3 or 4 drawer stacks in bathroom vanities?

illinigirlNovember 1, 2013

also how many drawers per person? We have 2 large vanities (one for each adult), so a lot of storage space, but I'm trying to figure out the best configurations between cabinets and drawers.


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Shallow works best for makeup and brushes because you have one layer of stuff.

A deep one can be used for holding spare shampoo and other bottled things. Measure the height of a bottle.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:06PM
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It all depends on what you want to store in the vanities. Some items used every day should be able to fit into a top drawer, etc. Keep in mind you need to determine the inside dimensions in order to do that. I have a 13-3/4" drawer front that has only 10-1/2" inside, that holds upright spray bottles with very little to spare. Got lucky on that. We have all drawers with U-shaped cutouts under the sinks, no doors. We drew up graph paper combos of drawers to determine the best layout. Three drawer stacks looked better than four for us with a countertop height at 36".


Edit: I love being able to stand in front of my sink and open shallow drawers on either side to get at my makeup and stuff. My husband has ONE drawer!!!!! That is next to his sink. We did away with a medicine cabinet.

This post was edited by Babka on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 12:19

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Hi Babka, can you post some pictures of your u shaped drawers ? I would like to see how they fit around the pipe lines . Is the bottom drawer u shaped too or full ? I did the same thing for my vanity but The cut out for the u shape is too much . I am loosing the third of my drawer in it . My lousy contractor made me u shaped drawers too for the bottom drawers . I am trying to find a solution for these drawers now .
So illinigirl , if you decide to do u shaped drawers get a good carpenter that will make them fit around the pipe lines so you won't loose most of your storage area .

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:17PM
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Here's what we did. Our cabinet maker created two shallow drawers at the bottom of the cabinet to give us more usable drawer space, then two shorter cabinet doors for the typical "undersink" area. We could have gone with a drawer in the center with a U cutout, and then a "blank" panel at the top for an all-drawer look, but the U-shaped drawers were more expensive. This seemed like a good compromise for us.

In the center stack, we each have one big and one small drawer. Our previous vanity (in this same footprint) had larger cabinets under the sinks, and 3 center drawers. This arrangement gives us a lot more usable drawer space.

As Babka mentions (and as folks talk about all the time in kitchens) think about what you want to put in the drawers to make the 3- or 4- decision. If you want to be able to stand bottles of hair products upright in the drawers, for example, then maybe 3- would be better.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 11:11AM
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One of my pet peeves is drawers that are too shallow! It always seems, even with makeup, that I just need a scooch more room for even the tiniest bottle to stand upright. Since we had our vanity custom made, I had the drawers made exactly the depth I wanted. I measure what I figured would go in each drawer, literally folding and stacking towels, and pulling out the measuring tape...LOL. I did have U-shaped drawers made, and since there would be no drainpipes behind the top drawer, ie just sink, had the U go further back to gain a couple more inches. I have no U in the bottom drawer, but I wish I had specified that it go back another couple of inches too, as DH arranged the plumbing so that it cleared the bottom drawer.

U-shaped drawers can be quite expensive if going with cabinet lines, that's why it actually made having them custom made by a cabinet maker an economical choice for us. Vanity was expensive, but it's beautifully made, exactly what we want, not limited by preset increments determined by a catalogue.

As Babka said, be clear as to the inside dimensions of the drawer, whether glides will be bottom mount or side mount for instance, and make sure vanity will be kitchen height to gain a couple more inches!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Our cabinet maker left instructions for the plumber to keep things high and tight and he did the best he could, but those P-traps came down 3/4" too far so he had to notch the bottoms of those two drawers. On one side I can put taller things, but on the other, flatter things. Works just fine for a hand held mirror. I put shelf liner on those parts to keep things from sliding off when I close the drawer. My center drawer in the middle row has a container I use as a concealed waste basket.

I cannot believe how much storage space I have in the same exact place where we once had a single sink and cabinets with door/shelves.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:55PM
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Thank you soooo much Babka for posting these pictures . They are very helpful for me as I am looking to find a remedy to gain back the waisted space on my main four drawers .

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 3:16PM
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your vanity, inside and out, Babka!
Are those Kohler sinks? If so, is that the 21" long one and how wide is the set of drawers under it?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Those are Lacava sinks (model 5485). 19x15 outside dimensions. I asked for a 3/4" lip all around them on the countertop to give me just that extra bit of countertop space.
The Caesarstone cut out is 15-1/2" x 12". They have oversized click-clack drains. This was the smallest rectangle shaped sink w/ overflow that I could find. As it turns out, it is WAY larger in capacity than the old Kohler oval one we had before.

The drawer fronts are 19" wide. Inside drawer dimension ends up 16".


    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Thanks! Vanity is 22" wide, 7' long with two sinks. My old (1978) Kohler undermount sink also had a 1/2"+ overhang and I never had a build-up of anything there. When I clean the sink, I run my finger wrapped in a wash cloth under there and haven't ever detected anything on the cloth. (Over 30 years) When you think about it...what would ever get there? Get every inch you can.

I'm convinced that drawers give you double the storage space...and with full extension, things don't get lost like they do hidden on the back of shelves. Everything is in sight and easy to reach. Worth every penny.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:15AM
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Great photos Babka!

How wide is your vanity? I have a rectangular sink too, will be going to fabricator on Monday with final dimensions, templates, etc. How do you like having the slight overhang on the sink? I know people in kitchens complain of grime build-up underneath, but I guess in a bathroom that would be different. I hadn't even contemplated having a slight overhang, but like you I want to maximize counter space. My MB vanity is very small, only 40" wide, but building it as a drawers only has increased capacity tremendously from our previous 36" with 2 doors and one cupboard space.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:38AM
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