Most Kitchens will have a least one corner to deal with in the design layout.
Coming up with a creative solution for what to do with these corners can be a challenge for the Kitchen Designer.
With homeowners wanting to maximize the square footage of their Kitchens, blanking off the corner is not a viable solution.
Read on to see multiple options for customizing the corners in your Kitchen Designs to set your designs apart.
Base Corner Cabinetry
The Base “Corner/Corner” Cabinet
The standard approach to the design of a base corner in a Kitchen Layout has been the “piano” hinge often called the “base corner” or “base corner/corner” Cabinet.
Measuring out from the back corner to the side of the cabinet, standard sizes include 33″, 36″, 39″ and 42″, with many manufacturers offering customization of these lengths and door sizes.
The corner base cabinet allows two perpendicular runs of cabinetry to easily intersect, making this the go-to choice for many Kitchen Designers.
The most common configuration is two doors hinged in the middle, but single doors in a straight diagonal or a curved diagonal are available.
If the layout requires the base corner cabinet to be wider than 42″, an option is to hinge the doors on the cabinet sides.
The double hinge approach can take the weight of doors that a single hinge point with two doors would not.
The cabinet itself provides a lot of storage when it includes a center shelf but to make accessing items in the corner more convenient, specify some type of revolving basket accessory to the cabinet.
These accessories are available with 2 or 3 shelves and with or without a center post.
You can find these accessories in plastic, metal and wood. Coordinate them with your cabinet interiors for the best look.
Recently a manufacture introduced a corner base cabinet accessory called a “Super Susan” that takes the standard lazy susan to the next level.
It is a revolving system that includes pullout baskets from both ends and shallow shelves on the sides.
It has become my favorite base corner/corner accessory!
Another way to utilize the base corner cabinet is with a revolving recycling center.
It is a great way to fit in recycle sorting in a kitchen layout.
The “Blind” Corner Cabinet
In some cases the only option for base cabinetry in a corner entails specifying a “blind” corner cabinet.
This cabinet type includes access to hidden storage in the back corner of the cabinet.
It can be a single door or a door with a drawer above.
You may want to include the drawer option if you are lining up all the drawer elements across the top of your base cabinets.
To get the best access to that back “blind” corner space include a specialized blind corner accessory.
When specifying this type of accessory pay close attention to the opening size of your cabinet. There are very specific size requirements for different accessories.
What’s nice is there are options available at every price point with budget priced white plastic half circle units as organic shaped full extension trays on the market.
When faced with a blind corner base cabinet, an accessory I often specify is the “magic corner”.
This unit consists of 4 baskets that can be slid and pulled from the cabinet to allow items to be accessed outside of the unit.
There are varying qualities of this type of corner accessory so do check them out in person before you specify one for your client’s dream Kitchen.
If you are working with a custom cabinet manufacturer you could also develop your own unique corner accessory.
The example here consists of a radius wood swing out with two wood rollout shelves to access items in the back corner.
A corner solution introduced by the drawer hardware manufacturer Blum several years ago allows the Kitchen Designer to specify drawers into the corner.
These are a great solution for small kitchens that otherwise would not include a bank of drawers, or for kitchens where the horizontal line of drawers around the space is to be maintained for aesthetic reasons.
Wall Corner Cabinetry
Closed Door Storage
When specifying corner cabinets for your wall cabinets I would discourage any type of “blind” wall corner cabinet because there is no really good storage accessory for this type of cabinet.
The better solution for closed door storage is an angled corner cabinet or a center hinged double door wall cabinet.
The angled wall cabinet is a great cabinet for dish storage since a basic table setting for 6 including dinner plates, salad plates and bowls will all fit on one shelf.
It can also be fitted with revolving shelves to access smaller items easier.
The area between the bottom of the angled wall cabinet and the countertop is the perfect place to specify an appliance garage.
Depending on your cabinet manufacturer the door on the appliance garage can flip up, hinge or roll up, giving you many options for integrating it into the Kitchen’s décor style.
In resent years the hinged double door wall corner cabinet has become popular in contemporary cabinet design due to its lineal design.
If you are going to specify this cabinet in a modern inspired contemporary Kitchen, really watch your proportions.
Ideally the wall cabinets you place beside this corner cabinet should have equal sized doors to provide balance in the design. You can often modify the door sizes of the corner wall cabinet to achieve this.
I often see this principle of design ignored with the “wrong” sized doors specified beside the corner wall cabinet, which can throw off the aesthetic look of your design.
Corner Open Shelving
A great solution for wall corners is open shelving.
As the designer you could run the open shelves straight into the corner or wrap them around the corner.
The open shelf also provides the designer with the opportunity to introduce a different finish such as stained wood in a painted kitchen or metal corner shelves as an accent.
Tall Corner Cabinetry
The tall corner cabinet also offers a design opportunity to Kitchen Designers.
There are a couple of ways of tackling the corner cabinet pantry.
You can specify open base and wall cabinets in the corner and order a couple of columns and a tall door to cover them or you can order an all in one corner pantry unit.
Depending on the size of your corner cabinet pantry you can specify a single door or double doors.
Either way, a built-in corner cabinet pantry will save you several inches of space compared to a 2×4 framed and drywalled corner pantry, and it allows you to beautifully integrate the pantry doors into the rest of your cabinet design.
Another corner pantry design to consider for your client’s Kitchen is the blind corner pantry.
When fitted with the kidney shaped, pull and swivel basket, it can be a great solution in a modern Kitchen Design.
Placing the sink in the corner can sometimes be the option that makes a Kitchen Design more functional.
I will often move the sink away from the window and place it in the corner to provide a light filled wide prep counter between the sink and the range top.
With most homeowners spending more time prepping than washing up dishes this can be a great solution in a renovation.
A corner window with a sink under it can also become a focal point in a Kitchen Design.
You may not think of appliances as a candidate for corner placement, but they can be the perfect solution in some designs.
Corner Cooktop and Range
A cooktop or range in the corner can also become a focal point in your design.
This placement will provide drop-off counter space on both sides of the appliance.
A designer tip I have incorporated often when placing a range or cooktop in the corner is to specify a raised shelf behind the unit with a heat lamp above.
This becomes the perfect place for your client to proof bread or keep items warm before serving.
Another appliance to consider for corner installation is the dishwasher.
If there is not adequate room to place the dishwasher beside the clean-up sink, this may be a solution.
You may also want to consider raising the dishwasher up 6″ to 12″ for Universal Design and great accessibility for all users.
Placing your client’s ovens in a corner can provide the opportunity for better functionality in your design.
Often this placement will allow for counter drop off space on one or both sides of the appliances.
Double ovens, single ovens or microwaves are all candidates for corner placement in a kitchen.
A tip here is to recess the tall cabinet into the corner when placing double ovens.
By recessing the tall unit the overall feel of the corner will be less overwhelming.
As you can see there are options for designing the corners in your client’s Kitchen Design and I hope I have inspired you to explore them.
I am sure there are additional solutions for corners in a Kitchen Design and would love to hear you solutions. Please leave me a comment below.
Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.