Kitchen Scenery Help

DannyDepac

Member
Hey Guys,

I'm a teacher by day, stage director by 3pm so I am far from the pros you guys are so I'm hoping you can train a guy who is still learning has he goes.

I am currently working on a set that has a small apartment kitchen in it and I really want to knock it out of the park with a realistic looking kitchen. I haven't been able to find any cheap used cabinets on craigslist like I hoped so I am hoping someone has has some suggestions on materials / methods to make cabinet facades. I would really love to include a Refrigerator facade too... If I can find fridge doors I will go that route but I'm hoping you guys have some pictures or suggestions for me that I can create instead.

Thanks in advance!
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Hey Guys,

I'm a teacher by day, stage director by 3pm so I am far from the pros you guys are so I'm hoping you can train a guy who is still learning has he goes.

I am currently working on a set that has a small apartment kitchen in it and I really want to knock it out of the park with a realistic looking kitchen. I haven't been able to find any cheap used cabinets on craigslist like I hoped so I am hoping someone has has some suggestions on materials / methods to make cabinet facades. I would really love to include a Refrigerator facade too... If I can find fridge doors I will go that route but I'm hoping you guys have some pictures or suggestions for me that I can create instead.

Thanks in advance!
@DannyDepac A couple of comments for you worth every penny I'm charging. (In other words, not worth much.)
1; "Pros" or not, virtually all of us are still learning. The day I stop learning I'll be dead.
I'm not quite dead yet, please withhold your applause.
2; Don't let your director, or anyone, talk you into a glistening / gleaming / stark WHITE kitchen. No matter how you light it, someone's going to want to have a least one cast member and darned if they're not going to want them to act and emote immediately downstage of their gleaming white kitchen and then they're going to complain BITTERLY about every tiny shadow they see distractingly dancing across their blemish-free kitchen landscape. Of course you can employ back and cross lighting to great advantage but a pristine / immaculate gleaming white kitchen is never going to be your friend as a set. Do all cupboards need to open? Do all drawers need to open? Do any of the drawers or cupboards need to be slammed as part of the blocking? Do you need the latest silently self-closing hinges or would they be detrimental to the director's blocking thoughts? There you go, a few totally gratis thoughts.
EDIT: Does the sink need to work? Do you need cold water? Do you need hot water too? How much water has to run down the sink drain? Can your sink drain into a 5 gallon bucket with carpet scraps in the bottom to minimize noise or will you need to plumb your drain to a nearby paint sink, washroom or loading dock? Does your stove need to work? Does it need to be a gas stove as in the lead commits suicide by sticking their head in the oven or can an electric stove be used? Do you only need one burner to function or do you need to power the oven as well? What about other electrical kitchen apliances. toasters, kettles, food processors, blenders, mixers, electric frypans? What about a kitchen clock? Is it important for the patrons to read the clock and its time to relate to the production or will you need to layer frost over the digital clock on the stove so it can be seen to be operating but its actual time not visible to patrons?
With apologies for droning on. Possibly I've lit TOO many kitchen sets over the past six decades.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 
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Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Dude you live on Long Island. Talk to the garbage boat people. Talk to scrappers. Goto the dump. You will find a plethora of everything you ever needed.

You could even go dumpster diving in any neighborhood.

Now if you don’t want to go that route then you will have to build them. Easy way is to grab some left over trim from past projects and make a box with it the size of your door and throw a handle on it add a back and whala you got a door.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
I don't know if you have them there or not, but I used to pull cabinets and used appliances from the local "Habitat for Humanity" resale shop and a place we have here in PDX called "The Rebuilding Center."They are both, usually, more than willing to work with not-for-profits or schools.
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
That's funny cause I always seem to have cabinets from somewhere or another filling up space in my garage. Old cabinets are easy to come by. So are fridges for that matter, especially if you don't need them to work. See if you can find a coworker who's husband is a contractor, or knows one. These guys rip out kitchens all the time. If its an insurance claim because of water damage, you can sometimes get a whole kitchen for free because none of the stuff can be resold. Use your network of people. A friendly contractor will appreciate your free demo labor and not having the hassle of dealing with all the waste.

And you won't have to visit the dump....
 
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DannyDepac

Member
First of all thanks for getting back to me so quickly - I really appreciate the support.

And I too love the learning aspect of this-the creative side makes it so much fun and so unique... but to me, when I see the pictures of quick advice you guys give I really do think of you as pros so thanks for your time but I do get your point.

We definitely do not want a clean kitchen - its part of sister act and is the apartment of a police officer in 1980's Philly so I wasn't going with nice or fancy. I have allotted a small 8 foot flat on a stage wagon with a door cut out for this kitchen (I'm very limited on space since its a HS stage). our auditorium seats are mostly eye level with the stage so counter top won't matter or anything like that. I have a faucet that I will help give the sink illusion though. None of the Kitchen needs to be functional, just a background.

Yes I am on Long Island and we have very few junk yards, thrift shops or second hand building places here - land is at a premium here so if it isn't a house or mall we probably don't have it. I will look around the area though for a real set - thats my first choice but if I just wanted to make a facade of cabinets - SHOULD I go with mdf and a luan faux door?

I'm really more concerned with any tips on making a refrigerator that looks realistic and not just a painted white block.


I have attached screenshots I saw on youtube of the scene for reference
Thanks in advance !
 

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DannyDepac

Member
That's funny cause I always seem to have cabinets from somewhere or another filling up space in my garage. Old cabinets are easy to come by. So are fridges for that matter, especially if you don't need them to work. See if you can find a coworker who's husband is a contractor, or knows one. These guys rip out kitchens all the time. If its an insurance claim because of water damage, you can sometimes get a whole kitchen for free because none of the stuff can be resold. Use your network of people. A friendly contractor will appreciate your free demo labor and not having the hassle of dealing with all the waste.

And you won't have to visit the dump....
Thanks thats a good idea!
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
If you go the faux route, you could build a thick hollywood flat (like 8") for your uppers and mount your fake doors right on the face. Mount that flat on a big tall one that acts as the back wall of your kitchen. Another Flat and a piece of plywood get you your lowers and counter. This is my quick and dirty idea, everything could be built with one run to home depot. Add whatever refinements you want along with your dirty paint treatment and fixtures/hardware and you've got yourself a passable kitchen set. This won't cost much more to build than the photos you attached and gives a lot more depth to the set
IMG_5524.JPG
 

nomuse

Member
Making kitchens is fun. If you want real water, though, that bumps things up to a new league.

Water leaks.

No way around it, if you have water on stage, you will get water on the stage. Water, like animals on stage, is Murphy personified. Waterproof everything. And safeguard the actors from slipping on the stuff and taking a fall.

(The only nice thing about water is that, unlike glitter, it does eventually evaporate.)

Water is also heavy (it ain't that it's dense, but that people are pretty bad at estimating volumes. One little wading pool? Sounds simple. Fill it with water and you've got a floor disaster waiting to happen. (I worked at a theater that dented a floor and cracked the plaster off a wall). If you make a sink, build it solid and brace it well.
 

DannyDepac

Member
Thanks
If you go the faux route, you could build a thick hollywood flat (like 8") for your uppers and mount your fake doors right on the face. Mount that flat on a big tall one that acts as the back wall of your kitchen. Another Flat and a piece of plywood get you your lowers and counter. This is my quick and dirty idea, everything could be built with one run to home depot. Add whatever refinements you want along with your dirty paint treatment and fixtures/hardware and you've got yourself a passable kitchen set. This won't cost much more to build than the photos you attached and gives a lot more depth to the set
View attachment 15979
Thank you- I appreciate the time you took draw that out for me too. I was thinking the fake door route would definitely one route to go- I like "thick Flat" idea too since nothing needs to function.. Thanks again!
 

Crisp image

Well-Known Member
I would use 3mm (1/8th) MDF sheet for the faces and 19x42mm (1x2in) frame inside to hold it all together. Put some doors and draws on the outside and paint to liking. Quick easy and cheep. I use MDF because it is free to me from a cabinet makers shop as they are packing sheets and usually slightly damaged around the edges or have writing on them with delivery details.
As for the fridge ask around at school. Someone may have one that is out the back or not working.
Regards
Geoff
 

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