Would you do a kitchen with all drawer base cabinets?

Mom23EsApril 9, 2012

A month ago I asked what people stored in their drawers. The response (with many many great pics) was amazing! So now I'm trying to get as many drawers as possible. If you could do a kitchen with almost all drawer base cabinets, would you do it? Besides the sink bases (main and prep), the super susan in the corner, pull out trash/recycle, and pull out spice rack, I'm considering doing the rest drawers. Of course price will come into consideration as well. Is there anything that CAN'T be stored in drawers? I also have a corner pantry to store larger/taller items.

Here is a link that might be useful: What do you store in your kitchen drawers?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In a New York minute, yes, absolutely! But I think planning is key. When we had our drawers built, I knew I'd want one for all my pitchers, another for my pots and pans, etc. So I gave the tallest pitcher to the carpenter, and I gave my largest stock pot to them, and told them to make sure the corresponding drawers would hold them AND close! So happy I did that. Could not possibly love my drawers anymore than I do.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Without a second thought (taking into account the sink exceptions you noted which functionally require doors). The only exception would be in a kitchen with no additional storage where you could stash really huge pots (pressure canners and ginormous stock pots come to mind). Even then I might do a pullout (essentially big vertically-oriented drawers when you think about it) and have lids and trays in the front with big pots behind. I am having no doors in my new kitchen if can help it.

The hardware for drawers is much more expensive, though. But it will be my one splurge. My days of kneeling and pawing at things deep in my cabs are so over!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have done all my base cabinets drawer.

My sink does not require doors. I have an apron sink and refuse to crawl around on the floor to find something under it. Even with a garbage disposer, I designed a drawer that's lower in the back, taller in the front. I put a drawer front on it and voila! another drawer. Plus, a more functional space for me.

An 18" deep pantry, let alone a counter depth 24" pantry could address the big items liriodendron mentioned.

I just cut the cabinet out from underneath my peninsula, which was a 33", reach-in, 2-drawer base. I HATED it. I would throw crap in there and forget about it. Kind of like tall, upper cabinets. [LOL]. I've put in an 18" 4-drawer (reuse center. If I'd purchased, would have been 3-drawer) and my 24" microwave cabinet. I literally cut that thing out with a sawsall. Screaming, "Die! Die! Die you USELESS THING!" Or something like that.

Drawers it is.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would definitely do it! In fact, I DID! And, I love it! I knew exactly where everything was going when I designed my kitchen and for the most part, everything ended up being a great fit. The only thing I did was too many deep drawers vs the normal depth, but I can live with that! If I could double my lowers, I'd ditch my uppers altogether.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My kitchen has 20.5' of base cabinets. It is broken down like this:

1) 36" sink base (doors only)
2) 30" pull outs with adjustable interior drawers (for stand mixer, pet food bins, garbage bins, etc.)
3) 180" of three-drawer base cabinets (two deep drawers and a shallow drawer(s) on top.

Here's a photo of how my pull-out cabinet works (the closed cabinet to the left is identical to the open cabinet, but has two shallower internal drawers rather than one deep one). The drawer front is the entire height of the cabinet and attached to the bottom drawer. Interior drawers can be adjusted.

I have not regretted this breakdown at any point. Under the sink base I have items in baskets that I can easily pull out. Given the layout of our plumbing (up from the floor through the slab), trying to put drawers there would have been a hassle, and would have required a lot of customization for questionable utility in the end. The two pull-out cabinets fit the things I needed them to fit. Everything else -- EVERYTHING ELSE -- is happy in the drawers. That includes pots, pans, baking dishes, glasses, plates and bowls, tupperware, etc.

I only have one upper cabinet in the whole kitchen, over the fridge. Stored up there are large mixing bowls, small aseldom-used appliances (Foreman grill, little crock pot, etc.) and the glass cake stand and big plastic cake carrier. Cookie sheets/cutting boards are stored on edge in the pantry.

The only thing I didn't have to factor in was stemware. We have a wet bar and all the stemware lives in there. I would look for feedback from folks who have stemware in drawers -- that is the one thing I wouldn't be too sure about.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The more drawers you can do, the better. I love having my dish drawer next to the DW and pots and pans next to the cooktop. Actually, under the cooktop is 2 pull outs, and a shallow drawer underneath. One pull out is for frying pans and one for lids.
I do have some uppers, surrounding the cooktop, above the fridge and on my short, inside wall. I don't have a pantry.
I was lucky. I had a very good KD at Lowes and she just knew where to put things.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Christine, you are too funny. I want a sawsall.

Most of my base cabinets are drawers, and the two that are not have pull out shelves. I really like the pantry pull outs for my pots and pans, I can open the door and grab what I need
without opening a bunch of drawers. The other I use for large box and food storage. I can open the doors and see most of what is on the pull outs, again saving time pulling open drawers to find what I need. I love the drawers for my dishes,snacks, pastas, tupperware storage, towels, potholders, etc. Go into your kitchen and walk through preparing some meals, breakfast lunch and dinner. See what works best for you. For example, to the left of my refrigerator is a counter for preparing breakfast and lunch. Drawers for utensils, chips, breads, etc. Plates and glasses and cereal in the wall cabinet above (my only wall cabinet in the whole kitchen) so breakfast and lunch can be made in that one nine foot area. Do what is best for your type of kitchen usage.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have three non-drawer cabs in the kitchen.

1. Cleanup sink base
2. Prep sink base
3. Corner susan

Everything else IS drawers! (The trash pullout is really a drawer if you think about it.)

Drawers are the best thing since sliced bread!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are doing all drawers on the base and NO uppers... well sort of. We will have 2 96" pull out pantries and we also have a large utility room right off the kitchen. The Utility room will have about 60" off shelving for bigger/less used appliance and dishes (also a w/d and 1/2 bath).

I can't wait for all the drawers so much easier to organize. I do not think I will miss uppers or the base doored cabinets.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We built into the design a few lowers with doors because of the need for open storage of very large/tall serving pieces and extra large cookware. Most of our storage however are heavy duty drawers.

Update for us..we are packing up the kitchen/family room, as demo starts Thursday....geez, I have a lotta stuff... :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have all drawers except for 2 cabs for trays,cookie sheets.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, all drawers. I think it is so much more functional and nicer looking. I have two drawers under my farmers sink and a full pull out under my wetbar sink. I also have corner drawers. The only lower cabinet without a drawer is the mixer lift cabinet.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All drawers except a 12" cabinet for cookie sheets. I also had a rollout tray put in under the sink...they notched it out around the pipes/disposal. Saw a picture after cabinets were ordered where the sink base was actually a drawer...kind of like a trash pullout drawer...thought it was brilliant but it was too late to do it so ordered the rollout instead...no more on hands and knees to get to the stuff at the back.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our remodel is mostly drawers!! I have drawers that range from 13-42 inches!

This one is not what we ordered and will be replaced with 3 drawers

We have one cabinet for cutting boards, etc and above oven and fridge for baking sheets, etc.. We have a super susan in one corner and trash at the far end - wanted closer but due to codes, not enough space to pull it off!

Hope I made the right choice!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My last kitchen had a wall that was 12" deep even on the base cabinets due to layout restrictions. Those were not drawers, because at that depth it's just not necessary. Otherwise, the trash pullout and sink were the only things not drawers. Will do it again. And am thinking awfully hard about the sink cabinet, too, like Christine describes, after seeing a similar (and very cool) one when I was house-hunting (still regret not taking pictures).

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our only lower cabs are either side of range where we keep our pots and pans. We have ROTS in them. This makes them re-positionable, if I need some kind of future flexibility. No regrets on the drawers -- much less bending and I use the materials stored at the back as well as at the front.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All my bases on the perimeter other than the one sink base are drawers. My island has a bookshelf end, prep sink base, trash pullout, drawers (including my warming drawer), but the back side had to be too shallow for drawers, so I have doors there and store all my small appliances and outdoor stuff in those two. My huge pots are above the fridge. The mixer stays on the counter and the food processor goes in the cabinet above my baking area with mixing bowls.

I'd save some money by nixing the spice pullout and put those in a drawer too. Best thing I ever did. Or at least one of them.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes! I love my drawers and I wish I had more. You can never have enough drawers.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All drawers here, too, excepting for the cabs under the sinks and the corner lazy susan. They range from 24-42 inches wide. Love having the dish drawer next to the dishwasher, it makes unloading go so much faster. I measured my spice containers and had drawers made to fit them. I heard the idea here and am really glad I went with it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 1:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rachiele, LLC

Drawers are great indeed. Just be careful of storing tall items. Some mixers, etc. are too tall for most drawers.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Because of the design aesthetic, I would make some of your base cabinets look like doors with pull-out drawers behind them. I would also take advantage of a small, narrow spot for trays and baking pans/cookie sheets. Love this in my kitchen for storing these items as it is near the oven and not stacked. There is a divider in this spot also. I have 2 pull-out cabinets with 2 pull-out drawers in each cab. My mixer and my big Cuisinart slow cooker will fit nicely in each. Plus large mixing bowls and other assorted large items can fit. Breaking up the room with cabinet doors and drawers just looks better IMO. I assume you are going with taller base cabinets?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know the all-drawer kitchen is part of the GW religious doctrine, but I'm not a believer. You really need to examine what you're going to store in there. I had ROTS in my last kitchen and they worked great for large bulky prep items like super sized colanders and my Cuisinart. Total access from every side.

Also, remember that drawers require more bending. A cabinet outfitted with ROTS can be opened from standing height, and I could pull out my colanders or whatnot in the top tray without bending at all.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After spending a week at a home that only had top drawers above doors and having to crouch down and forage for items in the recesses of dark cabinets, I realized that I can never go back to that system. I MISSED MY DRAWERS!

We have almost everything in drawers or pullouts. I do have a corner cabinet for taller things, a cabinet that I store extra oven racks and the big cutting board, and the two sink bases, but even one of them has pullouts.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow! I'm loving the idea of having drawers!

What type of drawer boxes are best? Some of these look metal ?

I am replacing my doors and am now thinking of replace two base cabinets with drawers. I'm looking at Scherr's and Barker. What type of drawer should I be looking for?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you so much for your opinions and pics. Thank you too to marcolo for the dissenting opinion! I'm excited and nervous about meeting with the cabinet guy tomorrow. Hopefully I'm not a complete nut case. Lol!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm planning all drawers. This is my layout, not necessarily the color. The image was just handy.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am one of the few that does not care for drawers, long term they wear out quicker than regular cabinets. I also find that I like storage in cabinets better, for me they stay better organized.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 3:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

'I would also take advantage of a small, narrow spot for trays and baking pans/cookie sheets. Love this in my kitchen for storing these items as it is near the oven and not stacked.'

drawers would great for trays, cookie sheets, baking pans and cutting boards too.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

that should read 'drawers' would BE great for...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On where the really big stuff went: The canning pressure cooker, the wok, soup kettles, and blender all went in the super susan. Cookie trays, serving trays, cupcake tins, and cooling racks went above the fridge on edge. The kitchen aide mixer went on the bottom roll-out shelf of the pantry. Everything else went in drawers. Love the drawers!!! The only thing I couldn't tuck away was the toaster over (small kitchen), so it stays out on the counter.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i have drawers.

The drawer fronts are 15 inches high. They look a bit like what has been called a "pullout".

Behind each of these 15"h drawer fronts is usually one shallow drawer. These are called internal drawers. It takes two pulls to get to them.

The blender lives on its side. There is nothing that needs so much head room that it would require a 15" high drawer all to its own.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a little different. I don't want lower cabinets or drawers. My kitchen has plenty of cabinets but I rarely use the lower cabinets. I also removed some of the cabinet doors from the upper cabinets. I just find it easier to access what I need if things are at eye level or hung (like pot racks).

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes and yes...in my plans, I have a cabinet under sink, lazy susan, and one other cab...the rest are drawers-15 total. :) I am subdividing some with pull out trays inside...i had a kitchen with mostly drawers a few years ago, and I LOVED it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In our recent reno we only put in four drawers, all 36" wide. Two under the stovetop for pans and pots, and two near the dishwasher for my Fiestaware dishes. For the rest we have normal base cabinets with roll-out trays.

I don't know that I'd want a kitchen with ALL drawers - I like how our kitchen has a bit of visual interest with the mix of regular cabinets and drawers.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"A cabinet outfitted with ROTS can be opened from standing height, and I could pull out my colanders or whatnot in the top tray without bending at all."

how about that bottom ROT? I've watched my sister and BIL access theirs. They have to bend over and pull it out. then push it in. then shut the cabinet door.

not what I'd want to do if I have a choice.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My new kitchen will have a 21" base with 3 drawers, a 36" sink base with trash rollout, an 18" with corner blind pantry, a 30" base with 3 drawers, a 33" base with ROTS, and a 15" with ROTS. I like the look of the 30" drawer base flanked by the regular cabinets and my husband was not sold on all drawers. I do now sort of wish that the 15" base was drawers, but I can live with it the way it is. I am still making decisions about counters, back splashes, sinks and faucets, but the cabinet decisions have been made!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I'd not had two blind corners, ALL my bases would have beed drawers. But, as it was, I have one lazy susan and one rev-a-shelf. Lazy Susan has appliances that don't get used every day (electric skillet, crockpot, stand mixer) rev-a-shelf has yet to be filled...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love that this thread was brought up again! I started this thread many months ago, and my kitchen is mostly done at this point. Just a few more details and then I'll post pics.

I ended up with almost all drawers. My two sink bases don't have drawers, but my plan is to add a rev-a-shelf drawer under the big farmhouse sink. The smaller prep sink has colanders and cutting boards so I'm fine without drawers. I have the corner super Susan which so far is great. Then I have two other plain base cabinets with ROTS. The one cabinet perfectly fits my pots and their lid. The other cabinet bugs me a ton, so I plan to retrofit it to be a pull out cabinet to match my pull-out trash can nearby. I am loving the drawers so far. I think my only other regret is doing a 4 stack instead of a 3 stack next to my prep sink. I thought I would have more smaller prep tools, but I wish I could fit my big glass measuring cups.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are quite a few threads out there discussing drawers vs roll-out tray shelves (ROTS and a.k.a., pull-out shelves).

Pros & Cons of each

  • Opening/Closing...

    Drawers require one movement to open/close

    • Open: pull open

    • Close: push closed.

    ROTS, on the other hand, require 2 or 3 motions plus waiting...

    • Open: move out of the way of the doors, open 1 or 2 doors, pull out ROTS.

      If you want something in the front: move out of the way of the doors, open 1 or 2 doors, pull out ROTS slightly so you can lift the item over the edge.

  • Close: push in ROTS, wait for it to close fully (so you don't ding the doors), close 1 or 2 doors
  • Storage/sides...

    Drawers have sides the height of the drawer opening. This prevents things from falling off the sides, either onto the floor or into the interior of the cabinet (on the sides). This means you can stack things w/o worrying about things falling as the sides will catch them. It also keeps things from extending out past the walls of the drawer so they don't get caught on the cabinet frame when opening the drawer (Note: Getting caught on the frame is not an issue w/frameless cabinets, just framed...which includes overlay & inset.)

    ROTS have shallow sides, thus allowing things to fall off the sides and allowing things to hang over the sides of the shelf and get caught on the cabinet frame (which can result in nicks in your frame - experience speaking here!).


Drawers are not adjustable to different heights inside the cabinet. OK, this is the one place where ROTS have the advantage. However, with planning and/or organizers you can do almost anything with the drawers and store almost anything in them (dishes, glasses, etc.)

ROTS have the advantage here in most cases. Most ROTS are adjustable..but not all are, so check w/your cabinetmaker. Cost...

Drawers, in my case were less expensive than ROTS. I have a 27" 3-drawer base and a 27" ROTS base cabinet (the only ROTS cab I have and that I regret) and

the ROTS cab cost $140 more than the drawer base.

Regardless of your decision on drawers vs ROTS, get full-extension...it's a must b/c it allows you full access to your drawers or ROTS! Soft-close is also nice, but it's a "nice to have" not a "must" (although, soft-close does come standard in some cabinet lines like Omega & Omega Dynasty/Embassy). Actually, I don't recommend soft-close for ROTS b/c the slight delay in closing (as the drawer/tray is gently closed) means having to wait to close the door(s). [Experience speaking here again!]

Here are some threads that might be of interest to you (and others)...

Thread: Drawers or cabinet under cooktop?

Thread: Drawers over pull outs in Cabinets

Thread: Kitchen drawers versus pull-out shelves?

Thread: Which pull out drawers are must haves? [Some discussion of drawers vs ROTS contained inside the thread]

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need similar tile Recommendations
Hi. I'm looking for a similar tile that's in the pics...
Soapstone in the Midwest/St. Louis area?
Hi everyone. I've been lurking here for the past year,...
Old, Deep Cast Iron Sink or New Sink? I can't decide
Hello, would love to hear from those of you who have...
Cindy McMahon
Any reason a DW couldn't go next to a fridge?
We need to pull the trigger on our cabinets next week,...
Do I need drywall behind cabinets?
I am building a counter-height knee wall between my...
Sponsored Products
Armen Living 30 in. Backless Swivel Bar Stool - MBS-450BABC30
$160.20 | Hayneedle
Turner Leather Chair - Brighton Black Black
Joybird Furniture
Trademark Global 14 in. Detroit Redwings NHL Neon Wall Clock NHL1400-DR
$64.99 | Home Depot
Bodega Ceiling Fan with Optional Light by Period Arts Fan Company
$360.00 | Lumens
Polished Chrome Whitehaus WH83214 Widespread Cross Handle Bathroom Faucet
$399.00 | Blue Bath
Feiss Urban Renewal 5 3/4" Wide Bronze Mini Pendant
$88.00 | Lamps Plus
Series 7 Style Chair
IFN Modern
Tabouret Haut Stool by Vitra
$1,125.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™