Kitchen Cabinet Design Must-haves

Cabinet Essentials You Need to Know About

One of the best feelings, after you have completed a new kitchen or a kitchen remodel, is realizing that all your kitchen goods have a place.  

Even better, when those places are functional, intuitive and strategically placed right where you will need them.  

So how do you decide what cabinet features you actually need when you are in the planning phase?

Plan for these essential kitchen cabinet features so your cooking and cleaning will be even more magical in your new kitchen.

  • 01 of 05


    Three Drawer Base Cabinets
    Drawers are your New Best Friend in the Kitchen. Nicolette Patton, CKD

    Drawers are the ultimate accessible and flexible storage devices. Here is why I love them, and why all my clients love them:

    1. Drawers are ergonomic: They come out to you, the user. No squatting or bending down to see what you've got. Just pull the drawer out and look down. As we age, our backs become more sensitive to lifting, so drawers are wonderful for folks who have trouble lifting or reaching up into upper cabinetry.
    2. Drawers are flexible: They can hold almost anything in your kitchen. I love using a three drawer stack; these typically have a smaller top drawer with 2 larger drawers below. Top drawers are usually for utensils, silverware and smaller items. The larger drawers, however, can be used for a multitude of kitchen items; pots and pans, lids, dishes (can use a peg system), plastic ware, baking/ cookie sheets, small appliances or food.  
    3. Did I mention drawers are easy? One v. two motions in a kitchen can do wonders for your speed cooking routine. Drawer operation takes one easy pull versus a door/ roll-out arrangement which takes two (open doors, then pull the roll-out). This easy operation is why so many people fall in love with drawers.
    4. Drawers have clean lines: I don't care what kind of kitchen you are planning. Traditional, farmhouse, rustic, transitional or contemporary. Drawers keep clean, horizontal lines that are very attractive. A series of three-drawer base cabinets in a kitchen layout just makes sense.
  • 02 of 05

    Trash Pull-Out

    Double Trash Cabinet Pull Out
    Double Trash Cabinet Pull Out. Nar Fine Carpentry

    So you are doing a beautiful kitchen remodel or building a new kitchen, and you want to put your old plastic trash bin to the side of the island?

    No way! Get that trash behind a door; nobody wants to see (or smell) that! 

    If I could tell you one thing that you most definitely need in your kitchen, it's a trash unit, built-in to your cabinetry. Preferably a double, for trash and recycling.  

    Most double units take up a mere 18" of space and are available with a soft-close mechanism, for maximum trash disposal pleasure. Many of them are short enough to accept a top drawer.  

    Trust me on this, get a trash pull-out, you won't regret it!

  • 03 of 05

    Vertical Dividers

    Base Tray Dividers
    Vertical Tray Dividers in a Base Cabinet. Nicolette Patton, CKD

    Vertical dividers are super useful for many different kitchen objects.

    Cutting boards, cookie sheets, muffin tins, platters, baking pans, pie dishes, large lids and even cooling racks.

    These vertical dividers are often placed in the upper portion of tall cabinetry, such as an oven cabinet, pantry or deep refrigerator upper. They can also be used in narrow base cabinets from 9-12" that may not make sense to place a drawer stack.

    Vertical dividers are another cabinet feature you will love! 

  • 04 of 05

    Spice Pull-Out

    Spice Pull Out
    Spice Pull Out with Tiered Shelves. Nicolette Patton, CKD

    We all use some spices in our kitchens. Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic seasoning, the list goes on. We accumulate spices almost every time we try a new recipe.

    Organizing spices in a wall cabinet can be tricky. When small spice bottles are stocked together on a shelf, it can be difficult to see what you have without removing the entire shelf.

    My absolute favorite spice units have tiered shelves. Tiered shelves allow spices to be displayed so you can view everything you have.  

    One 12" spice pullout next to your cooking surface is ideal. Some people who have a ton of spices may even opt for 2 on either side for a more symmetrical look.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Corner Storage

    Blind Corner Cabinet Storage
    Blind Corner Storage - Magic Corner. Nicolette Patton, CKD

    Not all kitchens have them, but when utilized correctly, corners can be one of the best storage features of the kitchen.

    Types of corner storage:

    1. Lazy Susan: a corner unit that turns a 90-degree angle on both sides. Typically seen in 36" sizes. These will have 2 carousels with or without a center supporting pole (better without a pole). They spin 360 degrees and can fit lots of kitchen stuff.
    2. Blind Corner: These project out from one wall with a filler on the adjacent wall. They may be used because a lazy susan won't work with the cabinet layout OR because you prefer them. If you have a blind corner, you will want a pull-out unit.  These come in many different configurations. 
    3. Corner Drawers: These are drawers with "L" shaped fronts.  They can be found in 39-45 degree widths from the corner.  Blum and Hafele make units that utilize the back triangular corner of the space. When extended fully, they can be up to 30" in depth. These are your more expensive option, but they most definitely create a WOW factor.  

    Don't leave these options up to your contractor or cabinet supplier. Be proactive and make sure your money is well spent. There are hundreds of options available to you, the well-informed consumer. 

    These options are easy and when placed in the right locations, can make a world of difference in the function of your new kitchen.