1. All cupboards should extend to the ceiling. Otherwise the top becomes a "catch all" and dust catcher.

2. Where ceilings are high there should be two doors on cupboards. The upper one should be a small door, which opens to shelves storing things seldom used. A long door is more difficult to open and taxes hinges and latches.

3. Wood panels are preferred to glass in kitchen cupboards.

4. Where swinging doors do not conveniently fit into a space, sliding doors may be used.

5. Cupboard shelves should be placed 16 to 18 inches above the work-table in the combination cupboard and worktable unit. This gives room to use the table beneath and low enough to prevent one's head bumping against the edges of an open door.

6. Cupboard shelves should not be too wide. Definitely plan their use, so that but one row of articles can be stored on them, thus preventing unnecessary reaching behind or "hunting" for articles.

7. Shelves should have an adjustable arrangement at the side so that they may be changed in distance apart to suit various needs.

8. Where permanent shelves are both too wide and too far apart an extra narrow shelf may be added to conserve storage space.

9. Cupboard shelves are easiest to clean when enameled or covered with oilcloth smoothly pasted.


1. Since more work is done at the worktable than at any other work center, the table should be placed before a window where the light is good and there is a possibility of a pleasant view for the worker.

2. The table combined in a unit with cupboards above and drawers below should be about 2 1/2 feet wide.

3. Toe room should be provided by extending the table four or five inches beyond the line of the base, or by recessing for three or four inches the base next the floor.

4. Knee room should be provided for comfort while sitting at work by an opening under which knees and feet may be placed or by an extension leaf or board, as provided in office desks.

1 Adapted from Finishes and Furnishings for the Kitchen. Iowa State College, 1929.

5. Materials for work table tops are porcelain, enameled iron, a material which is an alloy of copper and zinc, linoleum cemented down, and composition material. Tile and composition tops are harder to clean, nonresilient and tend to chip dishes. Porcelain tops to fit any size table may be secured.

6. Providing the right height for the worker at the table is essential. If a small table is available, in addition to the cabinet unit, one height may be planned for each, to be determined by the tasks generally done at each. A simple test is that of standing before the table and, without stooping, placing the hands, palms down, over the table. The table is of proper height when the palms can be laid flat on the table without stooping. If the palms are three inches above the table, it should be raised three inches, giving the required working height. Portable tables may be raised by ball bearing casters or small hollowed out wooden blocks. One commercial firm furnishes detachable legs of different heights for tables and cabinets. To lower tables, saw off legs and replace casters.

Drawers And Bins In The Built-In Unit

1. The space beneath the usual built-in work table is divided into molding board, drawers, bins for flour and sugar.

2. Drawers should operate on guides to prevent binding when pushed in or pulled out. It is good construction to have a stop to prevent the drawer from going back farther than flush with the face of the unit. Drawers should not be too deep as space is likely to be wasted and are likely to cause unnecessary handling of the contents. A drawer too deep may be made more convenient by placing a movable tray on strips of wood nailed to the sides of the drawer on which the tray may rest and be pushed forward and backward, permitting the reaching of stored material below. Plan the depth of drawers to conform with their intended use. Removable partitions should be made to separate equipment.

Drawers placed so they extend down to the floor are better than cupboards as they may be pulled out and the contents seen without stooping.

Bins for flour and sugar may be of the dump type or metal containers resting on a platform fastened to a door, with strong hinges..

[Note. - A variety of kitchen cabinets recently have been developed, and kitchen assemblies of different kinds include almost everything that may be classed as kitchen furniture and equipment. These units are sufficiently large to cover the entire area between floor and ceiling and a large portion of the wall-space.]