The kitchen is the heart of a home. You want it to be a beautiful and efficient place for cooking food for the family. A well-organized and arranged space is what can make this task easy and enjoyable.
This is why homeowners afford a great deal of time and attention to planning the layout of the kitchen. The emphasis is usually on sufficient storage, ease of access and designated spaces for all items with a streamlined and attractive appearance to the kitchen composition.
You could be designing a brand new kitchen or remodeling an existing one – either way you may find yourself flummoxed between the selection of cabinet doors and drawers. Both these cabinet styles come with their own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the finer details that will help you make a studied choice:
Traditionally, kitchens have always been outfitted with door cabinetry both above and below the counter space. But it is only after you start using the kitchen that you realize that the open storage beneath the counter actually transforms into a huge, dark space that is too low for your liking. Visualize having to bend down and strain to reach the very back of the cabinet as you frantically hunt around for the bowl or pan you need. This may require you to move the other stuff around or even take out the items stacked in the front every time you require something that is placed at the rear or in a corner.
On the other hand, as drawers can be pulled out all the way, they allow for convenient access to each and every item placed inside, irrespective of its location – no bending, squatting or twisting needed. They are easier to clean as well.
The cabinets are usually big making them ideal for the bulky pots, large-sized pans, and other dinnerware – but what about the small and loose items? Will they not be lost in the open space and even get pushed around every time you reach in for something?
Drawer fronts trump door cabinets as the drawers can be easily customized in varying depths to suit the requirements. Go for shallow drawers for your silverware, spices, small bowls, wrap rolls, and other knickknacks. Deeper drawers become ideal for storing other cooking tools, utensils, cutting boards, kitchen towels, etc. Moreover, you can have one large space in the drawer or even partition it with dividers. This will further structure the arrangement of cutlery, containers, coffee mugs, and other junk.
Economics of Space
Pull-out shelves have emerged as a practical alternative to solving the inaccessibility issue in base cabinets. As the shelves can be pulled out easily, you can easily see and pick the large pots or bowls you have stacked deep inside the cabinet. These pull-outs can be retrofitted in existing cabinets as well.
However, they do tend to take up much more space as you have to allow an additional clearing inside the doors for the channels to glide past the hinges and door. In comparison, drawers turn out to be efficient without wasting any interior space as you can literally use every inch available.
You have to obviously use both hands to open the cabinet doors. And if you have pullouts, it becomes a two-step process where you first open the doors before pulling out the shelf. Contrast this with the single-hand gliding of a drawer even while your other hand is occupied in stirring a dish or even using the phone!
You can go as big as you want with the door cabinetry. This gives you a huge space for storing big pans, dishes, and other bulky kitchen items. As there aren’t any side panels like in drawers, it becomes easier to lift out the heavy items too. Conversely, there is obviously a limit on the width of a kitchen drawer. Moreover, you cannot weigh down a deep drawer with heavy pots and pans as this can even cause the base to sag over time. Come to think of it, a drawer would not work for storing appliances or even the trash can, would it?
Doors require less hardware and materials than drawers. They are easier on the pocket while a bank of drawers can play havoc with the kitchen budgeting.
In sum, a practical kitchen design would ideally consist of door cabinets and open shelves above the cooking surface and drawers placed below the counter. You can even have some pull-out shelves beneath the counter as per your cooking preferences, storage needs as well as the budget restrictions.
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However, keep in mind that you cannot randomly mix up the drawers and doors as it will create a chaotic appearance. The visual effect matters and you should carefully plan out a rhythmic elevation that renders a sleek and organized façade to the kitchen.