How to plan around the kitchen corner? Part A Toggle

How to plan around the kitchen corner? Part A

Are you familiar with that kitchen cabinet you built into a corner and now nobody knows what it's for? The one you have to be an acrobat to get access to? What’s the best thing to do with that kind of space?

Before suggesting a number of different options I’ll begin by saying that there is no “right answer” to this one. When clients ask me, “What’s the best way to do this?” I always answer, “It depends.” It depends on the situation, it depends on what’s going on in the rest of the kitchen and in other parts of the house, it depends on your budget. So as always, it depends…

There are different kinds of corners:

Straight Corner: A cabinet for this kind of corner will be oblong-shaped, with part of it sealed off by the corner and the part accessible through one door about 40 cm wide. The overall width of a cabinet like this is normally about 110 cm.

L-shaped Corner: In this case the cabinet is L-shaped with two doors, and normally measures around 90 cm x 90 cm. One or both sides can be shortened to 85 cm and in that case, each door would be 25-30cm wide.

 corner types

Diagonal Corner:This is a cabinet with corners angled at around 45 degrees on each side. It has only one front, approximately 45 cms. wide.

corner angles

In this post we’re going to talk about the first two categories of corner and how we can come up with design solutions for them. In the next post we’ll look at the options for diagonal corners.

Design possibilities for straight corners:

1. Fixed Shelf

A fixed shelf in the cabinet makes it very difficult to get to the things that are at the back. One of the ways of overcoming this is by asking your carpenter to make a shelf that is only 45 cm. deep i.e. not as deep as the cabinet itself. This will slightly reduce your storage space but will make it easier for you to reach things in both the lower and upper segments.

Advantages to this solution:

  • It’s by far the cheapest.
  • It utilizes almost all of the storage space available.
  • Only one action is needed to open the cabinet.


  • Access is still limited.
  • Objects tend to get pushed towards the back and you might never see them again!

When would you use this option?

  • For the storage of large, cumbersome objects such as mixers and blenders.
  • For the storage of Pesach dishes because these only need to be accessed once a year.
  • For a simple, low-budget kitchen.

2. Magic Corner

The inner structure of this cabinet consists of four mobile separate “baskets” which can be pulled out completely to view the contents.

Advantages to this solution:

  • Unlimited access. The entire contents of the cabinet are displayed.


  • Cost. This is a more expensive option.
  • Only 60% of the cabinet’s interior space is utilized. There is an empty area of about 20 cm deep behind the baskets, but this is difficult to get to. It can be used for storage of things which are not used very much, such as Pesach dishes.
  • Several actions are required to open the cabinet (i.e. opening the door, pulling out the shelves and moving them into position).
  • The baskets are not adjustable in height and have a small capacity, so there is limited flexibility.

When would you use this option?

  • For the storage of food products.
  • For the storage of small and medium pots and containers.


3. Le Mans

This structure is similar to the half-carousel we used to see in kitchens twenty or thirty years ago, but is a highly improved version of it.

Advantages to this solution:

  • The curved shape allows for a more efficient use of the cabinet space.
  • The shelf design allows for flexible and varied arrangement of objects.
  • The upper and lower shelves can be pulled out separately.
  • Pulling out the shelves is one smooth and easy action.


  • Price similar to that of the “magic” option.
  • No flexibility in height or positioning of the shelves.

When would you use this option?

  • For convenient storage of pots, pans and other objects in constant use.
  • For clients who have limited flexibility such as the disabled and elderly.


At the present time this option is the most convenient and efficient one for this type of corner.

4. Half-Carousel (Available in either plastic or nickel)

This structure is in the shape of two semi-circular shelves which can be rotated outwards. Half of the shelf is then outside the cabinet while the other half remains inside.

Advantages to this solution:

  • Less expensive than both the “Magic” and “Le Mans” options.
  • More convenient and easier to use than a fixed shelf.


  • A lot of internal space is wasted.
  • Objects tend to fall down the sides of the shelves.

When would you use this option?

When you are not flexible with the planning of the kitchen (such as in a rental apartment or standard kitchen from the builder) and your kitchen cabinets have such a corner but a fixed shelf will not work for you, this is the next cheapest option. Otherwise, try to avoid it!

Design possibilities for l-shaped corners:

Advantages of the l-shaped corner:

  • A cabinet built for an L-shaped corner has the advantage of being accessible from two sides. Each of the doors is relatively narrow, between 25-30cm, using up less space on its corresponding wall surface than in the case of the straight-corner cabinet.
  • The space is relatively spacious and accessible. This is a great place for bowls and electrical equipment, and offers flexible storage and stacking options.


  • Cost. The cabinet itself is more expensive to build than the straight-corner option.
  • Two wall surfaces are used up instead of one.

Some options for the L-Shaped Corner:

1. L-shaped Corner Shelf i.e. in the shape of the cupboard

I don’t recommend this solution because although it utilizes all the available space, access is extremely difficult.

2. Criss-Cross Corner Shelf

Two oblong shelves are placed at a 90 degree angle to one another, one above the other, so that one shelf is parallel to one side of the cabinet and one shelf is parallel to the other. Again, in this instance I would recommend making the shelves less deep than the cabinet itself. Otherwise items at the back are difficult to reach.

Advantages to this solution:

  • Relatively convenient access making it easy to remove things from the cabinet.
  • The design results in a varying number of heights within the storage space allowing for different stacking options.

 criss cros

3. Carousel

I don’t recommend this design. Or to put it bluntly—Please don’t! Feedback from the people who’ve used this design has been overwhelmingly negative. The circulating central shelves leave a lot of wasted space, and there is the constant problem of objects falling off the sides of the shelves into the corners of the cabinet where it’s difficult to retrieve them.

Next tip we’ll be looking at other corners and designs… so no need to hurry your decision just yet.

Meanwhile, enjoy toying with the different options!


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