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21″ Cabinets, Pinterest Style! | Killer b. Designs



21″ Cabinets, Pinterest Style!

You may have heard by now, but I built my own kitchen cabinets using Purebond plywood and amazing plans from Ana White (which will go live starting the 21st). However today I’m going to show you how I used the plans as a jumping off point to customize my cabinets inspired by ones I’ve seen on Pinterest. Specifically, those amazing deep drawers to store your silverware upright!

It’s changed my life. Seriously. I’m one of those people who has three different full sets of forks and knives and spoons I’ve collected over the years. What can I say, I just don’t like to run out! It’s even deep enough to store my sharp cutting knives. I hide them in the back where its hard for my toddler to reach. And the drawer below is just as deep, which is perfect for corralling my explosion of tupperware. Even with those fancy snapping lids that “organize”, they always end up all over the place. So I just dump them in a drawer and move on 😉

(ps, see all that wasted space in the drawer before? So nice to fit all my forks and spoons and knives in one place now!)

Here’s how I modified the plan:

• I started with the 21″ carcass plans found on Ana (I’ll link to the plans here as soon as they’re live :) ) . You don’t need a shelf for this one, just an empty carcass with a bottom and the braces on the top.

• Next I built and attached the face frame, with a divider right smack dab in the center.

I used 20″ drawer slides for the drawers and installed them with the instructions on the slides. I had to add a 3/4″ thick cleat on the sides so my drawers would clear the lip.

Here are my measurements for the drawers:
boxes: 19.5″ L, 16.5″ W, 11 1/4″ D
faces: I built a frame out of 1×3’s measuring 20.25″ L x 15″ H  and used 3/4″ ply for the backing. Then I just screwed straight through the box into the backing and voila! Drawers!

[important]I added the faces once the drawers were inside the base, so they would be straight. DO NOT DO THIS! Wait until you install your cabinets, then put on the drawer faces. Because even new houses aren’t perfectly square like my beautiful cabinets used to be. Oh, no. They are crazy and full of angles and your beautiful, lovely, perfectly straight doors and drawers will look like the Cat in the Hat put them on. And you will curse the skies and shake your fist. So please, wait. Don’t get impatient like me and be desperate for the finished product. Paint ’em separately then put them on, and things will be straight and lovely and divine. [/important]

So that’s how I made my drawers. My next customization? A paper towel storage compartment!

I loved the idea of getting the paper towels off the counter, but wasn’t sold on having them in plain site all the time. Once the roll starts to get empty you see all the space around it and to me that’s just messy. So instead, I built my 21″ cabinet just like the plan to begin with.

• I started with the carcass and built the face frame to Ana’s dimensions. You can see the divider up at the top that’s typically for a drawer.

• Instead of building the drawer box, I added a shelf with Purebond plywood. That way I could store all my extra rolls in the back behind the roll I’m using.

• Next I made the drawer front into a flip-up door with some matching hardware at the top. My knob is in the same place that my drawer knobs are.

• Finally I used a basic closet-rod hardware kit to hang the towels. I used a scrap piece of dowel rod we had on hand and cut it to size. Voila! Instant paper towel storage! (well, instant after those some odd 6 hours to get that one cabinet built, sanded, painted, glossed and finished that is).

So there you have it. How I took a basic 21″ cabinet plan and altered it to fit my kitchen’s needs. When you DIY, the options really are endless! So check out Pinterest and Houzz for inspiration, as well as upscale cabinet websites. And consider using Purebond for your plywood carcasses. It’s formaldehyde free so you have no off-gassing. I chose 3/4″ for all my cabinets because I love how sturdy and strong it made them. Even though I knew I wanted to paint them (with butcherblock countertops it would have gotten crazy with the wood tones) but the grain is crazy beautiful when finished. I promise you’ll have a professional look when you work with the good stuff. Sorry to be so long-winded today, but I hope that helped! And I’ll update all the links to the plans once they’re live in a few days.

Happy Building!

 Pure Bond Pledge


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  1. Jake

    Killer, your hubby must love you. While he is watching the game your in the garage building cabinets and installing them. AAH the perfect marriage! Do you have silencers on your drills and saws so he hear the announcers and the halftime show? Seriously I am always impressed with your inventiveness and courage to try something new. Keep it up. You inspire us.

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      Jake, he’s happy with the end result, not so much the process. Luckily I seem to have found myself that rare breed, a guy who could care LESS about sports! And thank goodness, because they bore me senseless. Except tennis. I can get into some tennis 😉 He mostly likes to watch hunting shows where they shoot deer so noise isn’t a problem. I’ll take an outdoorsman over an athlete any day!

  2. Amanda

    I love this! It looks like it would be so nice! I’ll never cease to be impressed by your amazing skills!

    1. Thank you Amanda, you’re too kind :) Maybe one day you guys will be building some too!

  3. Jami @ What the Graham

    You’ve totally inspired us! When we buy our next house (this year or beginning of next) we’re custom building cabinets! I LOVE them!

    1. That’s awesome, you’ll LOVE handbuilt cabinets!

  4. Scott

    Love this, Love the Red Island!! Love your website!!

    1. Thanks so much Scott!

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