8 Clever Kitchen Storage Solutions for Corner Cabinets
In an L- or U-shaped kitchen plan, a question often comes up: What do I do with that corner cabinet? Corners can provide a lot of storage, but they don’t always make items very accessible. That juicer or bread-making machine you tucked away may never see the light of day again simply because you don’t want to fish it out of the deep recesses of a corner cabinet. However, there are options that can help you get the most out of every corner of your kitchen. Here are some top solutions for kitchen corner cabinets.
1. Lazy Susans Perhaps the most classic corner cabinet solution is a Lazy Susan (simple shelves that spin in a circle to allow access to all sides). They come in two basic forms, one being models like the one shown here that sit inside the cabinet and spin around a fixed center, with a corner door that opens on a bifold hinge. You can also pair a Lazy Susan with an angled corner cabinet to allow for an entire circle to fit inside instead of the cheese-wheel shape.
2. Spinout and Pullout Shelves A slight variation on the Lazy Susan concept, spinout shelves like this actually rotate out of the cabinet (instead of just spinning within the cabinet) to allow access to more of the shelf at once. They can still use the same cheese-wheel shape on an inexpensive central rotating mechanism, which will allow the shelves to rotate out partway. However, many modern systems allow for a fuller extension of the shelves that allows the entire shelf to extend out of the cabinet (with each shelf moving individually so the bottom one isn’t covered by the top).
3. Advanced Pullout Systems Even more advanced pullout systems use multiple rectangular shelves connected by a complex set of hinges and tracks, allowing for maximum shelf space and ease of reach. Essentially, the first shelf pulls out with the door and pulls the other one along behind it. This sort of unit can cost a bit more than others, but when square footage is precious, it can be worth it to be able to really use every inch of your cabinet space. 4. Angled-Front Cabinets Cabinets that face forward into the kitchen can come in two different shapes. One is a pentagon shape that uses the entire corner. If the front of a pentagonal cabinet is wide enough, the interior will be fairly easy to reach into, although the interior corners will be a bit hard to see from the outside. This can be a good place to store large but lightweight items such as pots, or seasonal items that don’t have to be taken out often.
For drawers, a pentagon shape won’t work, so the usable cabinet interior is still essentially a rectangle, but it’s angled outward. In this case, there will be some wasted slivers of space around the drawers, but the drawers themselves will be be easy to use with no complicated pullouts required. Again, the trade-off comes down to preference: You get a little less square footage for storage, but also less hassle. Note: In the case of angled uppers, they are best paired with an angled lower cabinet. If you mix an angled upper cabinet with a standard lower corner, the upper may protrude too far into your face for you to easily use the lower counter. However, an angled lower with a typical upper works just fine and gives you lots of breathing room.
5. Corner Drawers Speaking of drawers, quirky corner drawers like this set are another option worth considering. They pull directly out and offer storage spaces in 45-degree angles, but the fronts line up at 90-degree angles for a clean look. Depending on your counter material, an angled top can be a large extra expense — for example, when using a prefab rectangular counter slab in stone or butcher block. Or it can eat up too much precious floor space or not fit well around an island.
6. Corner Pantries Rather than using many small drawers or pullouts, sometimes the best solution is to use a corner space for a full-height pantry cabinet. This reduces your counter space but gives you plenty of room for storing dry goods. The deeper and larger the cabinet, the easier the interior will be to access, but the more floor and counter space it will eat up. If you’ve got a sufficient prep space on one side or at an island, losing a little counter space on one end of your kitchen may not negatively affect your workflow at all.
7. Corner Gallery Cabinets If you prefer to store items such as plates and serveware in a corner cabinet, consider using glass inserts on both sides of the cabinet to make the items within visible. This will keep you from losing items in back corners that you can’t see and create a beautiful gallery case-like feature. 8. Corner Shelves Using open shelves for some of the uppers makes for an attractive kitchen feature and lets you perch lunch plates, breakfast bowls, recipe books and other daily essentials within easy reach. Using shelves instead of a corner cabinet allows you to avoid dark corners and frames your items to create an attractive display with architectural appeal.
This kitchen uses lots of open shelves that wrap into the corner to achieve a breezy and open look while still keeping with the rustic-tinged decor scheme. Floating shelves in wood paired with pale painted cabinets offers freshness and natural warmth and balances open storage for beautiful items with closed storage for the rest.
—by Yanic Simard