Does anybody have a pantry cabinet with drawers?

herg39458July 17, 2014


We are doing a remodel and part of the new cabinet package calls for a 42"W x 24"D x quite tall cabinet to use as a pantry. We have talked about having a couple of pullouts there but it is not ideally positioned for that for a couple of reasons.

Does anybody have or has anybody seen a pantry that is primarily drawers (up to usable height of course)? Seems like kitchen designers overwhelmingly prefer drawers to pullout shelves in general, but it also seems like pantries are usually built around pullouts or doors with pullout shelves. Why is this?


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My (small, 21"w x 96"h) pantry has a 3 drawer base at the base, and then has some roll out shelves above that. However, it's still sitting in my living room, so I can't comment on how I like it. It's pretty though. :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:10PM
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We have a pull-out pantry from IKEA. It's essentially a vertical stack of drawer boxes inside a tall cabinet. Instead of having separate drawer fronts, they are all covered by a single tall door that is attached to the top and bottom ones. The advantage to this arrangement is that you can see the contents of all the drawers at the same time. Of course you can't see everything unless you pull them all out, but you can see the contents of the top and bottom drawers (because they pull out with the door) and you can see enough of the others to know which one has the canned food, which one has the snacks, where the peanut butter got moved to, etc. This is very handy, especially when there is more than one person using the pantry.

With your comparatively large pantry (I mean compared to our 15" wide one), you may well be storing servingware or other non-food items in there. If that's the case, a set of separate drawers at the bottom might work well for you. But for just food storage, I have to say I like having the full-extension drawers behind a single pullout door. (Full extension makes a huge difference.) I like the pullout door much better than a hinged door with rollouts behind it -- it doesn't get whacked by the drawers if you (or your kids) don't get it open all the way before you start rolling out the shelves.

As for height, our pullout pantry is something like 71-72" tall. The top shelf is set low enough to hold tall things, so I don't have any trouble seeing into it; the bottom of it is about at chin level on me.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Thanks for the responses. northcarolina, you are correct, it is possible we would store non-food items there. Not sure. Your point on seeing everything is a good one, if the food is in drawers you have to know where to look. At some level, I am wondering why it seems to be "drawers everywhere!" except in a pantry cabinet.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:39PM
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If you are looking down into a drawer full of cans and jars, you can't see what kind each one is.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:50PM
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We have drawers in our pantry cabs and love them. One of them we lined with stainless steel to hold a big bag of dog kibbles so we we no longer have to deal with storing bags and the inevitable mess of spilling out kibbles from same.

Have never had a problem remembering which drawer is the bread drawer vs. the coffee beans and protein bars vs the dog kibbles etc. I would do the drawers again in a heartbeat.

Here are some pics to give you an idea of our setup, and the cabinets above. On the very top cab we have platter storage which I really love.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:44PM
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iroll: you mean you don't just grab a random can and go with it???

Seriously though, that's a good point. It does seem like that could be easily accounted for using separators, lying them on their sides, etc. But that is probably a significant part of it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Oooh, taggie! Can you post some specs for your pantry? How tall are your ceilings? Seems similar to mine. I split the top door, not because I have stacked cabinets, but because I dislike the bar they put across shaker cabinet doors that are taller than 50-some inches. So I made the top little cab the same height as over my vent hood.

I think there are two roll out shelves installed, and I have a couple more to install (mistake in ordering, but who knows, maybe it was good?) But I was thinking about doing tray storage at the top. But not the direction you have it in that cab, the direction that you have it over your fridge.

Great idea about the kibble. I will not hijack this thread, but I will start a new one re: storing dog food. Did you have someone local make the stainless lining or...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:26PM
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I have pretty much what northcarolina has and I love it! Except mine is 24" wide. I attached two drawers to the pullout front and the rest are unattached. I have spices in those channel-type trays that IKEA sells for that purpose and they're a little hard to see what's what because they're not at eye level and the labels are small...but I can cope with that.

I have like stuff sorted into those small hard plastic tubs they sell, so I can pull the baking ingredients out, or teas, or whatever.

The only thing I need to do now is get a battery-operated LED light or two that will go on when the pantry is open and off when it's closed. It's kinda dark in there...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Hi cal_quail, yes three rollouts in the pantry are definitely a serendipitous mistake for you. It will give you so much more usable space.

Our specs are as follows: drawers are base cab height, middle section with the rollouts is 45" high, and top cab is 20" high (to match our fridge cabs, just as yours will match your hood cabs). The rollouts are 11 1/2" apart. In the cab pictured above we put two shelves above the rollouts such that the top rollout height is also 11 1/2". In the other pantry cab we only put one fixed shelf above the rollouts such that its top rollout height is 15 1/2". For us, that rollout holds the large cereal boxes upright.

Our fixed shelves at top are adjustable so that if we ever change our buying habits and want to store taller stuff we could do so.

Good luck with your pantry cabs. You will love them! Off to post in your dog drawer thread now. :-)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:54PM
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