All posts by Dave Norton

Drawer Organisation Made Easy and Flexible

There are some pretty cool hardware options around to help you make the most of your drawer space. I’ll tell you about two of those options today.

The first is a very flexible drawer divider system. This system from Blum can be individually customized to suit your drawer layout. You can create your own combination of sections or they have good range of pre-set combinations if you need to see some ideas first. It may seem like overkill at first glance, but even the young kids in our household know where to find the right cutlery.


The second item from our Blum range that I really like is the in-drawer knife block.

I like the fact that it keeps sharp knives out of sight of inquisitive toddlers or young children – many people have locking devices on their drawers but you can’t fence off an entire bench!
Although my wooden knife block was attractive to look at, it was constantly getting dusty or greasy from sitting on the bench and as a bonus you gain back some valuable food preparation space.
This knife block is slim line, holds quite a few knives and is tucked nicely away in a drawer.


There are other divider systems in the Blum range, as well as plate caddies and even wrap and foil holders. If you are looking to implement a system to transform your kitchen and use all the space you have to it’s best potential, have a chat to our designer or contact us via our website at Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking in Malaga, WA.

Smart Kitchen Corner Storage

Many kitchens have at least one awkward corner which usually ends up being a tumble down pile of plastic containers.


In days gone by a Lazy Susan or a strange kidney shaped shelf was used to swing items from the back to the front. Neither of these items seemed to gain much useful space.

Here is one of the latest options that Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking loves to use.




The unit has two banks of metal baskets. Simply pull the first set of baskets out using the handle (see top left of first picture above) and slide to the side to reveal the second set of basket storage. This can then also be pulled forward for easy access. Additionally there is a soft close feature to this unit, so it won’t slam back into place.

Not everyone is a fan of a basket base, especially if small lids are involved, however you could easily add a thin base board or sheet of stiff card to the bottom of each basket.

At Top Shelf we ensure we use the appropriate hinges so the cupboard door opens fully to allow the unit to slide in and out without catching or rubbing.

This particular unit was sourced from on of our trusted suppliers Galvin Hardware.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on keeping your cutlery drawer tidy.

Kitchen Design Perth

At Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking we provide kitchen design services as well as full manufacture and installation.

For a nominal fee of $250 we can come to your home, discuss your requirements and provide full 3D computer aided design drawing. If you then choose us to manufacture your kitchen we will deduct the design fee from the overall cost. Variation fees will apply if you change the design and  do not continue the process with us.

Sample 3D

Sample overall drawing.

Our designer has over 15 years experience manufacturing and designing kitchens and other home storage solutions. Contact us today on 0409 298 998 or via our website

Metaline splash back installation

Top Shelf Cabinets is now a qualified installer of Laminex Metaline splashbacks.

These splashbacks will give your kitchen a modern look, with clean lines and minimal joins in and around corners due to the ability to fold the metal around corners.

The material is suitable for use behind gas hobs and has a special coating to allow for easy cleanings.

Metaline can also be used in wet areas.

Metaline 3

Metaline 1

Metaline 4

These splashbacks come in a range of colours:

metaline 5

Available sheet sizes are:

3600mm x 800mm x 4mm

3600mm x 1500mm x 4mm

3600mm x 1250mm x 4mm (reflections colour only)

1800mm x 800mm x 4mm

1800mm x 1500mm x 4mm

If you are interested in hearing more about this product contact us at


Block – Kitchens

We sat down to watch kitchen week on The Block expecting to see some high end, ground breaking ideas. What did we see? Kitchens by the Good Guys! We didn’t see that coming.

The Good Guys must have spent a fortune to secure that piece of product placement. Is that what you would expect in a multi million dollar apartment though? Not in our opinion.

Over the last couple of years we have seen many ‘big chain’ stores starting to sell kitchens and kitchen components. Is this making your life easier? We don’t think so.

When you speak to a cabinet maker at Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking you get a much more personalised experience, backed by real industry knowledge.

If you can buy draw runners (at much inflated retail rates) and even a new kitchen bench top, surely they must be easy to install yourself? That depends on your own experience, but it is not every home handyman that can create seamless joins in a bench top or perfectly level, evenly spaced drawers.

If you want a full range of options, from the best suppliers in Australia broaden your search beyond chain stores. Don’t be under the belief that custom made just means more expensive.

Contact us at

Built in Furniture Perth

Built in furniture adds a touch of class to any room.

Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking has created a number of solutions for people with ‘non-standard’ spaces. One of our most asked about  pieces is a built in bookshelf we have featured on our website:


Built in cabinets can be installed almost anywhere and can transform rooms, it is limited only by your imagination. Some other examples of our work include a cellar fitout and tv display units:




Our flexible designer has also created some great ‘easy use’ built in wardrobes:

IMG_14491 IMG_14541 wardrobe1

For built in furniture of superior quality and durability, look no further than our proudly Western Australian owned and run company, Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking .

Call Dave 6363 8340 or 0409 298 998


Handles for the Kitchen

While there is no one handle to suit every kitchen, there are a few ground rules to follow when selecting your handles.

1) Choose a handle proportionate to the door or drawer front. If the handle is too small you may have trouble opening the door. If it is too big it may look clunky. It is usually possible to get the same handle style in different sizes to suit different parts of the kitchen.


2) If you have drawers it is better to choose one long centrally located handle rather than 2 short handles or knobs. This ensures even opening of the drawer and can prolong the life of your runners.

3) Consider the foot traffic in the room. It is not unusual to step sideways around the kitchen. Handles with a T style end can catch on pockets and clothes generally.


4) Look at your appliances. Taking style clues from your oven handle (shape and colour) can be helpful. Likewise with your dishwasher or microwave.

5) Choose something that is easy to wipe clean as handles will get used during cooking.

6) Don’t be afraid to have some fun if you want!

handles 1

There are many, many handles to choose from.


Ask us for advice today. Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking in Perth WA.

Best Kitchens in Perth

Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking – Why Choose us?

All the staff and owners at Top Shelf Cabinets are very approachable and can give you helpful advice when it comes to choosing the best products for your budget and space.  We have been running this business since 2006 and Dave has almost 20 years trade experience.

Top Shelf Cabinets & Woodworking is a Western Australian family built business. We employ local people and use Australian made materials ensuring that the board we use is built to Australian Emission Standards. Choosing us helps your local economy.

You can find some of our previous work here.

Why we are better than a flat pack kitchen…

Been to Ikea recently? Bunnings?   Were you impressed by their kitchen displays? So were we. Until we gave it a bit of thought! Here are some things that make us different. We will give you these as part of our normal everyday service, where a flat pack kitchen won’t:

–  A free visit in your own home to discuss your requirements

–  A written quote that includes all materials and installation of cupboards and benchtops

–  Cupboards which are not restricted to ‘standard’ sizes or heights

–   A broader range of material and colour choice. Our board is moisture resistant and made in  Australia. ensuring  a high quality of product

–  No mess. No packaging to dispose of, and no Allen Keys!

We have all seen the adverts, we also offer the soft close option for your drawers and doors for a whisper quiet kitchen.  Let Top Shelf Cabinets spend the time adding up all the extras like cutlery dividers and spice racks for you. You will pay for construction and installation but with the value  added to your home by a professionally finished kitchen, you won’t regret it!

We can arrange other trades for you and provide technical drawings for a small fee.

Are Vinyl Doors Best In The Kitchen?

Choosing which doors are best for your kitchen can be a little daunting. Vinyl doors are a popular choice. Here are some positives and negatives to consider when making your choice:


Vinyl doors are hard wearing. They are less likely to chip at the edges than some laminated doors as the vinyl is rolled over the edge leaving a smooth finish.


Vinyl doors are easy to clean as they have a smooth, join free, finish. This does depend somewhat on the pattern pressed into your door.


Vinyl doors come in a wide variety of patterns ranging from traditional ‘country kitchen’ panelling to modern, thin line patterns.

Why wouldn’t I want vinyl?


If your kitchen gets a lot of direct sunlight, vinyl may not be the best option especially if you have chosen white doors.  Over a few years the vinyl can change colour if it is exposed to sunlight. This may become an issue if you add to your storage and need to colour match. A good alternative can be a lacquered finish. You can still have the moulded look of the vinyl door but with a painted finish.


Care must be taken when installing vinyl doors above your cooktop or next to your oven, especially if you have a gas hob.  Heat that escapes around your pots and pans can cause the vinyl to come away from the bottom edges of overhead doors.

What are my other options?

There are a number of great options around for cabinet doors. You can achieve a character look with lacquered doors, or a sleek modern look with gloss panels. Wood grain without the need for upkeep can be achieved with textured panel products.


Which Splashback is best?

Which Splashback will work best in your kitchen? While this does come down to personal preference there are a few things to consider. Here are the splashback options widely available:


Glass splashbacks are usually spray painted on the back in your choice of colour. It is now also possible to print an image onto the glass, giving a large scale mural effect. Glass gives a sleek, modern look and is easy to clean. Glass is highly reflective so it can impact placement of ceiling or under cupboard lights. The smooth finish will show water spots or splashes so it will need frequent cleaning.


Tiles can give a good splash of colour, add texture and are versatile when it comes to the look you want to achieve. Grout can be hard to keep clean, so regular wiping will be necessary to avoid staining – especially behind your cooktop.

Pressed Tin Panels

These are made from pressed aluminium and have been featured on a few popular home renovation shows in recent years. They can add visual depth and a point of interest in a kitchen (or other room of your house). They come in modern and more traditional designs to suit your taste. This product requires a coat of metal etch prior to painting in your choice of colour. You can achieve a similar look to tiles without the numerous grout lines if you wish, although there will still be silicone joins where the panels meet.

In Summary

A splashback can be a good way to add a touch of your personality to a very important room in your house.

Our designer can provide extra insights into what will work in your home. Check out our gallery or contact us for further ideas.