If you don't have Upper Cabinets . . . .

quiltgirlJanuary 30, 2013

If you do not have upper cabinets, how and where do you store little baking stuff like chocolate chips, bottles of extracts, baking soda, baking powder and all that little crippy crappy stuff that gets used for baking? I used to have uppers and I kept a lot of that stuff on a turntable right in front of my face. Now I have no uppers in my baking area and I am thinking digging in a drawer for that little stuff can get messy and cumbersome.

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purrus

I was just about to post asking what you do about glasses with no uppers! Would love to hear what you all do as I'd certainly prefer windows...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:50PM
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catbuilder

I have uppers, but I store my baking stuff in a drawer. I find it much easier to find things in a drawer. There's no pushing things around and rearranging them to find something. I've always wondered about the glassess storage too, without uppers. I store my dishes in drawers, but I don't think I'd like glasses and cups there.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:56PM
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muskokascp

My baking supplies are all in a drawer - so much easier to find it all. My dishes are in drawers as are my extra glasses. Our everyday glasses are on a shelf beside the refrigerator. Coffee mugs are in one of our few uppers but they would be fine in a drawer too.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:28PM
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hlove

Same as the others...all baking supplies in drawers below the counter that is home to my mixer. I have a hutch in the adjoining breakfast room that houses all of our every day dishes and glassware. Easy for the kids to reach to set the table.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:16PM
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hlove

Oh, and I also keep my chocolate chips, flour, and pancake mix in the refrigerator...but I eat the chips every day in my yogurt for breakfast, so it's convenient. :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:18PM
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quiltgirl

So do you have some sort of organizer in your baking drawer?
Do you prefer that to a pull out pantry? I just have visions of everything mushing together and tipping over etc. I was thinking of one of those 45� angle things like you would use for spices so all would be readily visible. Hope someone will post pics with their ideas.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:21PM
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allison0704

I have spices next to range, but baking items are in the walk-in pantry.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:00PM
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firstmmo

I will have no uppers and I plan on storing a lot of that stuff in my pantry in a bin. When I start baking, I pull the bin out and place on my island and I have everything there: salt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, etc. I also keep my teaspoons and measuring cups in a bin too and that stays in a drawer unless I want to pull out the plastic bin for the kids so they don't keep opening and shutting the drawer.

I definitely prefer to have a baking drawer that contains my mixer, my cupcake decorating items, my rolling pin, etc. (pretty much everything except the parchment paper and the baking sheets). I feel like it's easier for when I start a baking project. I also keep doubles of salt: one in my baking area and one near my range since I'd use that for both things, cooking and baking.

While I had uppers in my old kitchen, I still used this "bin system".

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:02PM
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davidahn

We have very few uppers, only on the cooking/range wall, but I'm no help since we're still having our cabinets installed, and besides, my wife does the baking and the cooking (but none of the planning and building). My tentative plan is to use the 24" drawer base to the right of the range for spices, supplies, & utensils, the blind corner base and the full depth upper to the right with dividers for the pans. We'll see how that works out. I'm totally for all manners of drawer organizers, love them. I'm about half done specifying a list of Blum Orga-Line organizers for our kitchen and we're up to about $2400. :)

Hlove, totally with you. Having been driven batty by flour moths in our pantry, we have resolved to keep ALL open cereal products (rice, flour, etc.) in our freezer. To that end, we got a 36" all-freezer and a 36" all-refrigerator to be our pantry extension/moth insurance.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:27PM
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quiltgirl

Wow! $2400 in organizers pray tell! Please share what type of organizers you are using.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:00PM
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angela12345

David, you might save a ton of money and have more customized drawers by using Lee Valley dividers.
Lee Valley ... www.leevalley.com/us/hardware/page.aspx?p=40168

Pictures installed ... http://www.google.com/search?q=lee+valley+dividers+site:gardenweb.com&tbm=isch

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:19PM
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rococogurl

Three solutions here. One is pantry cabinet with pull outs, another is the super susan for dry stuff, and all my small bottled stuff is on tall shallow open shelf unit with 8 adjustable shelves and dowels for hanging towels (and some paper recipes). I can see and grab everything there including oils and vinegars.

Glasses are in shallow shelves on back of peninsula and in a pantry closet.

All those options store much more than the uppers and allow easier access IMO.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:24PM
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breezygirl

I am now officially freaked out! Do you know how many pics of my kitchen I just saw on that link Angela just posted? Too many. And many of which have nothing to do with the Lee Valley dividers. One of the pics there I just took this morning. I know, I know. I'm living in a fantasy world if I think my images only appear here. I knew in *theory* that any pic I post or even classified as public on photobucket is out in the cyber world for anyone to see. I guess I just never saw it in practice for myself. Naive, I know. Like I said, its a little freaky for the world to see the mess in my prep drawer this morning.

Sorry for the OT.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:40PM
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localeater

One of the things I love about my new kitchen with island, is my baking drawer.
I bake most of my bread from scratch. Previously everything was in the pantry which is 10 steps away, that's a lot of steps for flours, sugar, oats, etc.... Now pretty much everything is in one drawer. Haven't put the extracts that I use, ie vanilla, almond, here yet they are just not as frequent and I have a handy shelf for them in the pantry. Like I said, pretty much everything is in this drawer, some items have top labels if I can't just recall what it is by the lid or container. I even keep a separate baking salt in this drawer so I don't even need to turn around to get my stove salt. What this drawer doesn't have are my nuts which I keep in the freezer.
From GW Photos

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:15PM
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fouramblues

I do have uppers, but here's my baking drawer in the island:

About 10 steps away in the pantry I have these basket drawers with the less-used stuff:

(Sorry, I'm having trouble resizing!)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:54PM
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davidahn

@Quiltgirl, I finally finished my list of Blum Orga-Line organizers, and it's now $5K. I have 36 shallow cutlery trays like the attached photo, between $58 and $128 each (wide drawers take 2 organizers), 24 sets of deep drawer organizers consisting of side rails, side rails, and cross dividers, 3 spice trays, 8 plate holders, 4 knife holders, 4 wrap/foil dispensers. So... I think I'll let my cabinet guy make the dividers instead. :)

@Angela1234, thanks for your suggestion. I did find out about the Lee Valley dividers a while back on GW, and while I like them a lot and they ARE a great option, I think I've fallen in love with Blum's Orga-Line. We have minimalist modern cabinets and I really wanted the SS TandemBox drawer boxes for the full modern look, but it was not in our budget. So now as a consolation prize, I'd really like some metal in these drawers to make them look as modern as they can. But with the prohibitive cost of the Blum Orga-Line, maybe metallic Formica dividers? :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:25AM
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angela12345

YIKES !!

I need to show this to my husband. That ought to shut up the complaining about how much the 3" wide x 48" long pieces of 1/4" poplar board is at Lowe's that I am using with my Lee Valley divider channels (about $3.50 per board, so prob less than $200 for the whole kitchen including the divider channels, don't have a final total cost yet)

This post was edited by angela12345 on Mon, Feb 4, 13 at 10:20

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:22PM
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purrus

This is interesting. Very helpful and lots of food for thought. I still think I will want some uppers for glasses and maybe coffee supplies above he coffee area, but as for the general kitchen area, I really like the idea of avoiding the uppers. Makes the room feel much more spacious, I'd imagine.

I just LOVE this forum--you people rock!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:26PM
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sochi

My baking supplies are in the pantry, baking trays in a drawer. I keep kids glasses in a low shelf in my pantry (so they can reach them easily), and adult glasses, including wine glasses, coffee mugs, etc., are kept in one of my two smallish upper cabinets. I have a few other glasses on my open shelving on my long kitchen run.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:43PM
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quiltgirl

Davidahn how big is your kitchen? Are you going to post a layout for us? $5000 for drawer organizers is an awful lot of money! I am in the wrong business! I thought I had a lot with a few cutlery organizers and some spice drawer! Please post pictures of all these things for us to see!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:45PM
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davidahn

@quiltgirl, earlier in the thread you asked about pull-out pantries. They're a GREAT option for cooking and baking supplies. Sadly, the skinny pull-out pantries don't go with our minimalist horizontal lines, but they might work for your kitchen.

But one thing: if you're considering any standard base cabinets with roll-out trays at all, I STRONGLY recommend drawers with drawer organizers instead! More cost but SO much more functional. With roll-out trays, add 4 extra steps: open door 1, close door 2, then do that again after you access the rollout. You could open both simultaneously... if you have both hands free. Multiply those steps x 20 times per meal (10 times getting ingredients, 10 times to putting away), times the number of meals and baking sessions per year!

Re: our kitchen size: our kitchen proper is 19 x 21'. It's L-shape + two 9' long islands (4'9" wide and 3'3" wide). The 21' wall is the range and refrigerator wall and is 28" deep all the way up to 10'. The 19' wall is the sink and dishwasher wall, and is contiguous with the 12' wide built-in buffet in the dining room (31' total of base cabinets). Aside from the 5' wide beverage nook and the 12" deep display cabinet surrounding the dining room window, we have NO other upper cabinets. This is a wide-open kitchen.

The $5000 total would be for Blum Orga-Line organizers in nearly every drawer in the kitchen, buffet, and master bathroom (43 drawers, mostly 30-36" wide). That's at the CHEAPEST Blum dealer I could find, and doesn't even include the closet system drawer organizers! Once I saw that partial total, I decided to rethink the Blum Orga-Line and go with my cabinet guy's offer to make me dividers.

To keep things modern looking, I've asked for metallic formica (real metal vs metal look are available) boxes lining the insides of the drawers, then inserting 1/4" or 3/8" thick frosted glass dividers (a thicker glass version of attached image). Advantages of glass over wood dividers: 1) a thin bead of silicone will hold them firmly in place, vs. staples, nails/brads, rails, etc. with wood dividers; 2) you can replace them to exactly suit your evolving needs by scoring and snapping them off from long strips of frosted glass.

As for photos, my kitchen is still being installed, probably finished next week. But the dividers will be the last thing to go in, after our closet systems and theater cabinets and paneling are done, so it may be 2-3 months. (My cabinet guy does great work but works alone and rather slowly.)

More reasonably priced, off-the-shelf dividers: the Rationell series from Ikea looks very slick as well, though just a little low end for a high end home.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:08PM
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quiltgirl

Davidahn, my cabinets are all drawers except for two pullout trash cabinets and two pull out pantries. I have two banks of 4 drawers in the periphery. The drawers are 5.5, 5.5, 6.5 and 6.5. One is close to stove and one close to clean up sink. All my top drawers are 5.5" with 4" internal height. The rest are deep drawers. I have no doors and no pull out shelves. I also have a 3 x 5 corner pantry. I am still playing with drawer sizes. I love the deep drawers but don't want so many that I end up with vertical wasted space.
I am open to any suggestions on drawer sizes!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:30AM
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davidahn

Quiltgirl, you're smart to avoid standard base cabinets. Question: your drawing shows full overlay frameless construction, so your drawers should add up to 30-30.5" total height + 4-4.5" toe kick + 1.5" counter = 36" standard height, but your 5.5, 5.5, 6.5, 6.5 add up to 24". Do you have face frame cabinets, or inset doors/drawers?

As for 3 taller vs. 4 shorter drawers, that all depends on your usage patterns, what you tend to store, and you probably won't know that precisely until you use your kitchen for a few months! If you find you're not using the top 6" of your deep drawers, you do have the option of modifying your drawers to have an inner drawer on top that slides backward, like the two-level cutlery drawers (if you have a handy hubby or a reliable custom cabinet guy). It's harder to make a 7-8" drawer taller after the fact. Another option I've seen recently that's more future proof is tall drawer fronts with a shallow drawer box and a rollout tray above it. I'm having trouble finding a picture of it right now. This gives you the flexibility of storing more crap with the rollout in place or storing large items by removing the roll-out tray.

You mentioned trash pullouts... they're awesome! We have one under every sink for wet garbage (3 in the kitchen) plus 2 large ones, one on either end of the main island (dual 50 qt bins each) for dry (non-rotting) trash. I am getting Blum Servo-Drive motors to open the trash bins when you tap the door, as I am a germophobe (I know, anal retentive germophobes are rare). The Servo Drive would also be handy for most of your frequently used drawers, but they're not super cheap, and you have to use Blum Tandem Plus slides with Blumotion. One nice thing is one power supply ($180) can feed up to 10-12 motors ($100).

Here is a link that might be useful: Servo Drive Video

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:31PM
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firstmmo

I can't tell whether I was more in awe of the Servo-drive or the cheesy, funny video!!! Must admit, I do want that now :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:16PM
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davidahn

@firsthouse, Haha! Yes, it's hard not to laugh at the video. I think that's considered cool in Germany; something gets lost in the translation. Either that or they're going for ironic humor. But the visual demonstration of Servo Drive at work is hard to argue with!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:31PM
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quiltgirl

Davidahn, I have inset drawers with 1 1/2" face frame between each drawer. The furniture base will be 4 to 4 1/2", whichever works in the great scheme of things. I went through the kitchen and measured the height of everything that would be stored in drawers. I have several items, mainly bowls, that would fit nicely in 7 to 9 inch space without a lot of wasted head room. I just cannot seem to fit a stack in there with those measurements and still keep it balanced. (A.R. kicking in here.) I like your idea of an inner drawer or perhaps a shelf within the drawer. It makes the space more adaptable. I have two pull out trash cabinets with two trash containers in each. I am thinking the one on the island will have a cutting board with a hole in it for pushing waste right into the garbage. I have seen pictures of that set up, but have not seen any comments on it here.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:53PM
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firstmmo

David: after you install your Servo-drive drawers and Blum Orga-line organizers, you are going to remake an American version of that video for us here on GW, right? Make sure you find the right music and start practicing your dance moves. (sorry to go OT quiltgirl!)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:04AM
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rmtdoug

No uppers is on my mind a lot because my wife has decided she does not want any or at least very few when we do our remodel in a couple of years, so this thread has been helpful.

I'm a bit surprised at the "yuck" reaction to glasses not in cabinets. Think about it, you live in your house and breathe the air constantly. What could possibly settle on your glasses that you have not already ingested? Pets are banned from our kitchen, so that issue is solved. I do have some experience about storing glasses in the open. There are two tricks: First, don't put out more glasses per person in your household than absolutely necessary. The rest go in storage until needed. We keep out two glasses per person. This ensures they get used enough to not get dusty. Second, put another shelf or something else above your glasses low enough to catch most of the dust. You need about 3 to 4 inches of clearance above the tallest glass. This has worked for us for over 15 years. Our glasses are on the counter under a small 6 inch overhang and they never get dirty between use.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:40AM
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quiltgirl

That video is a blast! Would make a good commercial with a toddler in a walker bouncing off the cabinets! I'll have to show this to my cabinet maker!

Davidahn, you have the right idea . . . . will be great for the trash cabinets!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 1:01AM
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davidahn

@quiltgirl, ah, inset drawers... now the math works. :) Don't fight the AR, do the hidden drawer (rollouts inside deep drawers - see photo). If the rollouts are shallow, you can even access the front row items without a second motion.

My wife really likes the trash hole idea, but I worried about counter wet cleanups and having holes in my beautiful counters. The Servo Drive was our compromise solution: no hole in the counter, but no touching trash pullouts. Efficiency-wise, the hole is the way to go, but being anal isn't really about efficiency first, is it? :)

Yes, others have mentioned pets and kids setting off the Servo Drive, but they're hard wired so you don't have to worry about replacing batteries, and the motors are designed for hundreds of thousands of actuations. Kids will eventually find more exciting toys.

@firsthouse, you got me all excited about making my own Servo Drive video, but reality set in... there's no way I can outdo the original.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 2:19AM
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rococogurl

Servo Drive is clearly perfect for dog-assisted cooking.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:45AM
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sochi

Omg, that video is priceless. I'm quite certain it is meant to be silly in any culture.

rmtdoug, re: glasses on in cabs. I don't really get the concern either. We store our glasses (even the ones in cabinets) upside down, so any dust floating about lands on the bottom of the glass. I thought everyone did this?? We don't use our crystal wine glasses enough though, so I keep them in cabinets as dust settles on the bowl of the glass eventually.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:06AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

David: after you install your Servo-drive drawers and Blum Orga-line organizers, you are going to remake an American version of that video for us here on GW, right? Make sure you find the right music and start practicing your dance moves. (sorry to go OT quiltgirl!) -----firsthouse_mp

Here is a link that might be useful: The Doors :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:25PM
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eleena

Oh, that is so perfect, mama_goose!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:27PM
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davidahn

@rococogurl, your comment is both funny and practical. I'm sure any reasonably intelligent dog could be taught to open a drawer you point at. I know our Maltese could. For wheelchair bound chefs, it could actually become a thing. And as for nuisance activations, any reasonably intelligent dog could also be taught to not open them without permission. :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 4:55PM
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rococogurl

@davidahn, inserts for cabinets are terrific. Lines like Bulthaup and Valcucine have them as standard and I always open those cabinets and drool. Valcucine also has interior LED lighting on their cabinets which I think is super as well. You may enjoy pix I took pix of their inserts and lighting back in 2010 at a show.

For seniors or anyone disabled Servo-Drive should be the greatest. In a power outage or in a house with toddlers maybe notsomuch -- harder to train little ones not to push things or each other IYKWIM.

What's fascinating is why the Servo marketing is so bizarrely juvenile -- especially when compared to the Kitchen Sink of the Future vid.

I happen to love odd kitchen vids but most are made without the assistance of dancing toyboys and canines. Now a Bollywood style production would be interesting.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:54PM
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sochi

rococogurl - bollywood, yes! That would be fantastic.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:49PM
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davidahn

@rococogurl, those cabinets are beautiful! Maybe a little too futuristic if anything, but fabulous. I'm hoping my frosted glass inserts will look almost as good. I'd love to have built-in strip LED lighting that automatically turn on when drawers/doors open, but I'm not that handy with automation. So that's you? Jane F?

I really believe no kitchen is complete without organizer inserts. I still assert that better designed, reasonably priced options should exist. Something that is modular, adjustable to suit your specific needs today and your future needs as they evolve.

The nice thing about Servo-Drive is they work just fine as regular Tandem Plus Blumotion drawers when the motors fail or during power outages. Yes, little kiddies are an issue; I have iTouchless trash cans in my pediatric office, and while some kids play with them nonstop until I have to turn them off, it does get old for most of my patients after a while. Some have mentioned on other threads that for larger dogs, they could learn to open the Servo-Drive and make royal messes. Lucky for us, our 4-lb. Maltese can't reach the trash inside even if she opened the trash pullout!

That kitchen sink of the future has some great ideas, but the worst part is the need for so many button presses. My guess is gesture-based control would truly be the "wave" of the future (so to speak), for better-than-analog-control intuitiveness.

There is a less cheesy video from Blum. Still loses a lot in the translation from German.

Here is a link that might be useful: Less Cheesy Servo-Drive Video

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:00PM
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