9 Must-Know Storage Fixes for Corner Kitchen Cabinets
Make the most of your corner kitchen cabinets with these foolproof storage solutions, including pullouts, Lazy Susans and more!
If your home features a U- or L-shaped kitchen floor plan, you may have wondered what to do with a pesky corner cabinet. While it’s true that they can offer a lot of storage space, they don’t always make it very convenient to access the stored items. Here are a few options to help you get the most out of each corner of your kitchen:
Lazy Susans, circular shelves that spin so that all sides can be accessed, are a classic corner cabinet fix. They are available in two standard versions. The first type is placed inside the cabinet and spins around a fixed center. While it isn’t perfectly space-efficient, it comes pretty close. The cupboard is accessed by a corner door that opens and closes on a bifold hinge. Variations of this type of Lazy Susan exist, including ones that look like a cheese wheel for smaller spaces, and full circle or octagonal versions for angle-front cabinets.
The second type of Lazy Susan is where the cupboard door is actually part of the inner shelf and the entire cabinet spins open and shut. A good stopping mechanism is needed for this model so that the door stops in the right spot.
Pullout and Spinout Shelving
Spinout shelves are a variation of the Lazy Susan idea, where the shelves swivel out of the cabinet to grant greater access to the shelves, rather than just spinning inside the cabinet. There are many models available, from simple to more advanced, and small to large. For example, a large number of modern systems allow the shelves to extend out fully so that the entire shelf is exposed, as opposed to those that only spinout partway.
Sophisticated Pullout Systems
Pullout systems that are more advanced are available as well. These types use a number of rectangular shelves connected by a series of tracks and hinges, and maximize shelf space and easy access. A simple explanation of how they work is that the first shelf extends with the door and then pulls out another shelf behind it. While pricey when compared to other systems, if storage space is scarce it can be worth it to utilize every bit of your cabinet.
Angled Cabinet Fronts
Forward-facing corner cabinets are available in two different shapes: a pentagon shape that takes up the whole corner, and a rectangular shape that is angled outward. Access to pentagonal cabinets is based on how wide the front is. If wide, then it will be relatively easy to access, other than the interior corners which may prove more difficult. Pentagonal corner cabinets are ideal for storing large, lightweight things that don’t get used often, such as seasonal items or big pots.
If drawers are a part of your corner design, then a pentagon shape isn’t going to work for you. Instead, the rectangular option is optimized for drawers by angling it outward. This setup will result in some wasted space around the drawers, but the drawers simplify things and negate the need for complex pullouts. The trade-off — less space for more convenience — ultimately comes down to what you prefer.
It’s also important to note that if you opt for angled upper cabinets, it’s best to match them up with angled lower cabinets. Mixing angled uppers with regular lowers can result in the upper cabinet extending out into your face, making it difficult to access the lower countertop. The reverse, however, will work well — an angled lower paired with a standard upper. You’ll have plenty of room.
A unique and interesting concept, corner drawers are another option to consider. They function like regular drawers and provide storage space in 45-degree angles, but the drawer fronts are at 90-degree angles so that they line up in the corner for a straight, clean look. Incorporating angled corner drawers allows you to keep the standard L-shaped countertop (saving you money on custom cuts), maximize floor space, and benefit from the convenience of drawer space.
Instead of piecing together a bunch of small pullouts or drawers, sometimes it’s best to dedicate an entire corner to a floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinet. While this will cut down on counter space, you’ll have lots of room for dry good storage.
A corner pantry can be tricky, though. While a bigger-sized cabinet will make the inside easier to access, it will also eat up more floor and counter space. This may not be an issue in a larger kitchen with plenty of prep room, but in a compact kitchen, it’s definitely something to think about.
Incorporating open shelving for some of the uppers in the corner of your kitchen can make a really nice feature, allowing you to locate daily essentials like breakfast bowls, lunch plates, or recipe books at your fingertips. This simple open design in place of a corner cabinet structure will help you avoid dark corners and frame your display architecturally.
If it’s possible to reroute your plumbing, then a corner sink is an attractive and practical way to use a kitchen corner. Use the angle to your advantage by stowing dishwashing essentials in the back corner or showcasing a pretty plant. In addition, the back corner of the bottom cupboard can be home to the plumbing, so that the space isn’t wasted. Bonus: Incorporate two windows into the design for an incredible view from what is typically known as a “blind” corner.
The last idea is simply to leave some breathing room in your upper cabinets by adding nothing at all to a corner area. Especially effective in smaller kitchens, this strategy can make the room feel more spacious. In addition, it frees you up when you find yourself working at the countertop — no heavy cabinets pushing down on you.