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davidahn

CORNER CABINET ANALYSIS PART II

D Ahn
last month
last modified: last month

Hello, GW/Houzz forum dwellers. This is an informational post, not a request for help, but I welcome posts that add to the age-old question: what the heck do I do with this damned corner?!?

About 11.5 years ago, I did exhaustive research and analysis of corner base cabinet solutions. I considered the corner drawer, the 35" Super Susan, the Hafele Magic Corner, the half moon, the dead corner (just leave the corner blocked off), and compared efficiency vs the gold standard, drawer banks. I analyzed the cabinet footprint and usable space of each solution. I did not analyze space lost due to inaccessible areas. We went with what I called the "Comatose corner," not quite dead, but very inaccessible. Turned out we could store a lot of stuff, we just couldn't get it back out.

We're now planning a remodel in a new kitchen, and it turns out 1) there aren't too many new options now that we didn't have in 2011, and 2) my calculations were a bit off (I somehow assumed 25" depth rather than the standard 24"). The basic gist was correct, but I really didn't get to the crux of the question: what is the bottom line best, based on usable space AND accessibility? And which loses the least amount of usable/accessible space?

So I've updated my analyses to narrow the options to just 36" corner cabinets (L-shaped) vs 48" blind cabinet (linear with approx. 19.5" opening). I did not do 33" corners or <48" blind cabs for the same reason: the openings are too small to access anything.

Last time, I chickened out on the overall best solution, what I called the "Custom Corner", which was inspired by the Magic Corner, but with much larger baskets/shelves. It was too hard to build. This time, I was 99% decided on simply leaving the 24 x 24" corner dead so I could maximize the remaining base cabinets (I had massive 30" wide drawer banks AND 12" pullouts!). But then I pulled out my old drawings and tinkered a bit. This time, I'm working with a carpenter to build what I now call the "XY Slide," because it pulls out (Y axis), then slide right (X axis).

I think my XY Slide is nearly ideal for corners. It allows use of 80% of the footprint (the gold standard 24" wide drawer bank uses 83%), and gives full access to the two outer shelves, and 75% access to the inner larger shelves. This solution is great for large bulky items like big stock pots, etc., not so great for small items.

Edit 2-25-2024: I added a second version of my XY Slide because it will be hard to reach the deeper parts of the large sliding tray, so I shrank the inside tray to also pull out. I'm still not sure if I want to maximize storage for large bulky items or for accessibility.

EDIT 2-25-2024 for accuracy/completeness:

Made notations in the diagrams more consistent in language

Uploaded better formatted images, divided into existing options vs my proposed XY Slide option

Updated the XY Slide into 2 versions: max space vs max access.

Added a bit more to the XY slide paragraph above.

NEW ANALYSES:

Let's be clear: corners suck. All the "solutions" have severe tradeoffs between space and accessibility. Even drawers lose space compared to shelves, yet everyone chooses them because the accessibility trumps the loss of space. The important thing may not even be that you have the "best" solution, but rather the best attitude about its strengths outweighing its weaknesses.

The most accessible solution, the corner drawers, offer the least space, losing 725 s.i. and offering only 30.6% of the space compared to shelves.

Objectively, the dead corner (blocking off the corner) and simply adding 9" to the drawer banks on either side (compared to a 36" corner cab) or 21" to one side (compared to a 48" blind cabinet) offers more additional storage ((373.5 s.i. and 436 s.i. respectively, vs. 321 s.i.) and less space loss (675.5 vs 725 s.i.) than the corner drawer solution, and have the benefit of equally easy access but wider, rectangular (and therefore more usable) drawers than the corner drawers. This was a surprisingly not sucky option IMHO.

The next most wasteful is the comatose corner, if you just count the accessible space, but it still offers more accessible space than the corner drawer (347 vs 321 s.i., but 3-4 corner drawers easily outdoes 2 pullouts). But the large but difficult to reach inner trays offer WAY more large item storage for a total of 78.4% of shelves.

The Hafele Magic Corner loses 513 s.i. of space, and is just 51% efficient compared to shelves, primarily because it's designed for 19" deep cabinets and loses storage in the deepest recesses d/t the shelves having to fit through the 19" door opening. Definitely more space efficient than the corner drawer, but still abysmal IMO.

The Super Susan (assuming shelves under the susan) offers relatively inaccessible corners, so I won't count them, but still not too shabby at 65% of the storage of shelves, but significantly more accessible than shelves. (Incidentally, a 9" wide drawer bank offers 65% of the storage of shelves, but as you go wider, drawers get much more efficient, going up to 86% by 36" width.)

The LeMans was too funky shaped for me to get into the math, sorry! I struggled to try to estimate the pie shape of the Susan, LOL.



Image 1 Link (Comparison)

Image 2 Link (XY Slide)

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