As promised in my recent blog DINNER PLATES: Options for Storage, I am blogging about the mistakes to avoid when designing where you will store your plates in your dream kitchen.

I. Upper Cabinet Shelf If you choose what is the most common method for dinner plate storage, the upper cabinet shelf, you will want to measure the diameter of your dinner plate and specify that the upper cabinet depth with the cabinet doors closed be that measurement deep. You would be quite surprised at how often a person who has remodeled their kitchen or built a new home with their dream kitchen moves in only to learn their plates are too big for the cabinet door to close tightly. The old standard measure for upper cabinet shelves was approximately 12" deep. With everything becoming oversized, including our dinner plates, the plates have grown but the standard cabinet shelf depth has remained the same. If you were to look at your grandmother's dinner plate, you would think it was today's salad plate!

II. Vertical Plate Storage If you choose vertical plate storage, (1) be sure to measure the diameter of the plate you are storing to make sure the plate will fit the opening specified on the drawings. Do not make this too snug of a fit as you will need space to lift the plate in order to clear the rail that holds it in place. (2) Use this same measurement for the depth of the storage slot. (3) Additionally, measure the height of your plate if it was place on a counter to make sure the distance between the slots is sufficient. (4) Identify the number of plates you will be storing making sure there are enough slots specified to hold your plates. (5) If using two tiers of vertical plate storage, decide if you want the upper tier a little shorter for salad plates or do you want both tiers the same height. I recommend if using two tiers that the larger plate be stored in the bottom tier.


The location of the plates should be near the dishwasher for easy unloading or near the dinner table for easy table setting. Do not locate the vertical storage shelf too close to the stovetop lest all of your places will be coated by the odors emitted from the stove. (7) Do not store the plates too high for safety reasons. (8) Do not store the plates above a microwave or appliance garage. You want an open counter below the plates to be able to stack them when taking them down or to place a stack before individually putting them in the slot. (9) I would refrain from storing the plates over a sink, as shown in one of the photos, as the steam from using the sink will coat them. Also, depending on the plate size, you could bump your head.

III. Drawer Storage I like the idea of a device such as a peg or dividers to hold plates in place in a drawer so the stacks don't move when opening and closing the drawers shown in the picture below. Look at the bottom of the drawer and you can see the peg board which gives you the flexiblity of moving the pegs to accommodate your plate sizes. You will want your plates stored in the top drawer underneath the counter so you will not have to bend down too far. Also, do not make the drawers too large because in time the weight will stress most drawer glides. Instead of one large drawer consider two or more smaller drawers depending on how much china you are storing.
IV. Pull out Shelves Behind Cabinet Doors I am not a fan of pull out shelves for one main reason. In order to pull them out even a short distance, the cabinet door or doors must be fully open. If not fully open, the shelf will ram into the cabinet door creating marks. See photo below how the door is fully open.