Was watching HGTV the other night and what to my wondering eyes should
appear - right there on TV for the whole world to see? To kick drawers in
kitchen cabinets. Yeah - you read it right, your idea published for the
world to see and not a single credit to you.
Now, for all I know these things could have been around for a long time, but
the first time I ever saw them was in some of Swingman's pictures. My wife
thought they were cool and I just smugly told her that I know the inventor
of them. Didn't buy me much.
I'm pretty sure they're been around for a while. They're definitely a
good use for unutilized space. I've been building drawers into kitchen
toekicks for the past 15 years or so. I usually don't tell the owner
that I'm doing it. I just install them and sometime later in a follow
up visit, I casually press the kick drawer with my toe and the touch
latch pops it open. The owner's astonishment is priceless.
Yep, I invented them, back in 1835. ;)
Actually, they are rare in this day of purchased boxes/cheap built-ins, but
I first saw one about 20 years ago. Most cabinetmakers these days are just
too lazy to bother.
Of the two features in the kitchens I put in the houses we build, the
toe-kick drawers, along with the elevated dishwasher cabinets, seem to be
the ones that most women go gaga over. The toe-kick drawers are so well
hidden that they must be pointed out, so we generally leave one partially
pulled out during open houses ... must be an HGTV spy around?
Funny thing is I just bought the plywood yesterday specifically to build
toe-kick drawers for six cabinets in two new kitchens.
I've had an idea in the back of my noggin' for some years now and will
try to put it in our updated kitchen - if it ever happens.
Our kitchen has a cooktop, must be only 3 or so inches in thickness -
current one is gas, but the previous was an electric with similar depth.
I think it would be a very convenient thing to have a pull-out wood
cutting board built into the cabinet immediately below the cooktop. Not
only would it be good for chopping at the stove and an added work space
for pots and pans but a shield for toddlers and small children from
getting burned or turning on the gas, flame or element via any
The idea originated with the pull-out board on the other side of the
kitchen next to the wall oven and under the microwave cabinet. Our
cabinets appear to be site-built c. 1960.
The toekick drawers are very easy to implement if you install the cabinet
side drawer slides in the toekick space on the end panels before assembling
the cabinets. Much more difficult to retrofit unless you are a
We did four of them yesterday in the time it takes to tell.
For a 4 1/2" high toekick space, I've settled on drawer dimensions of 3 3/4"
tall; 18" deep; and 1" less in width than the inside width of the cabinet
with Accuride full extension slides. Those dimensions generally give you the
clearance you need after you apply any extra toekick plate/shoe molding to
the drawer front to match the cabinet run.
One thing to consider is to use an overextension drawer slide. Even with
full extension slides you have the 4" depth of the toekick space to contend
with, which only leaves about 14" of an 18" drawer visible from above when
the drawer is open.
Pull-outs, of any kind, are in vogue ... I rarely do shelves in standard
depth base cabinets any longer, only pull-outs.
What do you hear that most folks use these for? My only concern with
such a drawer in my house would be the copious amounts of dog hair that
seems to accumulate on a daily basis - I don't need more dog hair in my
meals than what I'm treated to already. ;)
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