Need help for this difficult corner, please

12 years ago

We are in the planning stages of our kitchen update/remodel. Can't call it a true remodel, I guess, because we are keeping cabinets, appliances and MOST of the original footprint.

The big change we are making is removing part of a load bearing wall to open up to the dining room. We are having the oh-so-beautiful 1980's drop ceiling with flourescent light box raised to the rest of the house ceiling height, which is 8 ft.

This is the corner driving me nuts:

That is presently a desk area. The entryway, living room, hall is to the left. This is the load bearing wall that will be reduced in length.

This is the refrigerator that needs to stay on the remainder of the wall

Because the refrigerator needs something to the left to keep it from bumping up against the entryway wall and having the door (when open)block the doorway, we have chosen to keep the desk drawers and shift both to the left. Does that make sense?

Now, the darn part I am having trouble with. I have to buy a new cabinet for over the fridge, since the old one is too small. I plan to get one 36"W x 24"D x 15"H. I finally found one that has the same door style (old recessed cathedral arch). My original plan was to have two end panels ordered to "box" it in. The one to the right of fridge is necessary to give it a finished look since the wall is being torn down. The one to the left would be just for looks.

Original plan was to have floating shelves above desk drawer area for cookbooks, maybe some wicker baskets for small items. THEN I went to order the cabinets. The fridge cabinet is only $127 but the end panels are $172 EACH!!

Does someone have a better plan? I really hate paying so much for a non-functional item. My thought is to ditch the left end panel, leaving the fridge exposed next to the desk drawers, just as it now. But, here is where I get confused. How does a 24" deep wall cabinet get its support if it's basically floating above the fridge? I have been told I need the end panels to support the weight. It will be anchored to the wall behind it, but there won't be a wall to either side to provide support. With the ceiling being raised 12", it can't be anchored to the ceiling either.

My next choice would be to buy an add'l wall cabinet, which can be set to the left, above the desk drawers and can be anchored to the entryway wall. However, normal wall cabinets are 12" deep. Will this look odd?

Side note: I do need the desk drawer area open, that's where the cats eat so the dog doesn't steal their food. So, no pantry unit to fill this area :(

I know there are lots of talented people here with great design ideas. Thank you in advance for trying to help me with mine! :)

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