October 22, 2018

Storage Wars - Custom Kitchen Roll-Out Drawers

As a now family of four, space is tight in our new two bedroom condo. Storage is at a premium, which means we're pulling out all of the stops to fit the belongings of two adults, a toddler and an infant into 700(ish) square feet. Where there’s room for additional storage, we’ve found it - every nook, cranny and crevice. It’s a full on storage war.

This includes the kitchen space. Specifically, the kitchen island cupboards.

Custom Kitchen Roll-Out Drawers

Since moving in to our new space in May, our island cupboards have been the place where kitchen utensils, appliances, pots, pans, etc. go to die. 

Oh the things you can find - from the normal pots and pans, to things we probably don’t need and will never use but are saving “just in case”. For example, there’s a sushi bazooka in there. Seriously. It’s still in the box.

If you don't believe me, see the "before" for yourself. A mess, am I right?

Custom DIY Rollout Drawers - Before

While the amount of space in the island is generous, it’s not maximized to its full potential. The problem with these lower cabinets is that they are too deep. Stuff gets pushed to the back and forgotten, much like that sushi bazooka we just had to have.

Without getting lost in there myself, the easiest way to reach these items is to have them come to us. Enter custom DIY roll-out drawers.

Yes, I said custom do-it-yourself.

Sure, you can have someone do the work for you. But, after an estimate came back at just over $1,600 (and a mom - aka me - that nearly lost her cookies because of it), we decided to look elsewhere. 

Sure, you can buy pre-made drawers. But, they’re expensive and, well, pre-made - no surprise that our cupboards do not fit the usual specs. 

So, a custom DIY build it was.

Custom Rollout Drawer DIY

My husband was gung-ho from the very beginning. And after some thorough research, and one handy father-in-law, he knew he could tackle it.

We turned to the Home Depot Canada for all of the supplies we needed - most importantly the wood, sliders, Kreg jig and screws. 

Living in a small space, the number and size of tools we can have is limited to the necessities (much to my husband’s disappointment), so we also took full advantage of the Home Depot’s lumber cutting service and had all of the pieces we needed cut to size before we left the store. 

Custom Kitchen Roll-Out Drawers DIY

Lets just say, the project was a learning experience. If you asked my husband, he wouldn't say it was difficult (in fact, he's already planning his next project), but he would say it took a bit of trial and error and some creativity. Some things didn't go according to plan, and some improvising was required. But, once the first drawer was installed, we were rolling (no pun intended). 

Custom Kitchen Roll-Out Drawers DIY

After a bit of back and forth, we ended up leaving the existing shelving in place and putting the drawers on top. Not only did this add some extra support, but it also helped to ensure the drawers were level during installation. 

Not only do the roll-outs allow us to take adventure of the depth of the cupboards, they also make use of the height of the island. We took full advantage of the vertical space, putting the bottom and middle drawers at heights so that pots, pans, dishes, etc. could be stacked. Wanting to remove the clutter from the counter, we made the top drawer more shallow to store our utensils and knives. Eventually we may put some dividers in the top drawer to separate utensils, but that’s a project for a difference time. 

Since the drawers are hidden behind cupboard doors, we also didn’t paint them, and instead left them the natural wood colour (we invested in a higher quality plywood for this purpose). Painting is also another project for another time. 

Custom Kitchen Roll-Out Drawers

We’re so happy with how the drawers turned out, and how organized our island cupboards now look. Everything has a place, and everything is easy to find. 

It’s amazing how much a small change makes a big difference.

Have you tackled any home DIY projects lately? I'd love to hear!

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with the Home Depot Canada. However, all opinions are 100% that of To & Fro. Thank you Home Depot!


Custom Kitchen Roll-Out Drawers DIY

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