09, 2017

    I'd leave/replace the dishwasher. It's key for resale purposes. You may not use a dishwasher, but future buyers will be looking for one.

    • See 2 previous
    • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Jan 11, 2017

      Hi Donna, I live in a ranch style house with hot water baseboard heat and we were able to get central air installed. It's actually quite efficient when you think of it. Hot air rises and cold air sinks so we have the best of both worlds with baseboard heat and ceiling mounted air-conditioning ducts. We're in a fairly uppety area, excellent school district and the taxes to show for it and our house still probably won't sell fast because we have almost an acre of ground and for some reason, people just don't want that much elbow space these days. I guess that you just can't please everyone! :)

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 09, 2017

    Not going to worry about resale, my two neighbors have the exact same kitchen neither has a dishwasher, thanks for input

    • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jan 10, 2017

      It is not a matter of you against your next door neighbors as the likelihood of you and your neighbors homes being on the market at the same time is not high. It is you against how many other homes. According to zillow there are over 1300 homes on the market in Roanoke right now. Not sure how many there are in your price range but lets say 100 at this point, dishwashers are an item that most women are looking for when they are purchasing homes. Extra bathrooms, central air, garages, new or newer mechanicals are other items. First time buyers are looking for appliances. How does your home stack up against those 100 homes or 150 homes or more that would be competing for the same buyers? Dishwashers do make great storage units (especially for all those lids etc that people have issues with and many have removable shelves to make the inside work for you. For the cost of whatever else you may have the contractor do, a dishwasher is probably relatively equal pricewise. I am not saying that you have to put a dishwasher in but you do need to leave the plumbing intact and any changes that you make need to be easy to remove for a dishwasher to be reinstalled. Advise from a Realtor.

  • Jane Bormans Jane Bormans on Jan 09, 2017

    I was thinking you could put in a table-top that pulls out and make a bit of office space for letter writing and perhaps put a bank of drawers down one side to hold pens, paper, etc. That way, a stool could slide in under the sliding table-top. Coffee and a letter to a friend. Soothing.

  • Lucy Marie Bernier Lucy Marie Bernier on Jan 09, 2017

    Get a matching door and turn it into a cabinet for larger appliances. On sliding shelf?

  • Jor7723943 Jor7723943 on Jan 09, 2017

    I had a cabinet made that can be taken out if I ever decide to put the dishwasher back. I have two pull out shelves behind the cabinet doors. On the top pull out shelf I have a dish rack with a cookie sheet underneath to catch the water drips. This is my dish dryer. I can push the rack back in to hide it and my counter top is clear of dishes. I use the bottom shelf for my mixing bowls & strainers. I love it.

    • See 2 previous
    • Cindy Craw Cindy Craw on Jan 11, 2017

      I'm in the exact same position, Michelle. Carol, from Sierra Vista, suggested a pull-out chopping block, and I think that's a super idea to build on. It would be great to have what is essentially a slide-out kitchen island. I have to shift things on the kitchen counter to use my cutting board. If the island had nice open-front shelving, I could display my teapot collection. Maybe something like that would work for you, too. (I see a lighting problem here, but there are those light-strip thingies.)

  • Sherryl Stitz Sherryl Stitz on Jan 10, 2017

    If you do any baking at all, REV-A-SHELF at Lowe's is a great storage unit if you have a large mixer. It lifts out of the cabinet as a table at counter height. Then you could use the rest of the space inside for storing your baking items. I would love one of these for my KITCHENAID mixer because it's so heavy to move around, but all my cabinets have drawers above them! Hope ya find what you're looking for. GOOD LUCK!

  • Kathleen Hartman Kathleen Hartman on Jan 10, 2017

    if you are a wine drinker you could put in a wine rack. See photo. The drawer above is to hold wine opener, accessories, etc. I love having this.

  • Kristen Miller Kristen Miller on Jan 10, 2017

    How about a dedicated dog nook? You could do a pretty little wood treatment on the walls, or something to match current decor and put a dog bed in there. It's off the wall lol but the idea came to me because my pooch is always begging when I cook! Although dog bed in kitchen might not be the cleanliest. How about an herb garden with grow lights?

  • Cynthia Cynthia on Jan 10, 2017

    I'd add built in tray/platter / cookie sheet storage area with dividers. Seems there is never the right spot for them, and having moved into a new home that has this as a part of the kitchen design(mine is in the space above the micro/oven), I can't imagine being without it. Good luck!

  • Julia Julia on Jan 10, 2017

    The kitchen in my condo is no bigger than a minute so I decided to remove two upper cabinets one was skinny, and the other a lazy susan corner cabinet (I replaced these with open shelving). I also finally removed my dishwasher that had been broken for years. I painted the skinny cabinet and placed in under the counter it's perfect for all my cookie sheets, cupcake pans, etc. I also added a slim line garbage can next to it. Hope this helps.

  • Joan Stafford Joan Stafford on Jan 10, 2017

    Use it to store trasn cans and recycle bins, just add door to hide them.

  • RichandTammy Whiteside RichandTammy Whiteside on Jan 11, 2017

    I say put a stool or chair that allows you a comfortable position and use that for a work space. I spend enough time in the kitchen that it would be awesome to pull up a chair when I'm prepping for meals. How cool would that be to pull out everything you need, pull up a seat and chop some stuff up for dinner? I would be ALL over that!

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 11, 2017

    Great idea, I have a countertop round pedestal table in the kitchen with stools that I could pull up. I will post pictures after the work is completed

  • Raa6539478 Raa6539478 on Jan 11, 2017

    Hang a curtain and hide your trash can . Old fashioned houses use to have curtains under counter tops.

  • Lacy Grinnell Lacy Grinnell on Jan 11, 2017

    good idea with the trashcan or make a spot to put cookbooks in

  • Sarah Walker Sarah Walker on Jan 11, 2017

    Do you have a built in trash cabinet? I think that's what I would do. It's close to the sink and the work area. Might be very handy.

  • Goldrushgal Goldrushgal on Jan 11, 2017

    Install shelves for large items and hide behind a pretty curtain on swing out rod. I did that in my kitchen, the swing arm rod makes for easy access. I bought large storage containers that fit my shelves, easy to pull out and select needed items. I have large mixing bowls, other odd sized pieces and a bin of large Tuppereware pieces on the other shelf in mine.

  • Char Char on Jan 11, 2017

    ;put in shelves and buy baskets to put in the shelves. great for storage and looks stylish

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Jan 11, 2017

    I like the stool idea. :)

  • Karen Bidwell Karen Bidwell on Jan 11, 2017

    What about a wine rack or wine refrigerator?

  • Reblcant Reblcant on Jan 12, 2017

    trash and storage for trash bags.

  • Claranne Claranne on Jan 12, 2017

    A pull out shelf (like a breadboard) for a little bit of extra space and a place to chop while sitting on a stool. Recycling center, shelves with decorative baskets.

    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jan 12, 2017

      I agree with Claranne and everyone else's comments. I would put recycling/garbage with a door. Alternatively you could use it it for pet food.

  • V Valencia V Valencia on Jan 12, 2017

    You mentioned you have pets. Why not make it a feeding area for your pets.

  • Tricia Lenwell Tricia Lenwell on Jan 12, 2017

    I'm curious - did the old owner tile the front of the dishwasher or is that contact paper?

  • Lori Lori on Jan 12, 2017

    A pull out cabinet or shelves on wheels.....the top can be additional counterspace when needed, the cabinet for storage. Here's the inspiration for it (fourth picture down): ;

    The bottom shelf could be made as an additional pull out for pet bowls...useful with the unit pulled out or tucked under the countertop.

  • Terri Terri on Jan 12, 2017

    Wine Refrigerator would be my 1st choice, trash compactor, ice machine.

    • Katy Katy on Jan 14, 2017

      Love our trash compactor my four cats have NEVER gotten into our kitchen garbage.

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Jan 12, 2017

    If you cannot match your cabinets, put some shelves in it or a wire rack of shelves and use a tension rod with a pretty curtain to hide the contents.

  • That Barnyard Chick That Barnyard Chick on Jan 12, 2017

    I have the same issue & these are the solutions we are weighing.

    1) Wine fridge!

    2) Pull out garbage/recycling area. The kind that would pull out on rolling tracks or casters, probably casters given the weight of glass.

  • Beverly Clement Beverly Clement on Jan 12, 2017

    slide in a small freezer.

    • See 1 previous
    • Skeeter Luther Skeeter Luther on Jan 13, 2017

      As I'm getting older I don't have the strength I used to. If I had a space like that I would put in a shelf that would keep my stand mixer so that when you pulled the shelf out you could raise it to working height. I love to cook & also cook all my things from scratc. WB

  • Linda Wilson Linda Wilson on Jan 13, 2017

    Well, something I have always wanted to do for my pets is a dog bed in the cabinetry. You didn't say if your pets were dogs or not but I am sure you get the idea. This link shows several ideas - all of which I want! Since it is just you and the pets, you have enough storage, this might be it. Oh, if this is not "it" and you are a reader, you could do a pull out library unit!

  • Oldgaelic Oldgaelic on Jan 13, 2017

    My plan for mine is a desk, top rack for mail, lower rack for file folders, silverware basket for pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, etc. I too never use mine since my husband died.

  • Barbara Barbara on Jan 13, 2017

    Like many others, I'd use it for a recycling bin on wheels with a door to 'cover it up' to match the existing or new cabinetry.

  • Pat Nooney Zimbicki Pat Nooney Zimbicki on Jan 13, 2017


  • Janet Janet on Jan 14, 2017

    put some pretty molding around the outer edge. use space for pets feeding area if they are small pets. Cover with a tension rod and curtain. This could be great storage for off season items of any type!

  • Judy Judy on Jan 14, 2017

    my dogs like to hang out in the kitchen,(for some reason),😉. I've always liked the look of tucked in dog apartments in an old dishwasher space OR! A trash/recycling drawer which is on my wish list

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jan 15, 2017

    Well I wish I didn't need storage space. I would see what is behind the piece of would at end one left side I don't see a handle if that's the case that it's just a filler I would remove it as well and I would put place a piece of wood on floor to make it same height as rest of floor unless they put flooring underneath which would be a blessing. Ifor you have to put flooring down just paint that piece grey gloss so you can clean it. Now do you have a designated place for pets to eat if not this would be a good space for that since you don't need more storage. They can eat as you do dishes or place a bed in there for them while you are in the kitchen cooking. That floor looks modern I hope you have some left over planks to continue floor in that area. I would not cover area up I would also paint it white like cabinets. That way it looks like it was meant to be there and doesn't draw your eye to it. If you have cats you can place litter box as well since you have to clean t daily and you have the garbage can in the kitchen.

  • Flamingo 12758 Flamingo 12758 on Jan 15, 2017

    make shelves.. for bottles of water and other drinks. Store to go coffee cups and other reusable bottles. I f no panel to match hang a curtain to match kitchen or table cloth

    • Mary Boger Mary Boger on Feb 14, 2017

      Leave one shelf open for the cats. Good niche to store

      a stool, shopping trolley, recycling.

  • Rhonda S Rhonda S on Jan 16, 2017

    Some great ideas here. My favorites are a pull out trash/recycling station, but I like the idea of a place to tuck the dog feeding station out of the way, and maybe have a bed in there, if the pets are few enough or small enough. I LOVE the idea of leaving the unit, and turning it into a cabinet for the desk....You can remove the door for easier access, but do you want the clutter of it all in the open? I fyou are determined to take it out, Do you have any large or bulky items that need a home? You said you don't needs storage, but that would be an option for many of us. In my own home, it would definitely be the recycle/trash station. I've seen tutorials for making them hinged so they fold out and back. Maybe design it so the dog dish goes under in a "drawer" or just on the floor under a shelf, and the trash can/compost/recycle bins sit above. This post made me laugh. When I was a kid, my dad got and installed a used dishwasher, but it never worked, so we used it to store the draining rack (the roll out bottom rack we actually used to drain dishes on) and mom put plastic bags in the top rack. When someone made a comment about a dish washer, Mom said she had a total of 8...each of her 4 daughters equipped with two. After we all grew up and moved out, he bought and installed one that DID work in that same space.

  • Angie Hanes Angie Hanes on Jan 16, 2017

    A wine fridge🍷

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 16, 2017

    Thanks for the awesome ideas here is what I decided , I am putting trash/recyling bins, dogs food and water bowl. It is a 35 width space , I live simply wth the basics I have at least one cupboard and closet wth nothing in it. I have a designate office area. I can't drink wine any longer food allergies.

  • Caj10079516 Caj10079516 on Apr 08, 2017

    we made a beautiful coffee bar with one large drawer then four divided areas below to hold cook books and wicker basket for coffee products love it.

  • Canadianlady Canadianlady on Apr 08, 2017

    I'd keep the dishwasher in there, because most home buyers expect to see a built-in dishwasher when they walk into a home. Not having a built-in could make your home seem less appealing to a buyer.

  • Cathy Cathy on Apr 15, 2017

    put in a 3 drawer cabinet that is what I did fits the space exactly

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2023

    Replace it with a Fridge or Freezer, or remove and add shelves or leave it open as a feeding area for your animals or a Bed area?

  • I would remove it and add shelves or a wine cooler.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 06, 2023

    You mentioned you have pets. Why not some pull out drawers to hold pet stuff (like bowls, treats, etc.)?