The Best Ideas to Optimize Kitchen Corner Cabinets

Corner Cabinet in our pantry

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, where culinary creativity meets social gatherings meets daily functionality. However, one common challenge many homeowners (including us) have faced when designing a kitchen or other cabinetry design is making the most of every inch of available space, especially in those awkward corners. Kitchen corner cabinets can be a source of frustration, as they tend to become dark, neglected spaces that are difficult to access and organize effectively. So let’s explore all the different kitchen cabinet corner ideas and introduce the best ways to accessorize them to help you transform these overlooked areas into organized and functional storage spaces.

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    Understanding the Challenge: The Dilemma of Kitchen Corner Cabinets

    Before delving into solutions, it’s crucial to understand the challenges posed by kitchen cabinet corners. The L-shaped or U-shaped layout of many kitchens often results in corners that are not easily accessible, leading to wasted space and poor organization. Items like small appliances or serving dishes you don’t use that often tend to get pushed to the back, making it difficult to reach and causing frustration when searching for specific items.

    In some scenarios, a blind corner cabinet is utilized. We have one of these in our kitchen lower corner cabinet. Unlike standard cabinets, blind corner kitchen cabinets feature a design that utilizes the space around a corner, making it deeper and less visible when the cabinet door is closed. The “blind” aspect comes from the fact that the contents of the cabinet’s recessed section are not immediately visible or easily reachable. To overcome this limitation, various innovative solutions such as pull-out trays, rotating shelves, or diagonal cabinet designs have been developed as a great way to optimize the functionality of blind corner cabinets, ensuring efficient use of space and easy access to stored items. We need to look into some of these for our own blind corner cabinet! Also, while a blind cabinet may not be the most ideal scenario, we always think having any type of extra storage space is better than wasting the space and not having any cabinetry at all. 

    Blind Corner Cabinet

    Cabinet Doors for Corner Cabinets

    If you do have a corner cabinet, there are 2 different door styles we recommend using. The first are accordion doors which typically refers to a folding door that opens by folding back in sections, like the folds of an accordion. We have an accordion door for the top cabinets in our kitchen. The second is the double doors where both sides can open up. This can be a great option, but it is important to make sure the cabinet doors measurements are wider and also that your door hinges can open 180 degrees which will allow for better access to inside the cabinet. We have the double door option in our pantry

    A cabinet door style we don’t really recommend unless you have an angled or diagonal cabinets (mentioned below) in the corner are glass doors.

    Best Corner Cabinet Ideas for Storage:

    1. Lazy Susans: One of the classic solutions for corner cabinets is the Lazy Susan system. This rotating platform is a great option to access items at the back of the cabinet effortlessly. Lazy Susans come in various shapes and sizes, from half-moon to full-round designs, catering to different cabinet configurations. The Lazy Susan is typically used as a solution for a lower corner cabinet and not in upper cabinets.
    2. Pull-Out Shelves: Pull-out shelves, also known as slide-out trays or pull-out drawers, are a practical and efficient solution for corner cabinets. These shelves can be easily pulled out, providing full visibility and easy access to items stored in the back. Incorporating pull-out shelves can significantly enhance the functionality of your corner cabinets. Again, corner cabinet drawers or pull-out shelves are typically found is lower cabinets.
    3. Corner Drawers: Utilizing corner space with drawers is a contemporary and stylish approach. Corner drawers or maximize storage while providing a sleek and seamless appearance. They are an excellent choice for those who prefer a modern and minimalist kitchen design.
    4. Magic Corners or Swing-Out Trays: Swing-out trays are another innovative solution for corner cabinets. These trays pivot outward, allowing you to access the contents without the need to bend or reach deep into the cabinet. Also, a magic corner has a series of rotating drawer runs that creates a innovative approach in which the entire contents of the corner cabinet can be pulled out. They are a great compromise between aesthetics and functionality.
    5. Diagonal Cabinets: Diagonal or angled cabinets are custom-designed solutions that eliminate the traditional square or rectangular shapes, providing a diagonal orientation to the cabinet doors. This design minimizes dead space in corners and can be a visually appealing addition to your kitchen.

    Both our kitchen and our pantry have a blind cabinet in the corner. In our kitchen, the upper has an accordion door while the blind base corner cabinet has just one single door that opens up and makes it very difficult to access anything in the back. In our pantry, we have the double doors and it actually allows for great access to every shelf!

    Pantry corner cabinet doors opening
    Corner Cabinet doors open

    Ditching Corner Cabinets all together

    Ditching traditional cabinets in favor of open shelves for kitchen corners can bring a host of benefits to your culinary space. One primary advantage is the creation of an airy and visually expansive feel in the kitchen. Open shelving lends itself to a more open and accessible environment, breaking down the barriers that closed cabinets often impose. This approach not only fosters a sense of spaciousness but also allows for easy visibility and quick access to frequently used items. Additionally, open shelving provides an opportunity for showcasing decorative pieces, creating a personalized space for you to showcase some of your personality and individual style. Embracing open shelving in corners can also be a practical solution, as it eliminates the need for intricate corner cabinet designs, which ultimately can lead to financial savings by not having to pay for those cabinets. 

    There are however some downsides when it comes to open shelving that you may want to keep in mind. The first is there can be a loss of kitchen storage which means if you have a small kitchen then this may not be the best solution for you. The second, is the exposure of all the items stored on the shelf. If you are a minimalist and don’t like clutter, than open shelving may not be for you.

    Must-Have Accessories for Corner Cabinet Organization:

    Great options to maximize the functionality of your corner cabinets: 

    1. Pull-Out Pantry: Install a pull-out pantry system in your corner cabinet to optimize storage for dry goods, canned items, and spices. These pull-out pantries are designed to make the most of vertical space, allowing you to categorize and access your kitchen essentials with ease.
    2. Corner Cabinet Organizers: There are various specialized organizers designed specifically for corner cabinets. These include tiered shelves, wire racks, and pull-out baskets that maximize storage and keep items within reach. Investing in these accessories can help you customize your corner cabinets to suit your storage needs.
    3. Swing-Out Shelving: To tackle deep corner cabinets, swing-out shelving is a game-changer. These shelves pivot and extend outwards, offering easy access to items stored at the back. This is particularly useful for storing pots, pans, and other larger kitchenware.
    4. Adjustable Shelving Systems: Opt for adjustable shelving systems that allow you to customize the height or width of shelves according to your storage requirements. This flexibility ensures that you can accommodate items of various sizes and make the most of the available space.
    5. LED Lighting: Illuminate the dark corners of your cabinets with LED lighting. Installing motion-activated lights or LED strips can enhance visibility and make it easier to locate items, especially in deep corner cabinets. These lights can either be hardwired, however there are great options on the market now that are rechargeable battery operated.  

    Creative DIY Solutions for Kitchen Cabinet Corners:

    Have random supplies or items sitting around your house that you want to make useful? Try out some of these below:

    1. Customizable Crates or Bins: Create a DIY storage solution by using wooden crates or bins that can be easily stacked in the corner cabinet. This allows you to organize items efficiently and pull out the entire crate for quick access.
    2. Tension Rods for Lids: Use tension rods to create a simple and effective solution for organizing pot lids. Install the rods vertically in the cabinet, creating a neat and accessible storage area for lids, preventing them from cluttering the space.
    3. Magnetic Strips for Utensils: Mount magnetic strips inside the cabinet doors to store metal utensils like knives, spatulas, and ladles. This not only keeps these items organized but also frees up drawer space for other kitchen essentials.
    4. DIY Lazy Susan: Convert an existing shelf into a makeshift Lazy Susan by adding a rotating turntable. This simple and budget-friendly DIY solution can be a quick fix to improve accessibility in your corner cabinet.

    Whether you are working on a new kitchen cabinet design or transforming your existing kitchen cabinet corners we hope some of these tips help you to turn neglected spaces into organized and functional areas. Whether you opt for ready-made solutions like Lazy Susans and pull-out shelves or decide to embark on a DIY project, the key is to maximize space while ensuring easy access to your kitchen essentials. By implementing these creative ideas and investing in the best accessories for corner cabinets, you can turn your kitchen into an organized and efficient space where every corner serves a purpose.

    Interested in ways you can make your cabinetry look more custom? Check out these tips!

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    Meet Megan & John

    Hi there! We’re a married couple with a passion for DIY, decor, and home improvement! We’re currently renovating The Arched Manor in Leesburg, VA.