5 Genius Reasons You Need Kitchen Drawers Instead of Cabinets!

One of my longtime fantasies was to have kitchen drawers instead of cabinets! (Yes, my fantasies absolutely include more drawers.🤣 Function first in kitchen organization!)

I’m a professional designer and organizer, and today I’m sharing my FREE design list of the 5 genius benefits you get by choosing kitchen drawers instead of cabinets…

…plus real life photos from our remodel where my fantasies became reality!

(I didn’t know when during my life this Drawer Dream would ever happen, but in my brain, it made total sense and was filed away for future.)

We’ll also answer these popular questions:

  • “Is it better to have drawers or cabinets in my kitchen?”
  • “What can I replace kitchen cabinets with?”
  • “Does a kitchen need drawers?”
  • “Can you replace kitchen cabinets with drawers?”
  • “Have you ever done kitchen cabinets drawers only?”
  • “Are drawers better than cabinets in a kitchen?”
  • “Are drawers less expensive than cabinets?”
  • “Is it possible to do kitchen cabinets with drawers only?”
  • “Can I add drawers to kitchen cabinets?”
  • “What’s the cost of kitchen drawers vs cabinets—are kitchen drawers more expensive than cabinets?”
kitchen drawers with labels pointing to items inside like appliances and slow cooker
An example of our drawers for appliances (as well as our baking drawer), which we’ll talk more about below!

KITCHEN Cabinets vs Drawers

Kitchen Drawers Only: My Fantasy Turns Real!

When we had to suddenly remodel our kitchen, it slowly sunk in that now was my chance to make these drawer fantasies come true. Within my grasp was the ability to never, ever struggle with a lower kitchen cabinet again!

Now, I can look around our new kitchen and count drawers galore. We have 45 lower drawers and 0 cabinets. Zero! And never—NEVER—have I once wished for a lower cabinet again. We’re 100% thankful we did all kitchen drawers instead of cabinets. Why?

all lower kitchen drawers instead of cabinets in islands
Learn how to design your drawers to perfection!

Another example: our cutting board drawer!
women opening drawer in kitchen with plates
Plates in drawers (don’t knock it ’til you read it)!😍

We actually now have ALMOST TOO MUCH STORAGE in our kitchen. (Yep, there may be such a thing!)

Note: When you’re done with this post, you can see all 21 of our kitchen organization hacks

kitchen with drawers instead of cabinets
One of our recent all-drawer client projects! You can see our 21 top organization & storage moves HERE!

…many of which include drawers only!

We had so much space left over with my “Drawer City Kitchen” plan that alllllllll our extra drawers are now being used for other items (such as one big drawer that houses pool towels and goggles because it’s by the door we go out to the pool). But I’ll talk about how exactly we organized everything in other posts like this one and this one.

PS: You can also get our plans we used to create a variety of perfectly-fitted, organized drawer dividers HERE!

Why do I think we all should install kitchen drawers instead of cabinets in the lower spaces of a kitchen? I’m so glad you asked!

Kitchen Drawers vs Cabinets

#5: More cubic storage!

Think about it. Because the lower cabinet space can be broken up into smaller sections with drawers, more of that space is usable. Of course, if you just replaced one cabinet with one drawer, that may not be true—but when you can replace 1 cabinet with 3-4 drawers, suddenly you’re able to fill so many more cubic inches (and feet!).

kitchen drawers instead of cabinets in white kitchen islands
We teach you the Where, What, and How of drawers in The Complete Drawer Guide!

KITCHEN DRAWERS INSTEAD OF CABINETS

#4: Better organization!

Because of #1, you can better section out your lower storage.

For example, instead of one or two big cabinets that hold “pots & pans,” you could do three to six different drawers. One big drawer for the big pots. One drawer for the smaller pans. Another drawer for all the lids, or section out the lids into different categories.

kitchen stove with drawers instead of cabinets below it

cheese board | cutting board | small cutting board | drawer dividers | Kitchen Organization & Design Bundle

The point is, YOU get to decide how you want to organize it, drawer by drawer, and YOU will find exactly what you need as soon as you open that particular drawer.

vertical spice drawer cabinet with pull out drawers
Vertical spice drawer: see inside + how ours works!

Some will ask about drawers vs cabinets for pots and pans. We still believe that drawers make your pots and pans infinitely more accessible than cabinets do! (Instead of having to rummage around in the back of cabinets for a small pan or a lost lid, you can just pull out a drawer and easily access everything stored “in the back.”)

KITCHEN CABINETS DRAWERS VS DOORS

#3: Less hassle & wasted time!

Kitchen drawers instead of cabinet doors means eliminating hassle and time wasted looking for things. No digging around in cabinet shelves to find something. No pulling out a bunch of pots or appliances from the lower cabinet shelf to get to the other stuff behind it. You open a drawer and there it is! The exact thing you needed! Right there before your very eyes! It’s storage magic!

PS: Don’t think you have enough space to add drawers? You can create it!

kitchen drawer instead of cabinet with tea drawer dividers
Our organized tea drawer!

KITCHEN CABINETS WITH DRAWERS ONLY

#2: Updated look!

For decades, traditional home builders have installed lower cabinets instead of drawers. This is starting to look dated, and installing kitchen drawers instead of cabinets gives your kitchen a much more updated, well-into-the-21st-century look!

white kitchen with upper cabinets and lower drawers in double islands
You may or may not believe how long it’s been since we did this kitchen remodel!
white kitchen with all lower drawers instead of cabinets
Here’s another example of a client project where I utilized dozens of carefully-designed drawers!

If you’re remodeling and trying to figure out how many drawers you need, the layout, the interiors, and what exactly to put where, you need THIS!

KITCHEN Cabinets Drawers Only

#1: Forward thinking (+ better resale)!

Maybe it’s because I’m the Crazy Drawer Lady, but I genuinely think that people doing kitchen drawers instead of cabinets is the way the world is going to go! It’s smart, it’s efficient, and there are zero drawbacks that we’ve experienced!

utensil drawer
One of our uber-efficient utensil drawers!

Here you can see TWO of our kitchen drawers being utilized together: our cutting board drawer with our pull-out garbage drawer!

Cutting board drawer + pull-out garbage drawer = smooth efficiency magic!

With that, if you ever sold your home in future, having been forward thinking about installing kitchen drawers instead of cabinets is something we believe will get you a better resale value on your home!

See all our kitchen posts here!

If you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed because you can’t afford a full remodel but you still want to have drawers instead of cabinets, we got you covered! This outlines every single thing you need! (Some you may have thought of already; some you definitely haven’t!)

KITCHEN DRAWERS VS CABINETS

The #1 Question We’re Asked!

Another recent client project. While we’re booked through next year, you can book a design consult with us here.

I’m cracking myself up because no, no drawer companies pay me for all these passionate pro-drawer stances.😆 I’m just genuinely a die-hard drawer fan! Like I’ve written before with our laundry room, I’d probably answer to “Hey Drawer Lady!” in a crowded room. Without hesitating.

Someone will ask me,

“But what about all your large appliances? Where do you keep those, if not in a large lower cabinet shelf?”

Step right up, my friend, and let me show you one of my favorite sections of drawers (and some of our guests’ favorites too, when they see them in person!).

OUR EXTRA DEEP KITCHEN DRAWERS

Kitchen Cabinets with Deep Drawers

These are like kitchen cabinets with deep drawers, but even better! Take away that whole having-to-open-the-cabinet-door part, and you’re left with the most luscious, deep kitchen drawers!

Each of those drawers above is extra tall. We measured all our appliances, added a couple inches in case we were ever to get any larger ones in future, and BAM! Extra deep kitchen drawers. We were done! Need the blender? We just pull out a drawer and grab it. No fuss. Need the Cuisinart? No problem. Pull out the drawer and there it is! With all its extra blades and everything. Together!

I CAN NEVER GO BACK! IT’S SO GOOD!

See inside our kitchen drawers full of appliances! (As well as where I created my own baking drawer!)

(Our custom kitchen counter height helps too. See why we avoided the standard height!)

KITCHEN DRAWERS INSTEAD OF CABINETS

“Is doing kitchen drawers instead of doors more expensive?”

How valuable is your time to you?

While kitchen drawers are more expensive than just doing plain cabinets, you might want to calculate your time savings. We’ve done that with some of our kitchen hacks (like this), which has saved us thousands of hours. (And that’s just one of many we did!)

Many people ask us, “Can you replace kitchen cabinets with drawers?” The answer is YES!

(We did this in our first house’s tall pantry cabinets and loved the results! All that cubic footage converted into usable cubic footage! It blew our minds at the time, and we vowed that this house would be Drawer City!)

A glimpse of my baking drawer.

And a super-quick video below (I really do call these my “Big Poppa Drawers”😂)!

Here’s everything you need to know about converting your cabinets to drawers!

KITCHEN DRAWERS vs cabinet doors

Need Drawers In Your Other Rooms?

If you’re looking to add more drawers to your home in other areas than the kitchen, check out these examples of how we utilized different drawer configurations for maximum storage and functionality (while still keeping it beautiful):

  1. Our bathroom vanity!
  2. Our laundry room!
  3. Our multipurpose room!
  4. Our mudroom entryway!

To get your own drawers organized (feels so good!), get our organization videos or drawer divider DIYs here!

Next…

We’re booked with design clients through next year but you can get our kitchen organization and/or design help both with videos and printables here.

  1. 5 brilliant kitchen organization ideas that’ll make your life easier!
  2. Why you should AVOID standard counter height!
  3. How we made our kitchen look bigger!
  4. Should you have a double island layout in your kitchen?
  5. Why we intentionally chose NOT to do pendant lights in our kitchen (gasp)!

➜ Our complete list of every single home project is viewable HERE!

*This post contains affiliate links, which are no extra cost to you but help us keep this site alive!

And a short little video about how to turn your cabinets into drawers!

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Denyse

    Totally agree with drawers only. I haven’t had uppers in over 20 years!

    1. Jess

      Love hearing that. Thanks for sharing with us, Denyse!😄

      – Jess and Matt

  2. Megan

    Can you share the drawer and cabinet hardware info please?

    1. Jess

      Hi Megan! I have all those links for you under our “SHOP” section at the top of the page!☺️

      Cheers,
      Jess

  3. Tina

    You’re both far too young to appreciate this, but THE No. 1 reason to have drawers instead of cupboards is avoiding the need to squat down in front of a cupboard. Trust me on this; your knees are the first joints to remind you of your age!

    1. Jess

      haha! Thanks for the warning! 🙂

      – Jess

  4. Denell Wilson

    Thanks for the great readable blog information, humor combined with straightforward advice and reasoning is wonderful. I so appreciate the ironing board information. Already knew the closet was the best place, never considered or knew about your variation. We’re on our 4th build and/or remodel and deep into the details of planning and listing for the contractor before work begins. Playing with design, houses and creating spaces with functional beauty is a labor of love. Thanks for sharing so freely and in such an engaging manner!

    1. Jess

      Thank you for all the kind words, Denell! Glad you found the ironing board info helpful as well.

      Good luck on your renovation and you’re right, it’s a labor of love! 🙂

      – Jess & Matt

  5. Monica

    Amazing, I really love your house. 5 years ago we did same thing : drawers only and no pendants above the island. Absolutely love it and will never do cabinets (or pendants). Next year we are moving intoi a new house with kitchen double the size we have now – same thing – white cabinets, dark floors, drawer only and no pendants.

    1. Jess

      So nice, Monica–you’re a wise woman. 😉 Congrats! And thank you so much!

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