Kitchen Corner Cabinet Storage Solutions

Virtually every kitchen has one, and yet most homeowners wish they didn’t. What am I referring to? The dreaded corner cabinet!

Corner cabinets, especially base cabinets, are often called the Bermuda Triangle of the kitchen. It’s where mono-tasking appliances, football-shaped cake pans and anything else not used frequently finds its final resting spot.

Technically, it’s understandable why corner cabinetry has gotten such a bad reputation. First, a person’s comfortable reach is a bit under two feet. To touch the farthest reaches of a corner cabinet could well be half again as much, requiring you to stick your torso into the cabinet. That’s no fun!

And there’s another problem. Because corner cabinet doors are often obstructed by the angle, it can be very difficult to see into the farthest recesses of the cabinet. You can’t grab what you can’t see!

But don’t worry. There are a number of brilliant ways to make great use of the corner storage space. Below, you’ll find some of my favorite solutions at various price points. And if you live in the Harrisburg or Hershey area, come visit our showroom where you will find several solutions incorporated into our kitchen vignettes. You should touch, feel and pull on a corner cabinet solution to know if it will work for you!

 

Designing Away the Dead Corner Cabinet

York-PA-Contemporary-Kitchen-Remodel-03-1980w

A corner sink makes excellent use of often wasted space. This is a York PA transitional remodeling project of ours.

At Mother Hubbard’s, one of our favorite techniques is to use design to overcome the problems with corner cabinetry. The challenge with a corner cabinet stems from the hard, 90-degree angle that elongates the space between the front and back of the corner. A smart designer can minimize the dead space by changing the single 90-degree angle into two 45 degree bends. As the featured image at the top of this post highlights, not only does this offer better access to the corner storage, it also opens up design possibilities. Indeed, we’re fans of unique accessories such as wicker baskets on sliding wooden pull-outs or a corner sink like our York PA project shown here.

Pluses:

  • Can be designed into a remodeling project at a reasonable cost
  • Provides an opportunity for design creativity and individuality
  • Frees up floor space and can eliminate cumbersome corner doors

Minuses:

  • Some dead space in the deepest part of the corner still exists
  • Not appropriate as an aftermarket solution

 

The Lazy Susan

Typical-corner-cabinet-lazy-susanIt will come as no surprise the one of the simplest and most affordable solutions is the Lazy Susan. Two or three round trays attached to a rotating pole, the Lazy Susan offers fairly easy access to light items that sit on the trays. It’s a workable solution, but it’s far from perfect.

Pluses:

  • Inexpensive
  • Universally available

Minuses:

  • Doesn’t make the best use of the corner space
  • Often cannot hold heavy items
  • Prone to breaking largely because of use of inexpensive parts

 

The Super Susan

corner-cabinet-super-susan-doors-open

Super Susan rotating shelves with an articulated door in our showroom

Like its cousin, the Lazy Susan, a Super Susan utilizes a round tray with a pie-shaped cut-out for the corner. However, Super Susan’s are supported by a fixed shelf and rotate on a ball bearing turntable. The advantages are much improved durability and the ability to hold heavy objects.

Pluses:

  • Moderate expense
  • Widely available from cabinet manufacturers
  • Can hold heavy objects

Minuses

  • Doesn’t make the best use of the corner space
  • Requires an articulated door that can bang adjoining cabinetry

 

Swing-Out Cabinets

Corner-cabinet-swing-out-hafele-shelf

A Häfele LeMans swing-out corner cabinet solution in our Mechanicsburg showroom

Swing-out cabinets have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until Häfele came out with their LeMans Corner that the reputation and reliability of swing-outs grew. Like a Lazy Susan, the Häfele corner shelves are pole mounted. Unlike the Lazy Susan, the supporting pole is mounted on the vertical interior of the cabinet providing a level of stability that allows them to carry heavy objects.

The Häfele swing-out is also unique in that it works with a standard door, eliminating the articulated bi-fold doors that some find objectionable.

Recently, several manufacturers, including Rev-a-Shelf, have designed swing-out cabinets that don’t just pull out – they pull away from the cabinetry. These complex push-me, pull-you mechanisms seem more appropriate for industrial application, but if you want to utilize every square inch, they’re worth considering.

Pluses:

  • Makes excellent use of available space
  • Can carry heavy loads
  • Offers easy, unobstructed access to items
  • Can be installed as an aftermarket option

Minuses:

  • Pricing for swing-outs and pull-outs start at $500 and move quickly higher
  • Pull-outs require an articulated door that can bang adjoining cabinetry
  • Reliability of pull-outs is still an unknown

 

Chevron Drawers

katie-bosch-chevron-draws-pinterestChevron drawers are making a comeback. If you haven’t seen a set recently, here’s a good sample pinned by Katie Bosch in her Houses Pinterest board. There is certainly a uniqueness to the chevron drawers that is appealing, but I wonder if that appeal would wear off with daily use. You still have wasted space in the back of the cabinet, as it’s normally only the drawer front that has the unique shape. And where the sides of the drawer come to a very acute angle at the corners, it’s just not the most usable space. Think about how dust and little-bits collect in the corner of your standard drawers. Now, imagine if that corner came to a tight point. And clunking a hip with that sharp edge?  No thank you!

Nonetheless, style does count, so here are my thoughts on Chevron drawers.

Pluses:

  • Provides an opportunity for design creativity and individuality
  • A sturdy solution for heavy items
  • Additional drawer space in a kitchen where it’s limited

Minuses:

  • Some dead space in the deepest part of the corner still exists
  • Not appropriate as an aftermarket solution
  • Might be cumbersome for every-day use

 

The Right Corner Cabinet Storage Solution for Your Home

No matter what solution you choose, know that your kitchen Bermuda Triangle can be tamed by utilizing one of our recommendations above. There are many other potential solutions to improve the use of your corner cabinet space. Come visit us in our showroom to discuss the possibilities or hit the chat button on the right and we’ll offer some expert advice at no cost.

John Petrie

John Petrie

John Petrie, owner of Mother Hubbard's Custom Cabinetry in Mechanicsburg, PA, has been designing award-winning kitchens for 25 years. John is the 2014 Past President of NKBA and is active in several national kitchen design and remodeling industry groups.
John Petrie

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John Petrie
John Petrie
John Petrie, owner of Mother Hubbard's Custom Cabinetry in Mechanicsburg, PA, has been designing award-winning kitchens for 25 years. John is the 2014 Past President of NKBA and is active in several national kitchen design and remodeling industry groups.