15" deep floor to ceiling cab. Drawers? Pullouts? Shelves?

Ott2April 11, 2013

Back for advice once again!

In our new build, we have 15" deep floor to ceiling cabinets (frameless) in the butler panty and also in several bathrooms. The butler pantry cabinet will used for storing pottery (lots, but mostly small pieces) that we collected while living in Japan.
Bathrooms cabinets will hold linens and other bathroom "stuff".
I've included a pic of one of the cabinets. The bottom section is 50" tall, and I'd like to do drawers rather than shelves.
In this application where the cabinet can only be 15" deep, are drawers advisable? If not, would pull-outs be advisable? Or, should I keep the shelves as planned?
Thanks! Ott2

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I would check the internal usable depth measurements of drawers vs. pullouts for your cabinet manufacturer, but I would think you would get more depth using drawers. I have some small drawers in a hutch in my bathroom that is only 12" deep. The usable depth is 8" deep. As in most things, it depends both on what you want to store and what is the end look you want. Since you know what you want to store, measure it out and compare that to the specs for drawers vs. ROT to see which works better.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:49PM
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With my old kitchen, shallow drawers would have been meaningless, but in this kitchen I have frameless cabinets with undermounted full extension glides. My breakfast room hutch has 15" depth uppers and we put drawers in the mid section that goes to the counter. They have been more useful that I would have thought. They hold teas, gadgets for coffee and wine (steaming wands, pump and cork pulls), one has medicines, another napkins, trivets -- but those are things we use at or near the table.

That said, what would you see using drawers for in each of your locations? You haven't mentioned anything that makes me think you need drawers, much less that many of them (but bathroom "stuff" can mean TP -- easy on a 13-14" shelf, or shampoos and other bottles that would be nice to be able to reach behind, but it doesn't sound like a place for makeup and such). You will lose some space (maybe more to rollouts) and with the shallower depth, there is a diminishing return in terms of accessibility. Drawers allow you to reach what is in the middle and back, especially with a lot of small items. There is less need for that with shallower cabinets and with larger items. Also, at 50" height, you are getting to an uncomfortable height for most folks to see and reach into a drawer. Finally, I see your drawings as planning for doors that have a larger, medium, smaller stack for a visual grounding. Adding drawers will alter that aesthetic, so make sure you get a drawing with doors and drawers -- or sketch up one yourself, and make sure you are happy with it before you go further.

Rollouts can be added behind the doors if you later find you need them. You can also use some baskets and such to organize a few things without as much expense or loss of space. It really depends on how they would be used. That's something you need to figure out

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:53PM
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We have full-extension drawers in 12" deep cabinets and would recommend a limited number for specific uses. A lot of space will be lost to their mechanisms, so if space were an issue thin-walled bins on pull-out shelves might be better that way, purchasing the bins first.

We also have 12" deep wall pantry cabinets, and it is all too easy to "lose" cans and bottles in the back, so it certainly would be for 15". However, you're storing mostly dishes/serving items it shouldn't be such an issue. Maybe some selected shelves could be full-extension pull-outs, especially for glassware, vases, etc.--and perhaps shelves below an easy bend-and-peer level, depending on how much you like to build exercise into daily life.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Valinsv, lascatx, and rosie,
Thank you for your sharing your thoughts. This morning I mapped out exactly how I wanted these cabinets to be used, and in some cases, I really don't know yet how the space will be used. I actually talked to my architect and asked if there was an intentional aesthetic to the large/medium/small thing. Ummm, the answer was a resounding "yes"! I like the aesthetic we have going on, so, except for one bathroom where function overrules, I will not use drawers in these cabs. (Thanks lascatx for raising the question!) I added pull-out shelves to some cabinets, but left the others alone with flexible/removable shelving inside so that I can live in the space for a while and decide later if I want more pull-outs.
Seems logical now... :-)
Thanks - Ott2

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Not sure if it's too late to chime in, but a good portion of our kitchen storage is in this 48"ish wide set of cabinets. They are 14.5" deep and have two drawers for everyday cutlery and pens/pencils. It would have been good to do two more drawers but at the time I didn't know how useful they would be. I don't lose much in the "pantry" but I don't store an awful lot long term either. Really like storing the electrics in here, but that KitchenAid sure fits in rosie's definition of built-in exercise. Please excuse the complete mess, I didn't feel like getting closed cabinets camera ready. We'll all pretend the junk above the junky microwave isn't there often. I think I'll just go around snapping pictures of the house to see the worst offenders...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 2:27PM
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