Carpenter installs ingenious secret drawers in kitchen

Originally published at: Carpenter installs ingenious secret drawers in kitchen | Boing Boing


I need that to hide stuff from myself.




Wait you mean there are people who don’t just shove whatever back there until it’s a mess you never want to dig into?

That really is an ingenious solution.


The pre-fab cabinet set included a Lazy Susan cabinet in the counter’s corner “dead space” which, at the time, I thought was a smart hack to deal with the otherwise wasted space

With the house construction standards and odd appliance sizes I’ve seen lately, a good carpenter could find a lot of work. I rented a place last year where a lower cabinet door couldn’t be opened because of the fridge. Worse, there was a faux upper corner cabinet hiding something (ductwork, a bad tile job - we made a guessing game out of it).
African American Wtf GIF by Identity


My folks replaced a lazy susan corner cabinet with something like this. The first two shelves are pulled out but the door being fully open, which also slides 2 more shelves in from the side.

It’s terrible. You can’t see or reach in there, that apparatus takes up so much space that the capacity is half what it was. And even just a year out it’s starting to get hinky.

I have no clue how my parents think they’ll be using that thing at all as they get older. My back can barely take digging around in there now.

The lazy susan was an awkward solution to an odd shape, but nowhere near as bad as this sort of thing.

The better more practical solution on this is probably open shelving rather than cabinets or drawers. If you don’t block the corners in this way, there isn’t the “wasted space” issue. Just opening the whole front of said awkward spot tends to solve a bunch of access issues.

Though the guy in the video has a bit of an odd “wasted space” problem in terms of having the sink right up by the stove like that. If he had the room/flexibility for it, a better lay out would have left him with more options.

My perpetual frustration with kitchens is they never seem to have been built by or for people who actually cook. Like a big storage space waster, and work flow problem in so many kitchens is tucking the trash into a cabinet or draw. Usually well away from a main work space.


I thought I was the only person this bugs the crap out of. Like, we know you have trash; we all have trash. You don’t have to try and hide it like it’s embarrassing and make it that much more difficult to toss something in the middle of a busy cooking moment.


This is great, until you get a spatula that jams up the sliding drawer, making it useless.


It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Now you’re walking across your kitchen with dripping cooking refuse, handling knobs with unsanitary hands. And like knocking chicken wrappers into the back of a cabinet where you can’t reach.

Maybe I spent too much time in restaurants. But you want your trash can right there. Right next to in the work area, it saves time and effort. It’s cleaner. You aren’t touching stuff with chicken hands.

If you just don’t trap your trash in a cabinet this is a lot easier. You can just carry it to wherever you are working. Stick it in an out of the way place when you aren’t cooking if your counters or space mean you’ll be tripping over it if you leave it close by all the time.

It’s simple. Put shit near where you’ll be using it, in order of how often you need to use it.

Sinks generally don’t need to be as close to work areas and stoves as they are. They certainly don’t need to be the center point of a kitchen the way they often are.

Fridges need to be closer to stoves and main counter space than they are. You don’t need storage for plates and cups close to work areas and major appliances. That isn’t where they’ll be used. Why are spice racks and cabinets or pantries always all the across the room? You use that stuff a lot, and you’re doing it on the other side of the room.

At least people usually think to put storage for pots and pans right near the stove.

ETA: And why is everybody allergic to open shelving in kitchens? Open shelving is brilliant. For access and allowing weird shit to fit. It’s a lot less expensive too. Look at restaurants. The entire kitchen is open shelving.

I honestly prefer when I see less cabinets in a place, leave the floor space open. Let me fill it with Metro racks however I’d like.


Neat but I suspect its all very expensive and prone to malfunction just to make up for a poor design that makes a lazy susan impractical. Though who knows what the options were for the lay out of the kitchen?


Our last house had open shelves; the problem was dust, particularly the sections of dishes that are infrequently used (for the everyday dishes this was obvs not a problem).

Also, it means everything has to be nice enough and stacked neatly enough for company to see.


We remodeled the kitchen (well, half of it) a couple of years ago and made everything easy for me to cook and bake. Okay, not easy, but easier for me physically.

This is exactly what we did. I started by ignoring all the “this goes here” traditions and looked at what I needed and used all the time, and stored all of it in a way that makes sense for me - pots and pans on the wall, utensils hanging or in a drawer right under the workspace, not over by the sink. And the workspace got moved so it was in between the stove and the fridge.
We we considering buying a house a while back, and the first thing that would have needed to be done in every house we looked at was to completely remodel the kitchen. Standard American kitchens in houses built during the last 70-80 years are badly designed and waste tons of space.


Based on the size of the cabinet opening, a lazy susan would be nigh impractical in that specific corner. This hidden drawer (aka a blind corner) is a good idea. However (and I say this as a professional carpenter and cabinet maker) if anyone is thinking of this as a upgrade consider this:

  1. The user in the video appears to be very careful with the moving of the drawers (which are empty) This means to me the hardware used is probably not the best. So don’t cheap out on the hardware for this application. You don’t want to have to be careful when you open drawers.

  2. It appears to be using a standard side mount drawer guide. I would feel a bottom mount would be a better idea. They can hold more weight and when you move the first set over you aren’t pulling on the guides as much in a direction (side to side) they aren’t made for. The bottom mount guide will also allow your drawer to be just a bit bigger.

  3. The amount of hardware installed to this cabinet means to me it needs to be installed when you build the cabinet itself. Trying to install all that hardware to a cabinet in place would be a nightmare.


Generally I’d agree with you. A lot of these sliding, wiz bang cabinets mostly seem to be an upsell from the cabinet guy. I know my folks’ was apparently ridiculous compared to other solutions.

But what he’s got going on there seems very simple. It’s just 4 normal draw rails and something for it all to slide on. With simple wooden box drawers. I think half of why innernets seems to have noticed this is it looks like a pretty affordable, DIYable way to do what has become a fairly trendy sort of cabinet.

I’m not really advocating for all open shelving. And especially when it gets to shit like dishes and glassware.

Restaurants can pull that off because everything is in constant use, even then there are cleaning problems. But space and time are at a premium and you can’t waste either on doors.

But some amount of open shelving for very commonly used stuff, near major work areas is life changing.

And like I said leaving that floor space open for me to choose is an even better solution. The apartment I just moved into has very few cabinets and little counter space. I guess it’s part of what kept the rent low. The kitchen looks impractical from a quick look. It’s basically a galley that faces the open room.

But I really don’t mind. There’s plenty of open space for me to lay things out however I world like, rather than being penned into a fixed space that’s not workable.

My dishes, pots and pans are currently in a breakfront. A piece of furniture that is specifically meant for this. With closed cabinets, draws, and counter space on top. Breakfronts seem to be pretty popular. But most people do not really use them. They seem to get filled with unused “fine china” and parked in dining rooms.

A kitchen cart, or movable kitchen island will give me a big central work spot. Right near the stove and fridge. Some metro racks (or cheaper Ikea equivalent) will give me that open shelving where ever I crave it. I can make it more workable than I could something more built out.

That’s more of a value judgement, and down to how you handle your kitchen.

I tend to keep things fairly organized to begin with, in large part because I do cook so much. But otherwise I would rather the company see that I do cook, than walk into a sterile place.

My mother yells at me a lot for leaving pots and skillets out on the stove after I clean them. I like the way it looks, and my pans are cool. She says that company should not see that.

I mean even a lot of the newly built kitchens I see that would be the case from my perspective. The current “open concept” take with a center island is better than it used to be. But they still tend not to be laid out for use.

Like it looks good to have a sink mounted in a center island. But why the hell is the sink getting place priority at the center of a kitchen. And is centering a sink worth the loss of work space?

Sticking a range in there I get. But why a sink. Even if you don’t cook much. You just cut out a bunch of entertaining/hang out space for the sake of easier dish doing.


Big ‘Yup’ about the trash can being openly available. I’d even like to see a handle on it (one–not two–since I’ll usually have something in the other hand) so I don’t have to carry it by the lid or kick it with my foot. When it’s in a cabinet under the sink it’s a PITA to empty a dustpan into, too.

ps, I’m wearing secret drawers right now!


lazy susans FTW. they are a simple solution to an awkward corner. also, the open shelving fad is finally over and can’t go away soon enough for me. anyone who actually uses their kitchen or has a pet or children knows how dirty open shelving can quickly get. open shelving is for what i call “display kitchens,” where the people order in or eat out more than cook in them.


Best house decision I’ve made was to move the fridge out of the small kitchen, into the large dining room. (In particular, one kitchen window is now visible from the rest of the floor, instead of just from the kitchen.) I don’t find myself in and out of the fridge much during cooking, only collecting ingredients at the start.

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The better decision is usually to just blow that dining room up and expand the kitchen into it’s space.

Assuming layout, structural shit and money allow it.

I’ve never actually met anyone who used a dining room as a dining room. But adaptation to the space you have is adaptation to the space you have.

Cousin of mine has a very small house with a very small kitchen that she hates. It’s maybe 10’x6’. Discussing what she should do to improve it, if she can’t take out the wall dividing it from the dining room. She needs to get the fridge, table and much of the shelving/cabinets the hell out of there and put them in the dining room.

It would be a necessary compromise to get any amount of working space. And just on the other side of the wall is still close to where you do the thing.

With unlimited time and money she would probably totally change the layout of the ground floor as it’s really old school. There is living, dining room and formal parlor as well as large bathroom. But she can’t afford that level of renovation.

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We built our house almost 30 years ago. Our kitchen is a small U shape. We couldn’t decide on the lazy susan or open shelf unit so we put one of each in both corners on either side of the stove. The thing about the lazy susan is as soon as you spin it around to grab a jar of peanut butter our one cat has radar so no matter where he is in the house he knows when it’s open. As soon as you turn to put the jar on the counter he’s inside the cabinet knocking everything off the shelve. If we spin it around and leave him in there he will go to sleep.

Kitchen designers are funny. Our kitchen was small and they tried to convince us to shrink an extra bedroom to make the kitchen wider because if we were emptying the dishwasher we wouldn’t be able to get something out of the fridge or pass each other. Every time the dishwasher is open we laugh about that.


If you are company in my home, you are welcome to see my cookware. (My two most commonly used Lodge pans live on top of the stove, of course.) If seeing these items upsets your delicate sensibilities, you are quite welcome to no longer be company again. Also, if you’re in my kitchen, there’s a chance I’m going to put you to work, although probably not because you’re not going to do whatever task I need the way I want it done. (Which is not the same thing as doing it wrong, but everyone is going to be happier if I do it.)

As for the cabinets in question, I’m kind of amused by it, but I think I’d forget about anything I put in those drawers. I’ll agree it may be useful for something for which you want to provide minimal hiding, but it’s not really serious protection even then. Cute, but kind of impractical.