Drawer organisation is the number one thing we’re asked about when planning kitchens, and for good reason – drawer inserts and dividers are the difference between a new kitchen being a pleasure to use, and being a chore.
H. Miller Bros top tips on choosing drawer linings....
- A lined cutlery drawer is an absolute must, and we never design a kitchen without one. And it should be placed near the dishwasher, so putting clean cutlery away is a breeze.
- Another crucial drawer insert is a lined utensil drawer, and this should include an integrated (or separate knife block). Many of our clients are surprised at just how much more space is created in their kitchen drawers if each item has it's place, and can be stored neatly and easily
- Pots, pans and crockery are best stored in adjustable peg drawers. But it's crucial that drawer boxes are full height, so things can't fall out the sides (as every single one of our drawer boxes are), and that there is a specific rack for pan lids. This is another H. Miller Bros signature detail, and a crucial one for anybody who knows the frustration of constantly moving lids around in pan drawers so their large pot can fit in.
That's the headlines, but if you want to read our deep-dive on the subject of drawer linings, settle in and keep reading......
Drawers represent the premium space in any kitchen, because they can provide a wide range of different storage types and sizes, with everything viewable at a single glance, and at the height that’s convenient. Drawers are particularly good for those with mobility issues, as they prevent the need to stoop, bend, or climb onto steps to retrieve items from the back of cupboards
Some Designers have a set idea about how drawer linings ‘should be’, but it’s important to make sure your drawers are organised and divided for the way you want to use your kitchen. Our approach is to work with our clients one-to-one in order to understand how they will use the space, and suggest drawer storage ideas that support and enhance their way of working.
The 3 (main) drawer types
Drawers can be divided into 3 main categories – shallow, cutlery-type drawers; deep pan-type drawers; and auxiliary/hybrid drawers. All are endlessly useful, but for different things.
Shallow drawers are great for cutlery organisers, utensil holders, knife blocks, and kitchen gadgets that are in frequent use (such as weighing scales, timers, oven gloves). It’s really good to have these at waist level, so often-used items are easily accessible. For cutlery drawers and kitchen utensil organisers, it’s a good idea to have these close to the dishwasher, and in the vicinity of the hob, as this speeds up kitchen tasks no end.
Deep drawers are perfect for pans and large cooking pot storage, and for plates, bowls and crockery. A peg board with vertical hardwood pegs is a great way to organise these drawers and make sure things don’t move or rattle around. Deep drawers are also really useful for storing tall things like oil bottles, spaghetti jars, and cereal packets.
In addition, deep drawers also make fantastic waste management zones, for in-drawer bins and recycling boxes. Drawer baskets can be incorporated for linen and tea towel storage, and dividers can be built in to the drawers to store those oh-so-tricky items such as tall champagne glasses and large serving plates.
Auxiliary/hybrid drawers are not to be discounted – these drawer organisers are the unsung heroes of a well-functioning home, as they store those things that don’t always find a natural home. Island and peninsula drawers are excellent places to have stationery dividers and inserts, or to incorporate electronics drawers with USB ports and in-drawer power outlets for charging phones and laptops. We often make these drawers with leather linings, to give a soft landing for more fragile tech, and differentiate these drawer linings from those for kitchen utensils etc.
Hybrid drawers can live in lesser-used parts of the kitchen, such as boot rooms or utility rooms. These are also fantastic places to incorporate laundry drawers for washing tablets and dryer sheets. A speciality of ours is to create divided drawer trays to hold grease-proof paper, foil, cling film and rolled Teflon sheets; another really popular idea is a gardening drawer with inserts for secateurs, gloves, seeds and potting trowels.
Not all drawers are created equal
This is important - not all deep drawer are created equal! Deep drawers with shallow sides are useless. Lids and boards can fall out the sides and get stuck, tall stacks of plates become dangerous, and the upper half of these drawer become wasted space. This is where our hidden drawers and sliding trays come in. These ingenious additions allow us to add shallow storage for smaller or thinner items and make the most of this premium drawer space. Crucially, they allow items that are different sizes, but which need to be stored together, to co-exist in the same drawer – think Tupperware boxes and their tops; large pots and their lids; or large serving boards for joints of meat with a carving knife and fork.
The drawer linings we make for our clients are made in hard hardwoods and birch ply, so that they last a lifetime and become more beautiful with age. We like to match the timbers we’ve used in the kitchen, so the inside of the drawers are as special as our cabinet doors, and it all feels part of the same design.
If you have a question about drawer linings, or want to talk to us about your new kitchen, we’d love to hear from you. Use the form to email us, below, or call us at the workshop on 0151 709 0970.
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