Size of Longest Useful Drawer Stack? 42" too long?

2LittleFishiesSeptember 1, 2012

We have some 36" drawers in our plan which is great but in one spot we have two drawer stacks next to each other that are 21 + 21... We're doing inset drawers and am wondering if making them one stack of 42" would be a good idea? Is that just too long for ease of use?

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Fishies - love my 42!
More when on my computer but I have a 42, 36, and 30. I know it sounds wierd but it works as 3 different walls.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:49PM
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42" should function fine and probably cheaper to do one bigger stack than 2 smaller ones. However, we were limited by Shiloh- their maximum for drawers is 36".

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:05PM
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What are you planning to use the drawers for?

What kinds of pulls are you planning to use?
In most cases won't a 42" wide drawer require two pulls?
Will you find using two hands to open the drawer inconvenient?

For most uses in my kitchen I would find 42" a bit wide.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I should have added: how often do you imagine two people
standing in front of the wide stack of drawers?
If you might frequently have two cooks standing in front of the drawer stack,
two less wide drawers could be more useful.
With a wide drawer, the second person standing in that area of the kitchen
has to step back when the drawer is opened.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:16PM
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I think a 42" would be fine (what are you putting in those drawers?), but I would double check to see what weight the glides will be rated for. And I would also want to make sure that the drawer bottoms are heavier to hold the weight.

Our widest will be a 36", but we will be using Blum 568 glides that are rated for 110 lbs per drawer on the large deep drawers. And our drawer bottoms will be 1/2" rather than 1/4".

Check into those things to make sure that your drawers will hold the weight well enough for you.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:38PM
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This has been tweaked since these drawings but it's in my baking station on far left.
The middle two stacks are now 21" each. Those are the two stacks I'm referring to.

Maybe the 2 stacks I have now would be easier when one hand is busy mixing
or when my dd and ds are helping me bake.
These are what I am thinking but surely it could change.

Stack 1:
Top Drawer- Measuring cups/spoons, spatulas, frosting spreaders, parchment, pastry blender

Middle Drawer- Containers with Flour, Sugars, sprinkles, extracts, Crisco, baking spices, cupcake liners, veg oil, salt, cornmeal, baking soda/powder, food coloring

Bottom Drawer- Hand Mixer, Glass Bowls, Rolling pin

Stack 2:
Top Drawer- ? Cake Decorator, Cookie Cutters
Middle Drawer- ?
Bottom Drawer- Pie Plates, Cake Pans, Bread Tubes,

Hmmm... not sure what else. Is a 21" drawer a good width? I have to find out the height of the drawers too.

The stack all the way to left is for the sink with small trash
The stack all the way to right will have towels, pot holders in top drawer and below is a pullout for vertical pan storage (cooling racks, cookie sheets, pizza pan, pastry mat, cupcake pans

Can you tell me if the stack is 21" how much of that is usable space (width)? I'm assuming the cab walls that separate each stack and the vertical piece of wood for inset (forgot technical term) take up???

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:38PM
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I have a 40" stack. I love it -- I wouldn't object to another 2".

I mistakenly put a single pull on it. (I meant to put two, but I "got into a groove" while drilling holes for the pulls ;-) I think a single pull looks fine, and it certainly works fine.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Fishies -
Our baking area has 2 stacks - 15 inch and 30inch banks
I was able to put my mixing bowls and hand mixer in the 15 inch
My baking pans fit in the 30 inch drawer - but all of my cookie sheets and muffin tins are up high above the fridge or oven in slots. I hate having to take lots of items out to reach an item - so many of my items are sideways in slots.
I need to take new pictures as my first set of pictures makes you dizzy from the angle that I snagged the pictures.

My 42 inch bank has 21s for the top and 42s below. This has my dinnerware in the long drawer. The top drawer has a great Rev a shelf for my silverware, and a knife rack in the other one.

Take a look at Grumpy Dave and how he organized his long drawers.

Here is an old picture of two of the 30s and one of the 42s (note the hand mixer was in the 30 at the time of this picture but has since moved - along with a few other items)

And I had to add my drawer organizers in my 30 inch... Idea came from GrumpyDave

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Forgot to include measurement - 18.25 width in my 21.
I store my flours in the cabinet above - started out in a drawer but found I needed the drawers for the vessels

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:53PM
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I asked about wide drawer stacks during my planning also. I'll link my thread below with lots of opinions both ways. I ended up with 39"ish wide drawers that I find easy to use. Another couple of inches would have worked also.

Here is a link that might be useful: My thread

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Fishies, this is so OT, but... I SO wanted a baking area in my kitchen with a lowered counter because I frequently make bread -- lower counter makes kneading easier, as you probably know. Didn't pan out in my kitchen. Anyway, I notice your baking area has a lower than standard base cab. Do you make bread? If so, have you considered the possibility that the wall cabs might get in your way? I really don't like kneading at the perimeter of a kitchen because I sometimes bump my head on the cabs. Just a thought...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 9:54PM
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a2gemini- So the photo of your dishes is a 42"? Did you post a photo of your 21"?

I'm thinking it might be more convenient to keep the 21" drawers for when my dd is baking with me.

How much space would I gain from going from two 21s to one 42???

fourambles- thank you- I don't really do bread (although I might). Originally the lowers in that spot were deeper than standard but I gave it up for more aisle space. The uppers are 15" deep at the ends and 13" in the open shelving.

I think I will make it 14"/13"/14". The backsplash is 18" now - I'm 4' 11" and wanted to be able to actually reach the shelves. I hope this will be okay!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Fishies - I don't have a picture of the inside of the 21s but will try to do so tomorrow- I finally have them just the way I want them - you can see the outside of the 21s in the picture above the 42 bank.

The order of the above pictures - 30, 30, 42, and 30 - the dish drawer is 42.

You gain about 3 inches inside but the flexibility to organize as less sides to bump into.

One idea would be to go with a 27/15 arrangement - unless it would look wierd based on the cabinets above. (or something similar if my math is working at this hour of the night...)

Fishies - yup - you be height-challenged - I am not - I wanted a higher counter but stayed standard.

What is 14/13/14

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:52PM
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It's the depth of the uppers.
Right now the two sides are 15" deep and the center 13" deep. I'm thinking 15" may be too deep though. Maybe14" on the sides and 13" at open shelving.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Typically with framed cabinets, you lose 3" of horizontal space per drawer stack. So a 21" wide drawer becomes about 18" of interior space.

I measured my wide drawers I thought were slightly more than 39" to find they are actually 38". What fits in those stacks (35" interior):

In contrast, my spice drawer (19" exterior, 16" interior) right above the bottom drawers:

I keep most of my baking pans (cake, bread, bundt, pie, tart, springform, mini muffin, etc) in a 19" wide exterior stack next to my fridge. I wish they were wider so I didn't have to stack the contents as much. No pics.

The main points that sold me on wider drawers vs two narrower stacks were:

1. Less expensive
2. Less wasted space
3. The ability to put in dividers or organizers in wider stacks to separate items to mimic two narrower stacks, but the reverse is not true. You cannot organize two separate stacks to hold the contents of a wide drawer. DH doesn't call me Mrs. Captain Obvious for nothin'. ;)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:03AM
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Fishies, I kind of like the look of the symmetry of the double stack. I know, you could make an argument that a single stack encourages symmetry too. But it looks elegant to me this way.

OTOH, I'd personally never (or rarely) choose form over function. Have you sat and thought hard about what you think you might be putting in each drawer? Because that will matter a lot to which is the better answer: what goes in the drawers, and how you use the space (as noted by others above).

If silverware or small stuff, a big drawer becomes really big and you have to haul that whole hefty mass out every time you want a tea spoon. If instead it's really big, heavy stuff, then that too can overwhelm a large drawer with its own weight. And remember to factor in the weight of the drawer itself. Depending on how deep the drawer is sometimes you'll need heavy-duty glides which are about 40% more expensive too, as I recall (check this though). If you're going to be grabbing from one side only and hauling out that large drawer, this can be an offsetting-problem as well in terms of ease-of-gliding. I have a 40" very deep drawer and it is a little tricky to glide open well. You really do have to concentrate a bit on pulling it out straight. I have a 47" x 10" drawer that definitely needs two hands to pull out straight (There are two handles; maybe if there were a large single centered one that would work too). I put large linens in that drawer (I like to fold them minimally).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:22AM
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Lucky, lucky, lucky -do 'em! We have one stack of 36" drawers and love them. Also have 2 24" stacks under the cooktop and often wish we'd gone with 2 48" drawers instead.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:21AM
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Thanks everyone- this is all very helpful!

Presently we have a 36" stack planned for under cooktop, two 30" stacks in island, a 17" and two 23" stacks elsewhere in perimeter.

I posted at top under diagram what I'm planning for these baking drawers and I'm not sure I need such a wide 42" stack?
*Would it look bad to just do the bottom drawer as a 42"?? Or maybe the middle and bottom and keep the top smaller?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:39AM
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When we refinished our cabinets, we converted the two lower cabinet areas on each side of the range to drawers. One is 38" wide and the other is 44" wide. We left the two existing narrow drawers on top of each cabinet and put two deeper, wider drawers below. I love them. As it was a retrofit, we could not use Blum soft-close glides on the bottoms, but we have very nice heavy glides that are installed on the sides. The drawers have two handles, but open easily with just one.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:41AM
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The widest drawers my mfg would do was 36" if I remember correctly. We have one pull in the middle and very glad we went with one.

If you like the look of 2 drawers at the top but don't want to lose the storage lost by having 2, go with one wide drawer but have it faced so it looks like 2 drawers. You can always put dividers in to break up the space to make the interior work for you.

If you are going to store anything vertically, as a2gemini shows above, measure the widest items you plan to store and make sure the interior clearance is enough. Mine wasn't for 4 of the items. : (

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Fori is not pleased

If you think a giant drawer looks funny, you can have it done with smaller faux drawer faces on it. I did that with mine and while the sizes just happened to turn out looking like a filing cabinet, if you pay attention that won't happen.

Those drawers are sized to hold large canisters upright and are also deep (30" cabinet box). When I do it again, I'll probably try to work the drawer sizes to look better, but they certainly functioned well.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:58AM
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"you can have it done with smaller faux drawer faces on it"

Does that work for inset though??

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:29PM
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It would not look weird to have the top drawer of the stack made as row smaller drawers with the bottom ones wider. I did that on either side of my cooktop with those 38" stacks I keep talking about. :)

Although I'm not an inset expert, I don't see why you couldn't make a single drawer appear as two. It's just a regular drawer front with some extra molding stuck vertically in the center to mimic the 5-piece darer front. The integrity of the actual drawer front should be the same either way.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:59PM
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So that stack to the left of cooktop are all 38" drawers but u made the too one look like 2 drawers even though it's one. Right?

I guess bc with inset you have the frame showing so not sure how that works

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:03PM
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No, the top two drawers in both of those 38" stacks flanking the range are not one drawer made to look like two. They are actually two smaller 19" drawers. My spice drawer, shown above, is the small top drawer immediately right of the rangetop. The other small top drawer there on that side houses my primary baking tools (measuring spoons, pastry brushes, ruler, whisk, pastry cutter, biscuit cutter, frosting spatulas, bench scrapers, and most commonly used pastry tips and bags).

I still think inset can be made to look like two drawers. Hopefully someone familiar with cab construction will jump in and correct me.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Personally, I really like the sort of 'spanning stack' that Anna's pictured drawers give. Remember too that if you're having a custom-maker do the drawers, you may be able to have them whatever size you wish, not necessarily split right in half. I have many, many drawer stacks that are split the way Anna shows, but I don't think any of them is 50/50. I prefered to have slightly smaller closer to the focus of work, say, the range, for stuff to grab quickly out when needed at the range (say, spatula) and then a slightly larger one to accommodate storage. That's worked well.

But then some people really like the lines of the drawer frames to align between stacks. This doesn't matter to me at all but when I was planning there was some discussion among some who explained that this criteria mattered to them. e.g., look at fori's, the break between drawers from stack to stack is not contiguous. For Anna it is and yours have all seemingly been drawn that way too.

Just more things to think about. If the cabinets are custom you can do any of it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Fishies - here are a couple more pictures

This is the bank of 42 with 21s at the top - you could easily make the 42s look like a pair of 21s by the trim.

21 inch top drawers - these I like - knives on the left and silverware on the right - wouldn't want to open a big drawer for either of these items....

The 42s -
Middle drawer has dinnerware - probably pushing the weight limit...
I do have a few pegs to remind me where items belong vs keeping them from moving around...
Bottom drawer - mostly containers - no more avalanches!!!! This one has dividers and still deciding best placement

This is the bank of 45 with a 15/30 split. 42 was the max in the line, so needed to split it up... It works fine - still tweeking a few things - and right now, I have an extra slot!!! Wonder what trinket I can snag!!! - Just snagged the Kitchen Aid mixer on Craigslist and planning to make some lemon cookies after finishing this post.

Here are the 15 and 30s middle and lower
Middle 15 is a wrap drawer - was supposed to be in a different location but turns out the cooktop couldn't support a drawer, so needed to re-configure a few items.
Bottom 15 drawer has my mixing bowls and hand mixer.

The middle 20 drawer has a lot of my baking dishes and the bottom 30 drawer has my cake pans, parchment paper, and silicon silpat type things.

Hope this is helpful :-)
I can't wait to see your kitchen - I know it will be stunning and beautiful - mine will be functional but won't have your pizazz!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Thank you ALL! This is all SO helpful!

a2gemini- Thanks regarding pizazz. I'm getting getting a little nervous about my yellow! I know I'll love it (hopefully!) but hoping others won't find it too over the edge! Finalizing colors this week so I'm sure that's why I'm a little nervous now...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:55PM
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As you know from my many postings - colors are not my specialty!!!
Your kitchen will be like a day in the sun! It would brighten my day for sure!!

Good luck and hang in there. Once you make your final decisions - stop ruminating and just enjoy watching the project come to fruition!!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 4:28PM
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So if YOU love the yellow, who cares what others think? Besides, I'm sure all of us sophisticated TKO'ers here will love them, too. (I know I will!) Who else matters? ;)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:07PM
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OK, I told cab maker to do two 42" drawers and the 2 smaller above. : )
He said, "are you sure you want such a big drawer?" I said... "yes".

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Hope we steered you correctly!
I just popped one of my dividers at the bottom drawer for my larger storage containers. I love the flexibility!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:44PM
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