Is 30" too wide for a 4 drawer base cabinet?

Tricia21January 20, 2013

So at the end of our galley kitchen run, we'll have a 27" to 30" base cabinet. I don't have any smaller drawers so I was thinking of making it four drawers instead of 3. But, I'm worried that the drawers would be too long and short. Would it be better to just divide the top drawer in half so I have 2 15" drawers on top of 2 30" drawers or to have 4 30" drawers? I need a junk drawer!

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I would strongly recommend not dividing the drawer. I think it will look absolutely fine. And from a functionality point of view, I can't imagine why two 15" drawers would be a good thing. You will lose the space on the sides two extra times. You can always buy interior organizing products to compartmentalize a large space.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 3:39PM
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I can't remember why I did two 15"ers. Must have been a reason at the time, and I don't really miss all the wasted space, but without that missing reason to explain it it doesn't make sense.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 4:40PM
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We have a 4 drawer 33 stack with two 16.5's on the top and a 4 drawer 36 stack with two 18's on top. I like the versatility of storing different things in some of the smaller top drawers. At our coffee bar area one of the top drawers I gave to DH for his junk drawer and the other holds cutlery, so I didn't want to mix those up. I think either can work, just think about what you want to store there.

Here's what ours looks like, so you can get an idea of what you can store. A 30 or 33 inch wide shallow drawer is pretty wide so for me it wouldn't work without the dividers and organizing trays:

Here is our coffee bar area, I don't have a pic with the drawers open, but the top right is a junk drawer and cutlery is to the left so I do like that those drawers are separated at top:

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 4:56PM
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I'll have a 30 inch 4 drawer stack. I thought about dividing the top one, but couldn't figure out why I would pay to do that and have less space. At first I was going to put the silverware there in a two tier drawer, which only comes in certain sizes, but then I decided it wasn't worth paying for a split drawer AND the special insert. Plus now that I moved the fridge over more my 18 inch stack next to the DW became 30 inches and the silverware will go there.

I plan on using those drawers for assorted gadgets/utensils (top), wraps/bags (middle), overflow/undecided (3rd), and plastic storage containers on bottom. I will probably need some dividers or organizers of some sort, but can add those later and they will be much less expensive and more flexible than two drawers.

It's a nice look with two drawers though, so if you don't mind loosing the small amount of space and it works better for what you need to store there, then it would probably be worth the money. We currently have two 15 inch junk drawers, and while I hope to eliminate them by moving that stuff to a junk drawer to be built in the great room later this year, I think a single larger drawer would probably be easier if I give in.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Fori is not pleased

Having the two drawers on top is cute.

I can see doing that, but make sure you get the interior height of drawers and have an idea of something you can actually put in them.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:12PM
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I did both
One bank has a split top drawer - each 21
The other is not split-30 inches.
I think it depends on how you plan to use them.
The split one
Left side -knives
Right side- silverware

30 inch top- baking gadgets.

Cryptic from iPhone.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Hmmmm...all good advice. So I gather that a stack of 30" 4 drawers won't look too thin so I could do that and even still divide the top one. My reasoning is that my silverware and utensils already have spots so I would need spots for the smaller things like junk, cookie sheets, cutting boards, etc.
taggie - thanks for the pics. In your stack, it looks the bottom 2 drawers are not as deep as the bottom 2? That could be a good layout for me as I want to use one for bread products.....and I love the dividers...
Oh and these are frameless cabinets being custom built as our space is quite small and awkward and we need to use every inch!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 7:15PM
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I have a few 4-drawer stacks. Flanking the range, I used 39" drawers, but split the top into two smaller drawers for two reasons. Since those would be the drawers I would open the most, I wanted to have them be a little easier to manage. Also, the baking area is to the right of the rangetop so I wanted to make sure someone could be working in that area without having to move all the time for me to access the top drawer. I love my wide drawers!

The top small drawer to the right of the rangetop is my spice drawer.


Left of rangetop:

These pics are old now, and the drawers are organized better and differently today than they were.

I enjoy my 3-drawer stacks in other areas of the kitchen also, but they aren't a good place to store spatulas, baking tools, brushes, serving spoons, cork screws, spices, scale, graters, and other small kitchen tools. They are, however, wonderful in my prep zone for my large and small prep bowels.

I suggest planning out what you need to store in which zone by making a list of what you own and organizing them by which zone they are used. Then measure those items, even laying them out on the counter to see how wide and deep your storage for them needs to be. I found this to be *invaluable* in planning my storage. Yes, it's OCD to make a list of you own, but I'm glad I did it. Everything has a place now.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Tricia, my wide stacks are 12/6/6/6 and I think breezygirl's are also.

If you want to have a bread drawer you'll need to go deeper than 6". We keep our bread in a 12" drawer with peanut butter & butter since they're used together, but a 9" or 10" drawer would be ideal.

And if you want to store cookie sheets and cutting boards you might even consider something deeper on the bottom, with vertical storage. Maybe something like a 14/10/6" stack or a 15/9/6" stack? Since you're going custom you have the flexibility to design what will really work for you. Though it may also depend on what's beside it and whether it's hidden behind an island or not, as that might dictate if you want to consider the visuals.

Here is a picture of our bread drawer ... you can see that going two or three inches narrower than 12" would be fine:

I don't have a wide tray storage drawer in my kitchen but at bottom I'll link to a thread that has a pic of sabjimata's drawer. I know there are a lot more on the board that have them too, e.g. beagles and oldbat2be; you might want to search their kitchens to see what they've done with their drawers.

Here is a link that might be useful: see the third pic, sabjimata's tray drawer

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Breezy - can you tell me the heights of your drawers in the stacks? I think we're just going to copy that exactly...

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Thanks taggie...I'm just going to do the same breakdown you and breezy did - a 6" 2 drawer top and then 2 more 6's and a 12...this is the most helpful forum ever!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:14PM
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My cabs are framed, full overlay. Standard toe kick.

Top drawer to bottom interior height:

Drawer front height:

It was actually my cab makers drawing with the split top drawer that gave me the idea. He said most people like the split to break up the very wide drawers. I debated it as it was a tad bit more money due to the two extra sets of Blum glides. I like how they turned out.

I agree abut this being the best forum! I couldn't have done my kitchen without it! I learned so much along the way and am happy to give back to the next members.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I don't know if you have this anywhere else, but this is one of my favorite things in the kitchen. This is to the left of my baking area, and a 3 drawer stack. Lovely to have the storage.

We have 2 33" 3-drawer stacks. Measurements of drawer fronts: 6, 10.5, 12".

We do not have upper cabinets near the dishwasher so need to store plates and glasses in lower cabinets. We love this setup.

In the island one, we have Saran wrap, baggies, napkins in top drawer.

Dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, stack 2.

Bottom level: Tupperware, misc.

Stack to right of cleanup sink:
Silverware on top, glasses in middle, serving bowls on bottom.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:20PM
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If you go with drawers that are this wide, make sure that the drawer slides and drawer construction can handle the expected loads. We reface kitchens all the time and these wide drawers nearly always have broken/loose slide issues.
If European slides are used make sure the installer puts the top screw in the slides that mount on the cabinet(This is the screw hole that is at the top of the slide mount at the front) If that screw is not there the slide will eventually twist. These slides are usually rated for about 60lbs. so if you don't need to store cast iron frying pans they should be OK.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Thanks Jim -
Those of you with the larger drawers - any issues yet? I actually plan to put my cast iron in my pantry but will use one of the larger draws for pans and pots, hopefully it will be fine but I am wondering on my one run that is 2 30" drawers if I should do a 6" at the top and then 2 12"s instead of having the two 15"'s. I don't have many larger pots and if i get some, I would rather keep them in the pantry. Does anyone use the larger double drawers for anything but pots? Should I forgo them and just make them a 3 bank with a smaller drawer on top?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Trica, I'd do the 6/12/12 for sure, if not even another 6/6/6/12 ... Definitely not a 15/15' especially since you have a pantry for tall appliance.pot storage.

A little story for you. Back in the year 2000 my father re-did his kitchen. He must have been a visionary, lol, because he put in all drawers even though he'd never heard of it being done before, he just figured it was more functional and as he was getting older stooping into cabinets wasn't as easy for him as it once as. Anyway, he did the standard pot drawer stacks (6/12/12) throughout and he LOVED his new kitchen.

About a year later, his buddy on the next street over redid his kitchen and used the same company my dad did. Except his buddy had all 6/6/6/12 stacks in his. Both my dad and his buddy were widowers who did cook for themselves and enjoyed having the odd dinner party, but neither one of them had near enough big things to out into all those deep drawers. Once you have 4 stacks, that's 8 deep drawers, and my dad was in envy of his friend's kitchen every time he rummaged in his deep drawers to gout a bowl that was at the bottom of a big stack, or a pan that was in the middle.

Long story short, he had the cabinet company back and rhey retrofitted the middle 12-inch drawers in every stack to be two 6-inches. He was happier than a kid in a candy store then, and his favorite drawer was where he kept his pans. He loved the easy of access to just grab his go-to pan instead of having to fish it out from the stack. He always pulled it out with a little bit of a flourish if anyone was there to see him do it, lol.

Anyway, I learned from that also also when the 6/6/6/12 route more often than not. And the pan drawer even gives that same little kick. I wish he was still alive to see me pull it out with same same flourish he did, and to tell him much much in inspired me. :)

Here is my pan drawer:

Still think of dad every time I grab a pan or bowl. My go-to pan lays by itself so it's eeasy to access and I don't have to feel guilty about wasting space because the drawer above it is made full use of, even better use than I'd have had from a singe large drawer. Love having my go-to bowls at hand without unstacking them too. Less often used larger bowls and baking dishes are stored in the deeper 12" bottom drawer of another stack.

Love this setup. I may only work with frameless where there's slight more depth for the pan and bowl drawer. Bottom line, go as narrow as you think will best accommodate all your storage needs without excessive unstacking and restocking. That definitely not 15/15 in your case, and you may even think about an ezra 6/6/6/12 if you already have a 6/12/12.

Breezy really had the best suggestions which is to plan out all your storage first and thnk about what you want to keep where and then try it with some measurements. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Oh taggie, I like that story!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 5:17AM
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Taggie - best kitchen inspiration story ever! I love it, I'm saying bye bye to the 2 15's! I think we'll do 6, 12, 12 as we were thinking of our stuff last night and that should work great. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 7:19AM
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