best height for extra deep kitchen drawers

agmss15October 11, 2013

I recently traded a piece of art for a piece of custom furniture from a friend who is a woodworker. He is going to build something to take advantage of the space under my stairs. The base will be drawers. There will be some deep shelves in the triangle above the drawers. The area is 30" tall and 36" wide. The drawers will be as deep as I can find hardware for - looks like maybe 28". So I was thinking 3 drawers. Or would two deep drawers be better. My small kitchen is still in the imaginary stage. So everything is on shelves right now. Any suggestions appreciated.

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What a nice trade!

The best height is the one that works for the things you want to store there. Carefully consider what you would like to put in the drawers, and measure. Then tell your woodworker friend how much usable height you want in each drawer (remembering that bottoms and glides take up space).

For canisters of sugar, flour, etc, and cake pans and pie plates stored vertically, I asked for 10-1/2" usable height in the bottom of 3-drawer stacks. The top drawers are standard top drawer height, for utensils and potholders. The middle drawer got what was left - I think just under 9".

A shallow drawer on top might be nice for tablecloths and napkins, or you might want just 2 deeper drawers for stock pots or taller appliances. Start measuring your things!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Yes, measure.

I found that 16" of usable height (which is taller than the drawer sides, but shorter than the drawer front) was perfect for my appliances and for really large things stored on their sides (pizza pan, cutting boards, cookie sheets) and 10" was great for most pots and also for things like baking bans and casseroles turned on their sides. The front to depth back is also extremely important, my drawers on one wall are just under 23 inches instead of a standard 19 3/4 - those extra 3 inches give me room for a whole second row of pots which are 10-11" wide.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Ok my friend is ready to start the project - he came by to check out my lumber. He came up with a plan of three drawers - 5" and two 9". That is the inside height. I was thinking of doing only two drawers - maybe a 16" and a 8". Looking at everything I think maybe smaller drawers absorbing more smaller items might be more helpful. Confused.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 10:11AM
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I have a bottom drawer that is 9.5 inches deep (interior), thinking that would be enough. But then I thought that I would like to store some of the pans on their sides and found that it was not deep enough for my wok or paella pans, which would need 11"

The top drawer of this 3 drawer stack is deep enough that I am going to add a sliding drawer from Ikea on the inside to make it dual level for storing utensils.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Instead of two 9's for the lower drawers, you might consider an 8" and a 10", which would allow you a bit more flexibility for some taller items. I have a similar set up, with inside clearances of 3.5", 8.5", and 10.5" My deepest stock pot would not have fit in a 9"

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Thank you! Photos are so helpful. Someone in the Cooking forum suggested I draw it out. I will attempt that later. For now here is a photo. A small project compared to most on here but a big step forward for me.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Is this for kitchen storage? It sounds like it but couldn't be sure.
Boy, if not, I could see an awesome big blanket/quilt drawer on the bottom and a smaller one for whatever on top.

I guess you do have to figure out what you want to keep there to tell you the height.

Here are a couple of my favorite understair set-ups and a link to some under-stair eye candy for you:

Here is a link that might be useful: stair storage ideas

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Thank you for the photos and the link. Here is my attempt at a scale sketch of the area.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 9:22PM
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