A storage hutch does not need to be a dull, boring box used to stack away stationery, arts and crafts supplies and various knick knacks. With a little bit of creativity, a storage hutch can become a unique design element to a home or a small business office. With a little more creativity, it can even become a conversation piece and a design feature. Design possibilities are endless and it is up to the craftsman to make a hutch that is personalized and suitable for his or her needs, while adding in a bit of a fun element.
To start with the basics, one needs to determine the primary requirements for the hutch to render it most useful in one's household. Traditional storage hutches typically include four side hinged doors and access panels in the back for any wiring management. However, it is up to the builder to figure out just what his or her storage hutch should look like. That is, if the hutch's primary function is to store kitchen utensils and cooking essentials, the design should incorporate large and small-sized drawers and compartments to accommodate various utensil sizes. If the hutch is to be used by more than one person, in an office setting, the design should include lockable drawers, for restricted usage. The hutch can be either full open for easy access or partially or full concealed by a set of doors. Finally, the design should be mindful of the overall space that it will be placed in, the size and height of the desk that it is used in conjunction with, as well as the overall design, color palette and layout of a room.
Keeping the essentials in mind, the actual construction of a hutch can be a relatively simple, streamlined process. A good, cheap material to use is plywood which can, of course, be adorned with other accent materials, like acrylic. A more expensive option is to work with various wood species, like timber or pine. High pressure laminate is another popular option that can work for the hutch construction.
Figuring out the right measurements for the top, bottom, sides of the hutch, as well as the shelving inside and any doors should be the starting point before marking up and cutting any of the materials. A utility knife can be used to cut any additional acrylic elements. If using glass for the door, special care needs to be applied when using a glass cutter, since, depending on the thickness of the glass, the material is fairly brittle and can crack easily.
Once the general shape of the storage hutch is determined and the plywood pieces are cut out and secured together with nails and glue, the hutch can be turned on its side and shelving pieces can be secured with nails at the top and bottom of the unit. To tack on any trim elements to the hutch, the pieces can be cut to size after the hutch is assembled. Hard board should be nailed to the rear of the hutch to provide backing. If doors are desired, it is important to attach self-stick cabinet door bumpers to minimize the pinch points.
For the finishes and the overall look of the hutch, the possibilities are practically limitless. The structural pieces, as well as the shelves and doors, can be stained to bring out the beauty of the wood or painted a desired color to match the color palette of a room. Additional colors or accents can be painted or tacked on after the completion of assembly, making the piece truly stand out. Door and shelving elements, if treated or painted, should be allowed to try prior to be secured to hinges and attached to the hutch.