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How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

Posted by KrisM70 (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 13, 12 at 14:35

How do you figure out what types of cabinets you need? Drawers vs. door cabinets?

Right now, we have door cabinets with pull-out trays for the top shelf. I could just do drawers of the same size, but I imagine there would be a better way to do it.

Also our pantry is pretty useless, as it's too deep. We will do something with pull-out shelves (or do I consider drawers here, too?). But, right now we have very little food in the pantry because it's too difficult. It holds Pyrex, baking pans, breadmaker, mixer, etc. Those things would move elsewhere (upper? lower?) in a new pantry.

I'm just stuck trying to figure it out and afraid I'll do it wrong! I suppose I could get a bunch of cardboard boxes to approximate drawers and see what really fits and works :).

I'll add a link to a previous post of mine with my kitchen layout in it. We may make changes to it and are working on it!

Thanks for any insight you have on planning!

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with my layout

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

You'll definitely want to do a search - this comes up pretty regularly. If you try a google search for "drawers doors gardenweb", you should find a bunch of threads discussing it.

So, what I'm doing is with my layout, I have started more or less putting everything in it's place. I made copies of the layout and labeled my drawers. Spices, dishes, glasses, cooking utensils, baking utensils, junk drawer, garbage, storage dishes, pots, pans, lids, etc., etc. Everything got a virtual home so that I'll know exactly where things will go when I get my new kitchen.

And yes, I am measuring things like pots and pans to make certain that I have the correct height for the drawers.

Your pantry being deep isn't necessarily what makes it useless. It's probably the fact that you don't have roll-outs or a pull out for it. My pantry will be 30" wide and 24" deep. And it will have roll-outs for each section. I considered doing 2 15" pull outs, but after a lot of consideration, I'm pretty certain we are doing roll outs there. I plan on having roll outs even in the upper area. Actually, especially in the upper area because it's too deep to find stuff in the upper back.

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

We measured everything we wanted to put in our drawers to make sure the drawer sizes would meet our needs. We also thought about how the cabinet would look with various drawer sizes. That's how we did it.

Next week I hope to put things in our drawers and see how we did.

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

For cabinets: drawers!

For pantry: ROTS (roll-out tray shelves) are fine. I opted for a pull-out pantry instead.

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

I'm pretty sure we will end up with a lot of drawers and few, if any, door cabinets. But, do you put breadmakers and mixers in a drawer? Or do you leave a big bottom shelf in the pantry?

Also, why do people do pull out shelves in the pantry instead of drawers, if drawers are what's liked elsewhere?

Yes, my pantry is useless for food because it's only 24" wide with a bi-fold door taking up 6" or so. Too deep for its width! But, I keep one layer of some food in front and then baking dishes, bowls, etc behind that. It works for us for now.

I can't wait until school starts next month so I can start trying differnt layouts for things!

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

Drawers. Everywhere you can do them, do so. My only cabinets with doors on them are the sink cab, and a 9" one by the range. That one is too narrow for drawers, but works well for vertical storage of cookie sheets and cutting boards. And I have a pull-out pantry. No more lost-&-forgotten tea bags and tuna tins.

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

How do pull out pantries and kids mix? Can a 4 year old pull it open easily enough?

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

The reason that I'm using shelves in the pantry instead of drawers is because I want to be able to see stuff from the side rather than from the top. This is particularly important to me for anything that is higher than a few shelves up. Also, in terms of looks, drawers that go up to the ceiling would just look odd.

My pantry will house mostly food, but there may be a few appliance-ish items (like the bread maker) that might not fit where I intend it to go from when I made my proposed layout of item housing, so the very bottom of the pantry might keep just a few things like that.

My Kitchen Aid mixer will be in my island and I'm using an appliance lift for it, so the door there will be a full length, no drawer. Also in the island, I'll have garbage, so no drawers there, but the center area of the island will have drawers.

I had considered a pull out pantry, and if I had room in the kitchen I would do both the roll out shelves and a pull out pantry.

If you get places in your layout where you'll have a cabinet that is 9-12" or so, I would suggest looking into that being a pull-out or one that you use for cutting boards, cookie sheets, etc rather than making it into drawers.

You'll find that as you lay things out and decide what you want where, the function of the area will dictate what you put there. In my original layout, I had an area by the oven that had one less drawer (it was a deeper drawer), but when I was "finding a place for everything", I discovered that I didn't have a location for oven mitts near the oven and I didn't have a junk drawer to serve as a catch all for the odds and ends we need. So, the one deep drawer got changed to two shallower ones in the layout. Had I not laid things out, I wouldn't have remembered until it was too late and then I would have had a deep drawer that wouldn't have functioned as well as what the two shallow ones will.

RE: How to decide drawers vs doors and sizes, etc?

I was 1000 miles away from my kitchen, so I could not do any reAl mock up type situations, but it worked out really well. I went with 2 36" drawer stacks, 1 24" drawer stack, one 12" cabinet with drawer, and then the corners with lazy susans.
Unless you are doing inset, and worried about losing space to the frames, just do 3 drawer stacks, and maybe one 4 drawer stack. My cabinet holds my KA mixer, and the drawer above it holds silverware. I even have a 36" top drawer EMPTY!! My cabinets are beaded inset with big frames, my kitchen is NOT large, and I have a lot of stuff, and still have room.


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