Kitchen corner storage conundrum? Here are the top ways to create better access and organisation
Houzz Australia Contributor. Founder and director of Tansel Stainless Steel Wireware,… More
Is your corner cabinet hard to access, or maybe you’re not sure how best to organise the space? Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of this space.
Most kitchens end up having corner cabinets. They can provide a lot more storage, but they can also be a challenge due to their limited access and visibility. Here are a range of ideas for new and existing cabinets to help you overcome these obstacles.
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Working with a blank canvas
This corner pantry is a clever use of space. Most new kitchen layouts don’t have a pentagon-shaped pantry cabinet, but if it works for you (or you have this shape in your existing kitchen), it can give you good storage options. If the door opening is wide enough, the shallow shelving and flexible layout may allow you to store brooms and compact vacuum cleaners. Alternatively, create a mini walk-in pantry.
Tip: Enhance these small spaces with good lighting. Consider using a sensor light for added convenience.
If you’re renovating and can start from scratch, this is a novel way to use the corner. This study nook avoids corner cabinets yet still allows for cabinetry that is accessible. The cabinet beneath the work bench, while tricky to access, can still be used for those ‘once in a blue moon’ items you need to store. The open shelving is also a nice way to display books and crockery.
The corner pantry
These are definitely tricky. The shelves are generally fixed, so access and visibility can be a challenge if you’ve inherited this style of pantry. Using these shelf-fitted lazy Susans is a simple and relatively inexpensive solution. Containers can then be used on either side. It’s a good compromise given the constraints of this cabinet.
How to organise the perfect kitchen pantry
Tip: In some of these spaces you can add lazy Susans that go higher up (to about shoulder level). Some suppliers may offer tall centre poles or add a fixed shelf to allow standard lazy Susans to be fitted higher up. Pole-less lazy Susans can also be a good option as they are fixed to the cabinet sides.
Base corner cabinets
Most kitchens will have these corner cabinets and the storage options are broad. Each has its pro and cons as well as budget constraints. Here’s a range of options to help make this space more accessible.
The corner drawer: Any corner drawer will give you great access, and these drawers are very flexible in terms of size and features. Most corner storage solutions don’t use all the space and unfortunately this is the trade-off. Corner drawers can be pricey and are generally a better solution for full renovations rather than trying to convert existing spaces.
The lazy Susan: There are many options here, and many price points. Some can be used in existing cabinetry. However, fitting a circular shape into a square will result in some lost space.
There are so many different types… some can be fitted into existing cabinetry, which is great if a complete renovation is not on the cards. This simple fixed-to-the-shelf solution will resolve some access issues.
Tip: As noted before, there is always some loss of space, so try to find one that maximises the available width and depth of the cabinet. Also consider using three trays instead of the common two if you’re storing small items.
Lazy Susans come in a wide range of materials and features, including wire, stainless steel, solid or plastic trays and timber finishes. You can also choose a hinged or attached door. If you are doing a full renovation, consult your cabinet maker to ensure you get the largest size possible and maximise all the available space.
Tip: Check the height of the tray and consider what you are storing. If it’s small and light things, some of the tray heights can be quite short so things may fall off when you are turning the tray. Large and heavy items are less of an issue. Tray heights can be 20-90 millimetres.
Tip: When choosing storage accessories, always check the warranty and fine print. Some lazy Susans can only be installed before the worktops are fitted, so choose quality because fitting later will prove to be difficult.
The blind corners
These cabinets are rectangular in shape and have only one door. They have the most limited access and require some sort of slide-out mechanism. Some people choose to close the back part off completely and add shelves, drawers or other pull-out mechanism.
If this back space is essential there are several slide-out systems to choose from, depending on your cabinet dimensions and budget. The kidney-shaped trays pictured here certainly fix this access issue and are one of the most popular. Other types of pull-out systems include ‘moving corners’ and half lazy Susans.
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If you have an existing blind corner with difficult access, some of these moving corner systems can be retrofitted if your opening is wide enough. Check specs and speak to the supplier as it might help solve access problems in what is otherwise a perfectly good kitchen space.
Tip: As noted before, check warranties, especially as some of these systems can be pricey and have limited warranties.
Using half lazy susans is an economical version of the moving corner systems shown above. There are many options and styles to choose from at various price points.
Tip: Most half lazy susans come with two trays, but if you are not storing tall items and are short of space consider using three trays for additional storage.
When considering moving corner systems with doors attached, always be mindful that in the long run some adjustment may be required. Be aware that this could be an issue, and if you’re not DIY inclined check that your cabinet maker is willing to come and ‘tweak’ if required.
This photo really got my attention. The dual-access corner cabinet is an excellent idea. Great access and easy cleaning; it’s also a really good place to hide the bulky appliances that you might not want to leave on display.
The corner section of this kitchen has been thoughtfully considered to provide great access from top to bottom.
The two-sided glass cabinet creates additional storage as well as a nice openness with good light from both sides. It’s a really nice idea, and a good way to display beautiful crockery, cookbooks and other kitchen pieces.
Storing plates in these overhead corner cabinets might not suit everyone, but a small shelf-fitted lazy Susan on the lower shelves can give these cabinets more options for storing condiments and spices if your kitchen is space challenged and every centimetre counts.
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