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  • Writer's pictureDavid Phillips Team

What It’s Like to Have Kitchen Drawers Instead of Cabinets, According to People Who Know

Great tips for your house build!

Although peaks, flooring, and granite countertops are nice, you can't forget about the little details that bring everything together with ease.


A few weeks ago on our blog at YOUNG HOUSE LOVE, we made a big stink about why you should replace all of your lower kitchen cabinets with drawers. (See: Why You Should Replace All of Your Kitchen Cabinets with Drawers.) A lot of you agreed, saying you had a similar setup or desperately wanted one. And then we spoke to Sherry and John Petersik, the bloggers behind Young House Love, only to find out that they have drawers instead of lower cabinets and consider it the best decision they made during their most recent home renovation.

Keep reading to find out, first-hand, what’s so great about the setup.

Why they like drawers better than cabinets

“Words cannot express how much we love storing our dishes in drawers!” says Sherry. “You don’t have to stick your head in a cabinet because the drawers come to you.” With a family of four and two parents working from home, they create a lot of dishes every day, sometimes running the dishwasher daily as a result. And the hard part about washing dishes in the dishwasher isn’t the washing (because, you know, the machine does that) — it’s the unloading and putting everything away afterwards.

“When you store dishes in an upper cabinet or even on open shelves, there’s a lot of bending down and lifting up as you go back and forth between the dishwasher and the shelves. I wouldn’t have thought twice about that—it’s how we did it in every other house we’ve owned—but now that I know there’s an easier way, I’m so glad to have made the switch! I’ve never unloaded the dishwasher faster!” says Sherry. They originally got the idea from John’s sister, who has had drawers for dishes in her house for years. While they initially resisted the idea, she finally convinced them.

Tour the rest of the space: How We Organized Our Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers at Young House Love

“Besides being close to the dishwasher, it’s great having the drawer in the island, since we eat so many of our meals there. It’s really easy to pull out all of our place settings because everything’s all together right where I need it,” says Sherry. Another benefit? And it’s easy for the kids to get what they need on their own (their cups and dishes are stored in a separate drawer).

How they keep the drawers organized

To keep the dishes in place, the Petersiks added spring-loaded, wood-toneddividers, which segment the drawer into zones. “They’re really cool because they keep things organized and look like they were built into the drawers,” says Sherry. Because the dividers are short (she uses them inside her shallower utensil drawer, too), she stacked them double-high to create deep dividers that keep the tall stacks of bowls and plates in place.

Buy: Lipper International Bamboo Kitchen Drawer Dividers, $30 for two at Bed Bath & Beyond

Steal the idea without renovating!

While adding fully integrated drawers like theirs to base cabinets is a big-time remodeling job, there are a couple ways to retrofit existing shelf-style base cabinets. If you’re handy and you own your place, you can outfit them with add-on drawers. (Rev-A-Shelf has a few options!) If not, you can get a similar effect by stacking dishes in a crate or bin that sits on the shelf and can easily be pulled out like a drawer would.

What do you think? Would you rather have drawers or cabinets under your counter?

David Phillips 1204 801 2709

Konstantin Landel 1204 228 0258

Artur Landel 1431 999 1999






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