Kitchen Corner Units …
Have improved greatly over the past 20 years.
If you are planning your kitchen, and it is going to be either an “L” shape or “U” shaped layout you are going to need to design in at least one corner kitchen unit. (where the base runs meet up)
So, when deciding on “which type of kitchen corner units to use” you need to make a basic decision first … you either want:
- The most storage space you can achieve
- The easiest access into the corner
The most storage will always be provided by a shelved corner kitchen unit, but this is unlikely to provide the easiest access into the corner – we will look at which I think is the best type when we have looked at what types are available.
Here I am speaking about Kitchen Base Cabinets – the same principals apply to Kitchen Wall Corner Cabinets.
Types of Kitchen Corner Units …
There are three main types:
- The “Blind” corner kitchen unit
- The “L Shaped” kitchen corner
- The “Cross” Corner cabinet
Let’s look at each in turn.
Blind Kitchen Corner Unit
This is probably the most used of them all. It’s basically a double-width carcase that has one door placed at one end, and the other end of the carcase disappears down the side of an adjacent cabinet (because you cannot see it, it’s why it’s known as a “blind kitchen corner unit”.)
They are fitted with a “Corner Post” – this spaces the cabinet from adjacent ones to allow for door/drawers to open without handle clashing with those around the corner.
Please note – these cabinets always have a void at the end, and are handed (there are RH and LH versions).
They are called by the handing …. so a 1000mm Carcase with a door to the left, and a blank panel to the right, will be ordered as …
1000mm Base Corner Cabinet / 500mm Door / RH Blank.
This cabinet will always sit 120mm from the corner, with a 40mm Corner Post – so the planning dimensions out of each corner are 1120mm X 620mm. (other configurations of cabinet length/door width will have different planning dimensions).
The most popular sizes are (smallest door first) …
- 400mm Door = 1020mm x 620mm
- 450mm Door = 1070mm x 620mm
- 500mm Door = 1120mm x 620mm
- 600mm Door = 1220mm x 620mm
Please note! – these are standard “European” sizes, some UK manufactures dimensions may differ from this slightly. (by 100mm 0r so, in either direction).
This is supplied shelved as standard.
Being shelved it provides enough storage space to fill the entire interior of the corner kitchen unit.
The only trouble is …. Because half of the cabinet is not visible because it is stuck down into the corner, you can only access the “corner” contents by removing all the contents of the cabinet section behind the door.
As such the corner becomes very much a junk hole – because its difficult to get things in and out of it.
However, the access can be greatly improved by introducing a pull-out mechanism – the two most popular (and practical) are:
- The “Le -Mans” Cantilever Trays
- The “Magic” Corner
The “L” Shaped Kitchen Corner Unit
This was the most popular corner kitchen unit for many years, for several reasons:
- It is a massive cabinet providing loads of storage. (It’s so big it’s generally one of the few cabinets that are still supplied in “flat-pack” form – if it was delivered “made up” it is unlikely to fit through any of your interior doors!
- The “Bi-Folding” Door type provides reasonable access into the corner – and because this type of cabinet “wraps itself around the corner” there is no “dead space” to contend with.
- It’s a large cabinet (back wall measurements of 900x900mm) with only two small doors fitted – which makes it relatively cheap to buy.
However, you do have to get down on your knees to get into the back of it. (not a problem for me, it’s the getting up afterwards that I find difficult!)
Although there are “spinning carousels” available to be fitted inside – to improve the access
“Cross” Kitchen Corner Unit
Again, a massive cabinet (normally supplied flat pack, for the reasons above)
But instead of two small doors joined in an L shape this has one door (normally 450mm) set diagonally across the corner (at 45 Degrees).
This is often used to “soften” the look of a normal right-angle corner by placing the door diagonally across the corner – but be aware its use demands a very deep worktop that needs to stretch back into the corner of the walls.
Be wary of using this cabinet to fit a sink “diagonally across the corner”!
Remember, the cabinet is massive, and has only a relatively small door to get through into the interior. If a sink is placed into the top of this cabinet then the depth of its bowl (and the sink waste attached to it) really obstructs the entrance to the corner kitchen unit – making it almost impossible to use (sensibly).
What’s my favourite type of Kitchen Corner Unit?
Well, this has changed over my decades spent designing kitchen layouts … my current favourite is the Blind Corner Cabinet fitted with a Le-Mans Cantilever Tray mechanism.
Yes, this does not provide the maximum storage space (the “kidney” shape of the pullout trays reduces the storage space) – but it provides by far and away the easiest access to stuff you have stored in the corner.
Both trays can carry over 30kg in weight each, and pull right out of the cabinet, making it the ideal container for storing heavy stackable items like Saucepans, Casserole Dishes, Small Kitchen Appliances like Breadmakers, etc.
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