Kitchen Drawers or shelves

I'm working away on my kitchen. Base cabinets are made and I have some options on making drawers, shelves or pullouts. Last cabinets were all drawers and pullouts, but I found they were largely crap catchers.
I'm thinking now, jut two drawers, one for cutlery and the other for tools. Perhaps a third for commonly used dishes, so I can just pull it out and put them away after washing and drying them (all just to the right of the sink). Dishes would be upright. Pots and pans commonly used would be hung over the stove, as before.
But, I'm no kitchen designer, or for that matter cook. What is usefull?
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Thies wrote:

Where do you keep wash clothes, dish towels, hot pads, etc?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/9/2010 12:43 PM, Mike Paulsen wrote:

I've got some shelves between the kitchen and bath.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Jeff,

I chose to build all of our base cabinets with drawers. The only exceptions are the shelf under our corner sink (where we keep our garbage can), and a single shelved cabinet that fits in a blind corner next to the dishwasher (where we keep our pots, pans, and small appliances)
We find the drawers allow much better access than shelves. As long as everything has a place, they don't collect any more junk than shelves do. Our drawers are progressively deeper from top to bottom. If I'm remembering correctly, it's 5", then 8", then 12" on the bottom. Obviously, everyone has their own organization, but here's how we have ours laid out to give an idea of what our drawers are used for:
Bank 1 (between dishwasher and sink): 1: Hot pads and measuring cups 2: Foils, plastic wraps, garbage bags, etc. 3: Dish towels
Bank 2 (between sink and stove): 1: Odd utensils, pastry cutters, thermometers, potato mashers, etc. 2: Seldom used spices, large containers for refilling spice jars, etc. 3: Lids for pans
Bank 3 (other side of stove): 1: Silverware 2: Mixing bowls and baking dishes 3: Large baking dishes
Bank 4 (near the refrigerator): 1: "Snacks" (cookies, popcorn, etc.) 2: Rubbermaid plastic containers 3: Potatoes and Onions
Bank 5 (near the refrigerator): 1: Pasta, rice, beans 2: Teas, coffees, bread 3: Sugar, Flour, Salt
We keep dishes, glasses, and that sort of thing in overhead cabinets with shelves. Shelves work fine here since the cabinets are up higher and not as deep for things to get buried.
We also keep cereals and canned goods in an overhead cabinet next to the refrigerator, and have a full height shelved pantry next to the refrigerator for stocking extra supplies. Finally, we have an extra large cabinet above the refrigerator for keeping big items we don't use much like cake pans and whatnot.
My vote is for drawers! :)
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/9/2010 1:26 PM, HerHusband wrote:

I like that.

I like that, I have that in the pantry now. I think, I'll try to keep the pantry just for food and the mop bucket.

I forgot about the mixing bowls.

That makes sense is what I was mostly thinking, The shelves are easier to get to, no bending over or reaching back.

Now, I like that. I didn't know what to keep in the cabinet over the fridge, but pans are perfect.
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff,

I just checked my original cabinet plans. The drawer "openings" are 5", 8", and 11". We have been very happy with the three drawer sizes, as the larger (i.e. heavier) stuff can go in the bottom drawers, while the smaller stuff we access more can go in the upper drawers.

It's really handy to have the garbage bags near the garbage can, dish towels near the sink, and the various wraps at hand when cooking.

I originally planned our pantry to hold extra food supplies (canned goods, cereal boxes, etc.). While we do use one of the shelves for that, most of the shelves have ended up being cluttered with craft supplies, paper plates/cups, and a few odds and ends we rarely use. :)

This is our one drawer that is still fairly disorganized. I keep meaning to build a rack of some type to fit in the drawer to hold the lids more conveniently. Right now they all just lay flat, with a few overlapping. Not a big deal, but it would be nicer if they were all separated for easier access.

Yep, we have an assortment of ceramic and metal mixing bowls. These are SO much easier to get to in a drawer than when we had shelves in our old place.

Yep, shelves work well in the overhead cabinets and usually don't get cluttered. Our one exception is the cabinet we keep coffee mugs in. That one is a disaster. :)

We keep our cookie sheets, pizza pan, and muffin tins in the drawer under the stove (upside down so they don't collect dust). We use those frequently and they're just easier to access in the drawer.
My wife enjoy's cake decorating as a hobby, so she keeps all her pans and supplies in the large cabinet above the refrigerator. It is honestly kind of mess, a bunch of large odd sized pans, her "toolbox", and various containers and decorating tools. It's not the easiest access (we have a small step ladder), and wouldn't be very convenient for something you use often. But for items that are only used occasionally and take up a lot of space, it works well.

When I designed the cabinets for our kitchen, I compiled a list of everything we owned, and tried to plan out where everything would go before I even started drawing up plans. Try to think about what you use often, and put those closest to the areas you use them (i.e. dish towels near the sink, pans near the stove, etc.). We have a fairly small kitchen (9'x12') so nothing is really that far away, but planning it out makes a big difference.
Also, consider how you use things when you plan their locations. For example, many folks put their silverware next to the dishwasher because it's close. But we put ours near the dishes, between the stove and refrigerator so they're more convenient when fixing a bowl of cereal, grabbing a fork for a frozen dinner out of the freezer, or whatever.
I was just looking at my initial plans for our kitchen, and surprisingly we still have things organized really close to that even five years later. We've relocated a few things, but not many.
Be sure to make your shelves adjustable wherever you use them. In most cases, you'll never move them once you have them filled with things. But, I have moved a couple of shelves since we moved in to accomodate larger boxes and added an additional shelf for two levels of shorter canned goods. It's a small thing, but it's great to have the flexibility when you need it.
Have fun!
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Thies wrote:

My opinions...
SHELVES They are good when they are only about as wide as the stuff that will sit on them *AND* when you have full and easy access to them. Wide shelves are a PITA because what you want always seems to be in the back. By "full access" I mean shelves that are no lower than your knees nor higher than your eyes.
DRAWERS They are good for storing a variety of things of varying sizes *IF* they are partitioned. Preferably by moveable partitions; the partitions won't get moved much but they allow someone to set up the drawer initially.
I think of horizontal pullout shelves, behind doors, as drawers too. I find them handy for storing dishes, pots and pans, etc. One that is very handy is one that is rather high top to bottom and divided into narrow vertical spaces; it is good for storing cookie sheets, cake pans and the like.
PULLOUTS I sometimes find them handy but generally for specialized things. Our kitchen has three (four counting the wastebasket).
One of them is behind doors; the pullout has a crosspiece maybe 6" back and that front compartment has shelves used to store things like flour and sugar; the area back of the crosspiece is divided front to back, each side has shelves used for storing infrequently used baking pans.
The other two have the front attached to the sides. One of them has three trays with open bottoms made of 1/4" dowels; those trays will slide out to the side when the pullout itself is out; the trays are used for fruit and vegetables. The other pullout stores dog and cat food. It is large enough for about a 5 gallon bucket of dog food.
More opinion... I think you are very light on drawers. Especially if you consider horizontal pullout shelves as drawers too. In our kitchen we have 13 drawers and 28 horizontal pullout shelves. Everyone is useful, everyone is used. The only unmoveable shelves are those in the upper cabinets and in the walk-in pantry.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/9/2010 1:28 PM, dadiOH wrote:

That makes sense, I think I'll put all the large stuff, like the unused Woks and skillets and stuff on shelves, under the stove.
Wide shelves are a

I never thought of that, but I really like it. How do the partitions work? What keeps them in place?

That makes more sense than horizontal, which is what I had.

That, I never thought of either!
the pullout has a crosspiece maybe 6" back and

Yeah, dividers!

Thanks, Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Thies wrote:

The easiest way I know is to cut "V" grooves in the sides or the back and another piece to insert behind the drawer front. A 3/16" dado blade tilted to 45 degrees will make a nice "V" groove which will accept a 1/4" partition that has had the ends cut in a matching "V".
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/9/2010 5:19 PM, dadiOH wrote:

U. I've got some wide drawers so the front to back is a nice idea. If I make the dividers out of 1/2", I should be able to cut V's in them also..
Thanks, Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We've never had a need for partitions in any of our drawers, in fact, they would just get in the way for most of the items we store.
The one exception are the silverware drawers, where we used inexpensive interlocking compartments available at any department store. You can take them out and clean them when needed, reorganize of desired, or replace them entirely if you want a different style.
Of course, we do use large rubbermaid containers for our flours, sugars, beans, coconut, and other items.

There are a few reasons I don't like pullout shelves behind drawers:
1. Accessing the shelf is a multi-step operation. You have to open the door, then pull out the drawer. Sounds minor, but when you have to do it repetitively or need to get something when your hands are full, it's not real convenient. Especially if your shelf is behind double doors.
2. Depending on the layout of the kitchen, the door could make it difficult to access the pullout shelf. For instance, if I have the door under our kitchen sink open for access to the garbage can, I can still pull out the upper drawers in neighboring cabinets without closing the door. With the drawer-behind-a-door approach, I would have to close the garbage door first, open the drawer door, pull out the shelf, get my item, put the shelf back in, close the drawer door, then open my garbage can door back up.
3. Pull out shelves usually end up dinging the back sides of the door. Either you don't open the door wide enough and the shelf bangs into it when you pull it out, or you bump the door while the shelf is out.
4. You lose a small amount of space between the back of the door and the front of the shelf. It's probably only an inch, but in a small kitchen every square inch counts.

These are nice if you have a narrow cabinet, or lots of pans to store. Just be sure the dividers are removable for cleaning or to accomodate different pan sizes.
On the other hand, this would waste a lot of space if you have a wide cabinet, or it you're trying to accomodate a "full sheet" cake pan (16"x24").

These are great if they fit in your overall kitchen layout, though you do lose the flexibility of a drawer not dedicated to one item.
I had hoped to implement the pullout wastebasket idea in my kitchen design, but our sink is in a custom corner cabinet and that would have just wasted too much space on either side.

Ironically, those are the two areas I would want adjustable shelves the MOST. You never know what you're going to store in the pantry, and being able to move the shelves around lets you accomodate just about anything. On the other hand, if you have a walk-in pantry, you probably have enough storage space it doesn't matter. It's more critical in smaller kitchens like ours.
The only fixed shelf I have in our entire kitchen is in the cabinet with the blind corner. It would be difficult to adjust a shelf that extends back two feet next to the dishwasher. That hard to access area works fine for storing our large roasting pan (which typically only gets used around Thanksgiving), and small appliances we don't use much (like the ice cream maker).
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HerHusband wrote:

Unmoveable means they don't slide, not that they aren't adjustable vertically.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oops, sorry about that. I misunderstood your description. Thanks for the clarification.
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Thies wrote:

You could even use their system to design a kitchen:-)) Then build it yourself.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/9/2010 2:58 PM, LouB wrote:

Been there many times and I'll stop later today. The wall cabs are very interesting but I can't quite figure out the base setups. I don't see stuff I was thinking about and sometimes I don't understand what is being displayed.

Or, the reverse! My screw feet came from IKEA. I thought about getting the euro hinges there too. Remember when you could build stuff out of Sears parts stores?
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/9/2010 12:10 PM, Jeff Thies wrote:

Are you gonna be the primary cook in this kitchen, and/or the person who does most of the cleanup and restocking? If not, THAT is who you need to ask.
--
aem sends...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.