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How to Position Your Kitchen Cabinets

March 23rd, 2012

By Lawrence Reaves

If you are redesigning your kitchen, you know that there is a large variety of cabinet designs from which you can choose. Picking the design and colors is one thing, but how to position and arrange your cabinets to maximize their usefulness? This is something that requires some thought, so you get the most out of your investment.

We recommend that when you are thinking about how to position your cabinets, you should attempt to balance your operable workspace, and keep design in mind. Also, remember that you also can add attractive and useful items including wine racks, pantry cabinets that fold out, and drawers that slide out. It is quite easy to blend attractive looks with a high level of functionality.

Some ideas to keep in mind:

Think of a Triangle

While you are thinking about where to put your cabinets, also consider how people in your kitchen will be moving. Think about how far it is between the various appliances and other elements that are used when you are cooking. What you really want when you do your remodeling of your kitchen is to boost function, not just the appearance.

We recommend that you think about a ‘triangle’ that connects your sink, range and fridge. To prevent too much walking and moving about, you want this triangle to be as small as you can, and still be practical. You should make sure that the positioning of your new kitchen cabinets will make this triangle work more effectively.

For instance, you might want to put a lower cabinet besides the open-door side of your fridge. This will make it easier for you to remove food from it and to set them on your counter. If you separate the three aspects of your triangle with lower cabinets, it will let the cook take out hot things from the oven and put them on the counter. It also will give more counter access by the sink for your soiled dishes. We also recommend putting an upper cabinet above your dishwasher, which makes it much more convenient to put away your dishes.

Think About the Size of Standard Cabinets

How large standard cabinets are is a factor when you are thinking about how to place your kitchen cabinets. The typical height of a base cabinet is in the area of 35 inches (usually 34.5). You need to allow for about .5 inches for the countertop thickness. So, your counter height will be around 35 inches. Your lower base cabinets are about 24 inches in depth. When you are placing these cabinets, you should think about the walking space that is front of every cabinet. We think that you need to leave about four feet of space in the front of the doors of your cabinet, as well as the drawers and stove, so you will be able to move around easier. Upper cabinets are about a foot deep, and they can be anywhere from 30 inches in height to as little as 12 inches. You also can get a large corner cabinet unit that may have a rotating shelf system (Lazy Susan) so you do not need to reach into the farthest corners of your cabinets.

Think About Design

Function is very important in your kitchen, but of course you want it to look stylish too. Try to use the appeal of symmetry. You should place your upper cabinets that are the same size on the opposite sides of your sink and cooking range. Try to put your tall, pantry sort of cabinet near the fridge to mask the side that is the closest to the family room. Think about putting in a base cabinet or even an island one that has an eating bar attached on the rear side. This would give you a very pleasant-looking eating area and does not take up much room.

Lawrence Reaves is a writer for Hamilton Beach. Go here to see the full line of Hamilton Beach Ovens, Roaster Ovens and kitchen appliances.

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