Michigan House Update – Cabinet Layout Choice

I wish I was back from our trip to Michigan with a HUGE update for you on our house up there. I seriously do. While we were there the house was under construction & windows were being ripped out to put new ones in, the floors are still gone, there isn’t a kitchen, but we are making progress & it will be done {livable} by November. While home this past week we did some more cleaning up around the house, but nothing to major since it was such a short busy trip. My wonderful Grandpa has painted the whole house including the ceilings & has done so much of the tedious work in there. It’s starting to look brand new. This week all of our windows will be replaced & some window will be turning into doors… the good stuff has started! We have our kitchen cabinets picked out, and we have narrowed down the flooring and countertops, but I will be back later with a post on that. For now,I need your help on a big decision! So, in our kitchen next to the refrigerator we are placing cabinets. The problem? There are so many routes we can take with the cabinet. I have three layouts shown below & want your help to decide which one we should choose!


This is the space before it was all torn out, gutted, and painted {photo taken 2 years ago}.  The cabinet will be to the left on the wall & the refrigerator will be on the right.




This is another angle of the space after the kitchen was all gutted & primed.

Galvan pantry area
Galvan 3 cabinet way3.
Galvan pantry way
A couple of quick facts before you help me decided on a layout, the cabinets will be white, we have another closet pantry, but this one will be used for lots of storage as well, the kitchen is very small so the more storage the better! I feel like I have a choice already, but I want to hear your thoughts, opinions, & experience! Let me know if you would choose 1,2, or 3 in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Instagram! I can’t wait to hear what you think! xx


  1. Jessica I says:

    I like 1. The drawers would be more functional because sometimes that upper, smaller cabinet doesn’t get used. I am also the main cook in my house, so I like having a counter next to the fridge that I can use to put ingredients I pull out of the fridge onto a counter and make one “trip” into the fridge. I am also a baker (and married to a chef) and I always wish we had more drawers!! I also like the counter for putting a bowl on when I get the milk out of the fridge for my cereal. I hope that makes sense!! And I am assuming it is a counter in the picture, but I could be wrong!

  2. Margie Smith says:

    Agreed. Need a place to put stuff when taking out of fridge.
    It will be lovely. Please send your wonderful grandfather to me when he is done with your place. lol.

  3. We have a very small kitchen and and a large family… I feed up to 8 people daily (I love to cook!) We are remodeling starting in a couple of weeks and I chose an option like the third rendering. I might add slide-out drawers to the pantry and we may go with glass front doors to lighten the look. We’re adding a small island which is within *very* easy reach of everything in the kitchen (so a place to set things down easily isn’t an issue for us.) I’d rather utilize the space by the fridge as much as possible to leave room for a small antique farmhouse table and chairs in the opposite corner. Just a thought…I know you will make your new home AMAZING! Enjoy the process!! :-)

  4. #3 – you always need storage and when you take things out of the refrigerator you can sit it on the island. Can’t wait till its finished. Enjoy!

    • Cathy W says:

      Liz, I suggest 3 because inside the pantry doors you can incorporate drawers as well as a pull out “cutting board” for loading or unloading the fridge. Putting the board away too. You have excellent “help” to guide you along will make it so much better. “Gramps” seems to be very handy. And you want to be happy in your new home So why not spend the extra bucks and incorporate drawers on one side in that pantry too? And make those helpers a great dinner!!! Whatever you decide, I know it will be perfect, nothing less! Be patient! And good luck!

  5. Lindsay Smith says:

    I really like #1. It looks more like custom cabinets and is visually more interesting. It also looks as though it can be organized better than just a cabinet with shelving. I also think having a little counter spacer is handy next to the fridge for when you need multiple things out if it. The only downside to the first two though is that the cabinets and drawers are shallow so you would lose a little space as well. But you do such great work, it will look beautiful no matter which one you choose!

  6. Aunty Lisa says:

    Hi! Miss you already!! My favorite is #1 but #3 is much more practical for the space that you have. I don’t think you will every regret having the extra storage space. Good luck with your decision! Love you!!

  7. baileywife says:

    I like #2, because you need a little counter space next to the fridge as you take stuff out, pour drinks, etc. I would use it as a coffee/ drink station. Looks like a cool spot for a CHALKBOARD behind too. I know you want a family and for us, we need that counter space. Whatever you decide, it will be perfect for you! ~Kim

  8. I like number 2 also, seems that would be the best of both, counter space and storage, especially if you already have a designated space for a pantry.

  9. I think 1 & 2 are more visually pleasing. 3 is more practical, but who needs practical…. Good luck with your decision.

  10. Option 3 – if it counts, I’m from Portugal sooooo give a chance to your portuguese reader. We really need lots of space for storage in the kitchen.

  11. Hello! I like 3…i think it will get you alot more storage space in the long run. Good Luck with everything!

  12. definitely 3, I think you are vertically challenged (short) like me and I think it would be real tough looking in those drawers and the other option with the little counter doesn’t look quite right…only to me though. You will make the best decision for yourselves! Good Luck!

  13. Tiffany says:

    Hi Liz!!
    I vote for #3. But suggest pull outs in the portion half. They make things easily accessible, so that you don’t have to dig for items. Also I notice that it seems like the stove area is open on one side. You might think about making sure it is more built in. Having countertop space on either side is more functional. I don’t know what the rest looks like but I suggest drawers drawers drawers! The big deep ones for the base cabinets, they are AMAZING and easily accessible, you don’t have to crawl on the floor to find things in your base cabinets.
    Whatever you decide will be fabulous! I look forward to seeing the end result!

  14. I like #1! More drawers, for me, is always better. When faced with organizing a cabinet vs a set of drawers of equal space I’m always more likely to keep the drawers more organized and to use the space more efficiently. So that’s my 2 cents :)

  15. Maria Ward says:

    #3. I can’t wait to see the progress!

  16. #3 gets my vote–storage!

  17. Lauren Flanery says:

    I love option #1. #2 is nice as well, but I think #3 is too much! Love all your posts and everything about your style! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  18. I like #1…..just looking at the big picture!

  19. I would got with #2 if you’re looking for a place to store mops/brooms/buckets/cleaning supplies… otherwise 2! :)

  20. Shannon says:


  21. Michele Terry says:

    # 1 NO DOUBT….those small drawers for items such as corn holders, spreaders, thermometer, etc will come in handy!

  22. I just love your blog. Beautiful layout, pictures, etc.
    I like option #2
    Thanks for sharing!

  23. I like #1 or #2. I can see how #3 would be practical, but I think its a bit boring and generic looking. #1 and 2 are more interesting and would bring more character to the kitchen, as well as being really useful.

  24. I think if storage is your main need/concern then #3 make the most sense… but I like the look of #1 the best (all look great though). Can’t wait to see what you decide to go with :)

  25. We are in the thick of cabinet drawings now with our renovation too! I personally like #3. I think it helps the fridge blend in with the cabinetry and would be great use of storage for additional pantry items or larger kitchen items. But all three will look great!

  26. #3 if you need storage! Howver will the extra counterspace be helpful if you choose one of the other options? If no, def 3 bc you can arrange the shelves insdide the way you need to! Either way it will looks amazing as you always make beautiful decisions :)

  27. Alyssa LeTourneau says:

    #3 – most utilized space and can give you the most options to customize the inside.

  28. Tara Doll says:


  29. I love 1! Im a big fan of drawers!! :-) cant wait to see

  30. Hmm. That’s a hard one. The counter top on 1 and 2 don’t really make much sense if you can’t use both the drawer or cabinet and the counter at the same time. The counter space would have to be clear to access the drawer or the cabinet door. So for making the most use of the space I would have to say 3. If you are looking at option 1 or 2 you might consider building out the upper cabinets or drawers to the same depth as the lower cabinet and install a pull out cutting board/counter surface. It doesn’t change the ability to use both the drawers and the counter top but it will give you more storage space.

  31. I think 3 with slide out shelves will make you happy….and I want you happy!! -)

  32. My parent have 3 I like it because it right next to the fridge you can keep glasses or food right there!

  33. I like #3. You can never have too much storage. Especially in the kitchen.

  34. Caroline says:

    I vote for 3, it’s a more streamlined look and in a small space you need that, also it would have by far the most storage and the most easily accessible storage. I am sure that whatever you choose will be right for you and it will look fabulous!!!

  35. If you need more drawers than #1 otherwise I personally would do #3

  36. I personally like #1 but 3 is probably more practical storage. Oh, to be plagued with such decisions. It will be beautiful with whichever number you choose! Good luck!

  37. I vote #1 – it feels more open – the others just feel closed in….and the drawers add a nice texture and difference to other kitchens. But I don’t doubt it will look stunning however you do it!

  38. Hi Liz!
    I really like #1 the most, with #2 running a close second! It all depends on if you need more drawer space, or if you need more cabinet/ shelf space.
    Visually, #1 appeals to my eye the most!

    It’s gonna be great! Can’t wait to see the finished house!
    Blessings, Juju

  39. Katherine says:

    My vote is a modified #2 :)

    I think you could really benefit from some counter space right there, so I would say option #2 but without that middle cabinet. Instead, put a small counter.
    That way, you have a little recessed counter area with drawers on the bottom & one over the top.

  40. If you don’t need tht little bit of counter space, I would choose three for sure!

  41. I really like option #1. It has great storage and good visual appeal. If you like the deeper storage I would go with #3, I understand what it’s like living with a small space and needing kitchen storage. Personally I have found that deep storage tends to give you places to lose things and makes it more difficult to organize. I love #1 for that reason. Drawers and shallow storage have never let me down!

  42. I like 2 and I would add a shelf in there 1/2 way and use it as an “appliance” garage for toaster, blender, etc.

  43. #3! It will make your refrigerator look built in and you wouldn’t really be able to use both the countertop space AND the drawers at the same time.

  44. Chris Srock says:

    If you don’t have a pantry anywhere else in your layout then definitely go with number 3. I have a closet/pantry and turned another closet into a pantry. You will love having a hearty supply of food on hand in the great Michigan winter’s and you don’t have to run to the store when it’s snowy and cold outside.

  45. I had #3 in my last house and I miss it. The pantry had all full-extension drawers and they were amazing for storage.

    With that being said, I have something similar to #2 in this house and I do like having a counter directly next to the refrigerator for reasons other readers stated. That’s a tough decision. Pantry space is tough to lose. If you already have a pantry, then I would go with 1 or 2 (I like 1 the best).

    Either way, I know your space will be amazing! Love your ideas. You’re a talented lady :)

  46. Just had to cast my vote. I like #3. I had something similar to this in a house we remodled and there were pullout draweres inside the cabinets. I like that there are clean lines that compliment the refrigerator. I’m sure anything you decide will look amazing!

  47. I vote for three, but would go with 1 door, with pull out drawers. We have that configuration and it keeps us very organized and has a nice built in look for the refrigerator. With 1 two foot wide door you can open it with just one hand, two small doors require two hands to open and close.

  48. #2…. I think you will want the counter space beside the refrigerator.

  49. #3 for the win!!!

  50. I vote #1…this layout adds so much more interest. However, I understand the need to utilize the entire space so #3 would be my second choice! Good luck with everything. We’re on the move as well. House goes on the market Monday and we’re moving out of state. Here we go again!!! :)

  51. Evelyn W. Stock says:

    I will go for #3, because that one can hold more things than the other two designs. I am waiting to see your remodelled place. I am also someone with great interest in remodelling. Last time for my sisters birthday I remodelled our house to resemble a victorian castle ball room. I even got french victorian furniture to complete the efect.

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