Thoughts on a long, shallow cabinet wall?

msl511May 10, 2013

I have an 8.5' wall which I can cover in cabinets, but they can only be 12" deep. It's a good location for pantry items, a counter with a phone or infrequently used small items and storage for infrequently used items.

The KD has proposed, moving from left to right, 2 33"w, 90"tall cabs and then a 36" base cab with a 36" wall cab over that.

1. The lack of symmetry is bothering me. My urge is to put a tall cabinet on either end and the base + wall cabinet in the middle. I'm don't think it would be less functional, but I'm still thinking about that.

2. It's not a huge kitchen and this wall of cabinet will be a hair more than 37" from the edge of an island (no seating). The cabinets will be natural maple, so fairly light colored. Do you think 66" wide of 90" tall cabinets is too monolithic, even if they're split up?

3. I would definitely want to use the tall cabinets as pantry space. I'm thinking that pull outs on a 12" deep cab is just silly and that my best bet is to do racks on the inside of the doors and then shelves inside the cabs. Taking into account the thickness of the back of the cab itself, the door and the rack on the door, I'm guessing the shelves would be about 8" or 9" deep, which seems large enough to hold most things (I can't believe I just ran into the kitchen to measure a cereal box and a 5 lb. bag of flour.) but no so big that I'll be losing things.

Whaddya think?

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I have virtually the same thing, but with the little counter in the middle. (What is the reasoning behind placing it on the end?) BTW, we used the stud space behind the nicheto deepen it so it could function as a coffee/tea/toaster center and hold the MW above.

The storage is excellent, with absolutely no wasted space. There are different ways to store things, but IMO none are better than this. With the single exception that a handful of items are wider than 12", just can't be stood on their sides, and have to go elsewhere. If you really wanted to store your electric wok in there, you might measure it and try to find a couple more inches. Be aware, though, that at 12" standard cans can sit 4 deep, soup-size cans 5 deep, and even more is not necessarily better. :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:38PM
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I agree with the depth. We designed a "shallow pantry" at 9" deep (8" interior) x 24" broad. It is a great depth, holding a couple of cans or one cereal box. If you put racks on (at least some of) your doors, you will wind up about the same place.

I am not sure about the monolith, but I think it will be okay. My "tall wall" has 22" pantry, 36" fridge, and the 9" side of the above-mentioned shallow pantry. (It opens on the flank of the fridge.) That happens to add up to 67", close to your pantries. Of course, I have a fridge breaking it up, but my fridge is similar in tone to the cabs. If I look only above the fridge, and hide the bottom part from my eyes, I can pretend to have a whole wall of tall wood. It looks okay to me, although I could imagine it being a bit imposing. (Truth be told, that was the reason I did not do a paneled fridge -- I feared a wall of wood.)

Your plan of making it symmetric might actually make it feel MORE imposing; if the the counter run is at the end, then the opening will connect to the opening beyond that section, and the whole may feel lighter (albeit lopsided).

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:35AM
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I have a 5' run of cabinets on a 9' wall that are 12" deep cabinets. Lowers and uppers with 15" high backsplash. It's great storage, nothing gets lost, it holds a lot. I like having the counter space which stores my mixer, laptop/charger, some decorative things.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:27PM
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Search for reveal by plllog. She has a shallow cabinet wall that is great for glasses, stemware etc. as well.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 3:33AM
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Great idea to use as a pantry or anything else. Use all the space you can.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:10AM
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Ask the designer why they put the wall and base cabinet on the end. If there is no solid reason then I agree the symmetry of installing it in the middle would not only look better but may have a practical purpose such as setting down a grocery bag or two while unloading into any one of the flanking pantry cabinets. If the aisle in front of this area is not too narrow you could even bump out the center a few inches and gain more space and interest. And, definitely no pullouts at this depth.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:04AM
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I'm one who needs symmetry. There's also expense to be addressed -- at least by me.

Oh my 60" wall, I have 3 levels of regular, 30" tall wall cabinets. My configuration isn't normal, so I won't go into it, but it's visually interesting. It's also in my dining room behind the table as you describe yours.

I think you need to rethink the "racks on the doors" given they're just 12" deep. You will only have 1/2 the room inside, because the racks protrude into the cabinet when it's closed. Think of the regular cabinets you have by the stove or sink.

I was able to break up my monolith with two upper glass doors. The rest is pantry or "hide everything you don't wan t lying around" cabinets.

I think using the space between the studs is always brilliant. In a normal wall you'll get 3" more space. At my house, with pocket doors, I'll get 6" extra space. (or so.)

All that said, I'm thinking about taking out one of the center row, left end cabinets. I'm thinking I might want a TV in there someday, since I do everything in the kitchen. I have a plywood floor (still) so I even paint things in there. I'll have to figure out how to keep it balanced, or my anal eye will go insane.

Oh - and you should have about 10" inside your cabinet if they're normal cabinets. If any smaller, ask 'em why they build them so shallow.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:15AM
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While I don't have 8 and a half feet of cabinets in my small kitchen, I do have the 12" deep floor to ceiling pantry (-about 5 feet) with a counter and cabinet above at the end. I love it so far! Counter is right when you come in, and it is the drop zone for mail and phones.
You don't need pull outs in the cabinets---everything is within reach and sight. Very functional, IMO.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:55AM
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We're planning a long wall of shallow cabinets with niches for the refrigerator and ovens ... as planned it will have a shallow counter for things like the bread machine, coffee pot, crockpot and other small appliances

If you aren't working around the placement of large appliances, symmetrical, with a shallow counter in the center, would probably be most useful. You could access things from the pantries and have a landing pad for them.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:50AM
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