Kitchen drawer design

karinlDecember 1, 2009

Still fixating on drawers... this time converting the space my dishwasher used to occupy with a set of drawers.

To address the obvious question first, yes, when our dishwasher died a year or two ago I decided that I prefer to hand-wash my dishes because I can work in smaller batches and it is a shorter path to having the dishes clean and ready to use than is the dishwasher routine. It's also easier to keep the counter clear, or clear it quickly, than with a dishwasher which in my experience is always full when you most want to load it. It's also easier for the family to pitch in and do a pan of dishes than it is for them to jump aboard the dishwasher management cycle.

So anyway...

I am trying to decide whether to have more shallow drawers or fewer deep drawers. I'm leaning toward shallow drawers, but wonder if I'm missing something, given that every kitchen design I see has these big drawers at the bottom.

I'm not a real foodie so I actually don't have a lot of big kitchen equipment for cooking or baking. My pots are already satisfactorily housed in another drawer. I think these drawers will hold mostly small gadgetry and detritus, packaged food, including cans, and possibly dishes. I do realize they'll have to take some weight for the latter two applications, but I think we can do that. I'm also thinking I might use one for gathering recycling.

So my question is: do you use and appreciate the full depth of those deep kitchen drawers, and if so, for what?



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A deep drawer is great for pots and pans, but it is also great for plastic containers and bowls. My sister has one like that and she had her husband put a small divider along one side to hold the lids for the plastic containers. Every time I open it I'm jealous. Everything is so neat and organized and easy to get at.

If I were doing it I'd have a combination of drawer sizes. A 1 or 2 of big ones and a couple of small ones

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 2:29AM
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i agree, a lot of shallower drawers will probably be better for YOUR needs than deeper drawers..esp if you know what you'll be it gives you one more drawer at least.

measure the depth of the largest items you want to store in the drawers..

i love pull outs and drawers..

also if you get deeper drawers than you need you can buy layered storage that sits a tray on top of a lower tray

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Form follows function.....

What do you expect to store there? Too shallow and you're stuffing things. Even my current kitchen utensil drawers are a bit too shallow for certain items that tend to pop up and catch on the drawer. Too deep and you feel you wasted space.

Can be a good time to look at your other drawers (kitchen, that is) and see if the new drawer stack offers you a chance to put certain things closer to hand and re-purpose drawers farther away, OR whether you want to make a drawer that finally fits something that you're stuffing in somewhere else and this is your best chance. Location (point of use) is important, but so is ease of use--whether you nick your cuticles every time you reach into a drawer, or whether everything is always in a jumble. So then you're looking at the total drawer package. But remember to relax, don't go arrggghhhh some point, it's just drawers.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:02AM
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Depends on what you want to keep there.

Now only are deep drawers more common on bottom for storing big things, but they are cheaper than more small drawers. That's at least a good part of the reason that there are usually big drawers on bottom. Also, the shallower the bottom drawers, the more you have to bend to get something. But it's really about how you use it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 12:38PM
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" some point, it's just drawers."

Thanks Frankie! So true. Perfectionism is the enemy of getting things done and decisions made; it's a failing of mine, and I know it drives my husband nuts. And thank you too for the thought about repurposing... since these drawers will be so big, it is totally logical from a weight standpoint too to put lighter things here (like pots) and maybe cans and such in some of the smaller drawers I already have.

Good point, Reyesuela, that cost drives common drawer design too. Bending is of course an occupational hazard in the kitchen, but it's true the less the better.

Layers... dividers... the agony of stuffing... good thoughts all, thank you.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:26PM
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For recycling I think you might need deep drawers or even pull outs in a lower cabinet...


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 4:37AM
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We never replaced our kitchen cupboards, which were installed in the 50s, we simply re-painted and changed the countertop. Just my way of explaining that ours are not current stock. We have one stack of drawers that are about 8" wide and varying in depth from 4 to 6 inches. DH is the cook and keeps his spices in the middle drawers. Cooking utensils go in the top drawer and hot mitts in the bottom. On the other side, we have slightly wider drawers. Top one is for baking utensils,
Next one is deep and we put the various boxes of plastic bags in it. Third one is for knives - two trays, one on top of the other. Bottom drawer has dish towels.

Pots, bowls,the mixer, etc. go in the cupboards. Would like some of those big pull out drawers but then would lose the space in the corners.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 10:18PM
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i did the same and had an amish guy build me a sweet cabinet, my top drawer is
very shallow. i lay my spices down flat alphabetically and really like it. Below i have 2 heavy duty shelves that will hold a lot of weight for iron or glass pans.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 12:41PM
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Thanks again for the help. I haven't started building yet - I wish I could find someone to build them for me, but I've struck out with two carpenters already since it's such a small job and they always have bigger fish to fry.

Pizzapatti, I'm happy to hear this has been done successfully before... can you tell me how the drawers are supported? I'm currently paralyzed with indecision between using slides or wood runners, side/centre/bottom mounted, and full or three-quarter extension.

Honestly, I could simplify my life a lot if I could change my tortuous method of decision making. It's like I have to get a masters degree in every topic that arises to ensure I've made exactly the right choice...


    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 1:20PM
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