Lid Storage

olivertwistkitchenApril 3, 2013

Please help me figure out how to store the lids for my pots/pans. I'm trying to decide between these two options.

Spaces by Howard Lake Cabinets Dura Supreme Cabinetry

Spaces by Howard Lake Cabinets Dura Supreme Cabinetry

I know some people here advocate vertical storage, but I don't think I'd like that and I don't think I have the space for it.

I plan to have a 3 drawer stack for pots/pans, sort of. The top drawer will be skinny for utensils. The middle and lower are for pots/pans. However, the compost pail is inset into the counter at this spot, so the utensil drawer will have about a 12" cut-out to accomodate it, and the middle drawer will probably have a cut out, too.

Drawers are about 36" wide. We are getting extra deep and frameless, so I *think* KD said they'll be 24" deep. (Counters will be 27" - I'm sorry, I just don't remember if that means I have 24" or 27" of actual usable space in the drawer - but I did specify extra deep drawers here). Currently the KD has designed the 2 larger drawers to each be 9" high.

I don't have a LOT of pots/pans, but want to make sure I don't run out of room, and would like to store my lids separately. I like the 1st option where the lids are tilted sideways behind the pots, but I have two large lids (for big skillets) that are 12.5" in diameter, so that won't fit in a 9" deep drawer. My tallest "normal" pot is 5.25". I would love to fit my giant stockpot in there too (8" high) if possible, but can put it over the fridge if I have to.

KD was concerned that in order to do the 2nd option with the little roll out within the drawer that we'd have to make the drawer deeper or I'd lose space in it or something. And/or then the middle drawer would end up being shallower.

I feel like Marcolo trying to calculate the math of which will fit best and it's making me crazy.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

This post was edited by olivertwist on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 19:06

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If you are not doing vertical storage, I like option 2.
Your tallest pans still might not fit.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 7:23PM
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I'm a vertical storage. Here's mine and what I do most often. . Standard 3 drawer frameless 30" wide. Dividers are 5 1/4" high on left and right are set to allow 11" fry pan to tilt enough to clear. 3 more lids typically live on the right. I have all my pots and pans in that 30 and a 21 standard base with tray dividers and one roll out- except for a Cruset in the susan. I simply hate having things stacked if I don't have to-only allow colanders and pasta set to nest.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:49PM
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jakuvall, how high and deep is that drawer?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:59PM
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I like option 1 with the vertical lid storage (great for cheese graters too :))

I don't get the point of option 2 myself. If you're going to make the drawer shallower and store your pots 1-up then you'd be better to just store the lids on their respective pots and do away with the extra motion of a slide-out drawer. That's actually the handiest way of storing them. The pot I use every single night for steaming veggies gets a special place in my pot drawer with the lid on it so I can just grab it with one motion (how's that for the height of laziness, lol).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Inside clearance is 10", the next drawer down is 9 1/2. Faces are both 10 3/4- top drawer face 5 3/4 with 3 3/4 clearance. My 12" and a Sauteuse live in the top along which is split and has utensils in half.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:00PM
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What about your middle drawer with vertical lid storage for your smaller pans, then put the larger pans in the bottom drawer with the horizontal roll out lid storage?

I think someone here had diagonal lid storage in a drawer, sort of like a multiple-pocket file folder holder laying on it's side. I wanted to check it out further, but was never able to find the picture again. If anyone knows of something like this, I'd appreciate knowing about it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:31PM
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Jakuvall - any way you can post pics of the insides of the other drawers in that stack? I wonder if I should ask KD rather than make 2 equal drawers of 9" height inside, instead make the lower one higher and the middle drawer shorter. But still, I could never make it deep enough for a 12.5" lid!

AnnaC54- I was thinking of that your idea, too. I can't fathom how high the drawer would have to be to accomodate a 12.5" lid vertically! If you tilt it a lot to fit it, then you have a lot of dead space.

I also thought about vertical storage for the smaller lids, and just storing the larger ones in their pans, but I really don't want to do that. I like the idea of all the lids separate, because I don't use the lids all that often. I use the big skillet regularly and I don't want to have to lift up a lid to get at it every single time.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:31AM
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My 3-drawer stacks have the bottom drawer deeper than the middle one. I specifically asked for this from my cabinet maker, after measuring the items I want to put in the bottom drawer (in my case it's gallon pickle jars that hold sugar and flour).

Do you have a spot for cookie sheets? Since you don't use your big lid often, maybe it could go there, away from the skillet altogether. Smaller lids could be vertical.

It doesn't make sense to configure your entire drawer stack for one lid you rarely use.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:52AM
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I would think carefully about whether it's worth designing your everyday pot and pan storage around one or two oversized lids, especially since you say you rarely use those lids anyway. Making the bottom cabinet extra deep to accommodate the lids means more stacking of the pots in the deeper drawer, which may be a bigger pain.

Do you have over-fridge vertical tray storage? If so maybe you can store the 12.5" lid in there.

Are you putting in a drawer microwave by any chance? If so, you can have an extra-deep drawer underneath it. We have a 15" drawer there, it has about 13" vertical height and I can store my large lid upright there behind my stock pot.

Or since you are doing frameless have you thought about a 4-drawer stack instead of the 3-drawer? You could store the lid flat in there and at least have access to other things without the dual motion of the drawer within a drawer. In my frameless cabs I like the 4-drawer setup so i can keep my frequently used skillet in the shallow drawer, unstacked and lidless, ready to be plunked onto the burner right beside it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:05AM
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taggie, you are right making a really deep drawer just for a lid seems silly, especially if the extra deepness makes it less usable (too much stacking). So I guess a separate drawer for lids makes more sense.

I was wondering which made more sense - a drawer within a drawer, or 2 separate shallow drawers like yours. I was thinking that a full separate drawer would take more more space for the hardware and everything, right?

In my new kitchen, I really want to keep everything together and don't want to put lids in another place altogether.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:13AM
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I store my pots with the lids on. A tall one needs to be inverted. Nice and easy, nothing special needed.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:25AM
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You can't really store them with the lids on if any are being stacked, though, right?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:27AM
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You are correct if you are stacking them. I don't have any stacked. Turns out I have enough room to do that. I have four pots in a 30" drawer.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:39AM
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I think you're right that you'll lose a bit more space with the separate drawer vs the interior drawer. I think the separate is worth it though, especially if you can store your skillet in there too instead of having it stacked below.

Word of warning if you got that route, measure the skillet height beforehand. In my 6" drawer it has approx 4.75" vertical height, and one of my skillets has a higher handle so I don't store that one in there. Check your favorite skillet first and give your designer the minimum interior drawer height needed to ensure it will fit.

Good luck whichever way you decide.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:57AM
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I have a big #15 cast iron frying pan and have decided to add a toe-kick drawer to my pot and pan drawer so I can keep it in there. Maybe you could use a toe kick drawer for your big lids if you don't use them frequently?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 11:24AM
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I have something very similar to the first option. My divider is a stainless steel tube that comes with Blum tandembox which is a stainless steel system, not wooden drawers.

I put the lids in the front of the drawers not at the back of the drawers. My SS bars are adjustable. I like the lids in the front because it creates more economy of motion. I tried both locations since the bars are adjustable. My drawers are such that my large pot lids, ie all clad large saute pan lid just fits vertically. (my guess is that it is about 12 inch or more)

I looked at the double drawer system (your option 2) for my entire cabinetry but I did not go with that. This is commonly used with the Euro modern look to create a single horizontal line outside by hiding the shallow top drawer in the big upper drawer. When I tried it in the showroom, it was WAY TOO MUCH PITA to use the double drawer for something I would need daily, ie silverware, cooking utensils, etc.

I don't know about you but I do not have enough storage to NOT store my pots and pans vertically (nested) no matter how I tried. I simply have way too many pots and pans. I cook a lot and I collect good cookware. I have copper, stainless steel and cast iron cookware. This means that I have 5 or more frying pans of various sizes and 10 plus pots. There is no way that I can store them NOT vertically (inside the larger pots and pans). If having the deep drawers at the bottom is too much bending for you, you can put the pots and pans drawer on the top for that drawer stack. (ie option 1 on your pictures)

My 36 inch (or more) large drawer holds about 10 pots and pans or more nested nicely. Another slightly smaller drawer holds all of my LeCrueset (nested), copper roaster, chinese wok and vertically stored double grill that fits over the cooktop.

Here is a link that might be useful: lids in drawer

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Kaismom- so your drawer is deep enough to have your large sautee lid standing on its side? How deep is that drawer? The image you posted doesn't work. And I agree with you, for sure I will have some nesting!

I don't mind bending - I am young and close to the ground anyway - that's not the issue at all.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Oooh, a toe kick drawer for the bid lids is a great idea!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 4:29PM
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I have a stack of 3 drawers for all of my drawers. This gives me the continuous horizontal line that I wanted in the kitchen. I don't know the exact dimensions.

The top is shallow. The middle is mid depth and the lower is about 13 to 15 inches deep. (not sure) I keep my dinner dishes standing on a plate rack in the bottom drawer and they are 'fine'. It allows me to store many dinner dishes in a very small space. My drawers are 'extra' sturdy because of the ratings in the tandem box.

Do the google image search on "Blum Tandembox drawers". That should allow you to see the images with lids.

try this images. This is the same company that I used and the drawer proportions are exactly this. The mid line is drawn at the exact middle from the top of the top drawer to the bottom line of the drawer front.

If you have the 2 drawer then the proportions are 50/50. For 3 drawer system the proportions are about 20/30/50. You draw the line to create an esthetic that pleases you. In doing so, the bottom drawer is large enough to put the large lid (my al clad saute pan) and my dinner plates are able to stand up.

Hope the link works.

Here is a link that might be useful: drawer proportions

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 5:13PM
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I used vertical storage and my lids are better arranged than this early photo.
I like the vertical as I don't have to lift multiple vessels out to get the the one I want.
I do have some pots and lids that don't fit the vertical storage and they are in the lower drawer or in my SuperSusan

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 7:44PM
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I store my pots and pans in a large 30" (by 10" tall) drawer (bottom of a 3 drawer stack whose top drawer is skinny) without lids. This allows me to stack pans (i.e. stock pots sit inside large skillets) etc. I store my lids in a smaller 21" drawer right next to it (this drawer is the large bottom drawer of a 4 drawer stack). I don't have any special organizers or gadgets for the drawers.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 8:16PM
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So the kids and I spent an abnormally long time cutting apart and taping together boxes for 2 mocked up drawers in the correct dimensions! One of them even has the cut-out for the compost pail. We took all the pots/pans out of the cabinet and put them in the cardboard drawers and rearranged them a hundred times. Every time I thought we reached a solution, I sat on it and changed my mind.

The first solution we reached was an option similar to tagging and jakuvall, with lids on the sides. I was able to put lids in both drawers so that each drawer had the corresponding set of lids. We all seemed to like this. It all fit with the 9" depth the KD was planning, and I could get to a lid with one motion rather than the 2nd motion of opening amber lid drawer. And by having a lid section on 2 sides, the lids were separated enough to not get jumbled. I couldn't fit the lids in the back like in my original post because then I wouldn't be able to fit 2 large pots front to back, but on the sides worked. I even had my large stockpot in here! So I was happy.


I remembered my nested mixing bowls and large salad chopper which were still in the cabinet. Neither are with my pots/ pans now, but I would love it they were. But not enough space in the drawers because dang it, I was using space for lids. So I took out the lids and was able to squeeze in both the mixing bowls AND the big salad chopper. Now I am thinking back to putting all the lids in the skinny roll out above. Right now at 9" depth everything fits (tallest stockpot is 8"). If I add to that another 2-3" for the lid roll out, I assume I will need 12" for that drawer height, which I will deduct from the 2nd drawer, which only has the skillets anyway. Making I guess a 12" drawer and a 6" drawer.

Does this make sense?

I am sure as these mock ups sit in the kitchen longer I will change my mind yet again (yes, there have been pots and pans all over the kitchen floor for 3 days...)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:14AM
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Hey, if the rollout works for you and your situation, then I say do it. What did you think about my suggestion for a toe-kick drawer for your larger lids? Is that an option for you?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Thanks Deedles, I forgot to mention that we will have toe kick drawers and KD had the same suggestion but I reminded her of all the OTHER stuff she has already relegated there! (All the baking dishes, lasagna pans, cookie sheets, etc.).

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Try the vertical storage in one drawer and then the larger pots flat in the second drawer with your card board drawers. I can take out slots in ours to adjust for size. My large skillets are flat in the bottom drawer along with my blender(hope for vitamix soon) and my moms old hard boiled egg cooker.
So, I used a hybrid- my mixing bowls are in a drawer closer to my bake zone but I would have room if I took out the egg maker

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 12:04PM
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This is my lower drawer with the larger pans in normal alignment - it has changed some but gives you an idea of mixed positions.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Not all the lids are in there at the time of this picture probably still in DW. I would have more room but we had to do a cut out in the drawer to accommodate the exterior mount fan exhaust. These drawers are under my cooktop. I love having the lids and pots so conveniently located. The pots and pans are in the drawer below the lid drawer.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:31PM
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Gr8day-love it! That's what I think I will do, except with an interior roll out drawer within a drawer rather than a separate drawer so that I don't have to give up extra space for the drawer mechanisms, etc.

You are happy with your set-up?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:20AM
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I had an idea, but I don't know if it will work.

If I have a lid drawer, couldn't I drill a hole in the back wall of the drawer, insert a dowel rod that just barely fits in that hole...very tight fit. Then on drawer front end put a shallow counter sunk hole for the other end of the dowel rod. Lids can lean on the dowel rods so they won't sit flat. I should be able to get more lids in.

Would this weaken the drawer? Would it even work?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 1:41PM
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