Santos plinth drawer unit: a unique option to make the most of kitchen storage capacity



The plinth drawer unit, an exclusive development by the Santos kitchens furniture brand, received the Award for Best Integrated Product Design at the 2024 Casa Decor Interior Design and Design Awards. This article outlines the main factors that define it and make it a unique product, devised to maximise the storage capacity of kitchen units. 

Optimisation | More capacity in each unit

In-line open-plan Santos kitchen with glass door unit

Over its long history designing and creating kitchens, Santos has found that it is never excessive to give space an additional use. This reality is even more obvious today since, along with a progressive reduction of the average surface area in homes, there is an increasing need for available space in kitchens, both for storage and for cooking or hosting guests.

Kitchen with glass door unit and plenty of storage space.
Santos plinth drawer in an in-line kitchen.

The plinth drawer unit is a development that has emerged from the brand’s experience and active approach in this field, offering a solution aimed at obtaining the maximum useable net volume for the overall available space. Thus, one of its main assets is that it manages to make the most of the height dimension, as its base is always 2 cm from the floor, regardless of the level of the worktop, making it possible to make the most of the space inside.


Accessibility | Everything organised and within reach

Underworktop Santos plinth drawer .
Santos plinth drawer with 4 levels of storage.

The Santos plinth drawer unit makes it possible to make the most of all the height and depth available under the worktop, expanding the capacity of the kitchen base units down to the floor. Thus, it is possible to have up to four easy-to-access levels of storage in each unit.

Santos plinth drawer storage.

The elements that are used most often are found in drawers which can be completely pulled out, and have load capacities of up to seventy kilos, located in the most comfortable area for the user while the plinth drawer unit, with a capacity that can be likened to that of a bin, is used for large elements or those which are used less often.

Ergonomics | Convenience without wasting useable space

Open-plan black Santos kitchen with island.

Kitchen cabinets, in addition to offering the greatest possible storage capacity in their bottom space, must make it possible to work comfortably on their upper surface. Traditional plinths aim to facilitate the latter aspect, meeting a series of standards and requirements aimed at letting the user approach the unit without bumping into its base area. However, these plinths measuring between 10 and 18 cm high take up space that prevents the use of the entire internal space of the unit, resulting in a loss of storage capacity.

Plinth drawer unit with tilted front design.
Santos kitchens island with plinth drawer unit .

The Santos plinth drawer unit manages to overcome this disadvantage and combine both factors, maximising the capacity of units without hindering access to the work surface. The key resides in the design of its front, tilted inward, which enables an ergonomic approach to the worktop and prevents annoying bumps when working near the unit.

Adjustable height plinth drawer unit

Also, the plinth drawer unit makes it easy to adjust the furniture to the height of the user without wasting storage space. In traditional projection systems, the total height of the unit is normally adjusted by increasing the height of the plinth, which reduces the useable volume. With the system developed by Santos, possible adjustments are made through height modulations of the plinth drawer unit itself —24, 26 or 28 cm—, from 2 cm off the ground.

Versatility | Additional storage in the washing-up area

Plinth drawer unit under sink unit
Santos plinth drawer unit under sink.
Utensils storage drawer under sink.

The Santos plinth drawer unit can also be built into the washing-up area, under the sink unit, adding a useable double drawer with a depth of up to 60 cm and a sufficient height to store cleaning products and tools, pots and food packages. In this case, the drawer unit offers the best height for the sink unit, both in terms of use and ergonomics; and makes it possible to separately use the bottom drawer unit however you want to.

Aesthetic | Fully integrated into the kitchen design

Fully integrated Santos plinth drawer unit.

At an aesthetic level, the plinth drawer unit offers a natural transition with the 2 cm plinth and a visual alignment with the other fronts of the drawer unit as, unlike other existing options, the material is common and does not vary.

Dishwasher built into plinth drawer .
Santos kitchen cabinets uniformity of design.

Santos has also developed specific solutions for the integration of dishwashers or worktop hoods in kitchens with plinth drawer units. These systems manage to respect the tilt of the fronts, which helps to strengthen the overall uniformity and harmony.

A unique design recognised at Casa Decor 2024

Santos wood kitchen with island and glass door unit.
Photography: Lupe Clemente

The Santos plinth drawer unit, present at the brand’s exhibition space at Casa Decor 2024, was distinguished with the Award for Best Integrated Product Design at the XII Interior Design and Design Awards.

XII Interior Design and Design Awards.
Photography: The Big Fish

The competition jury, comprised of renowned professionals from the architecture, décor, interior design, and publishing sectors, made its decision based on the fact that the plinth drawer unit is “a simple and clever design, that achieves an innovative solution for a domestic space like the kitchen.” Casa Decor also referred to it as a design “that is not to be viewed as a plinth but rather as an extension of the unit, thus giving it a key role like any other element in the kitchen.”

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