What ways have you found to utilize the space in kitchen base cabinets where the run of boxes turns 90 degrees?
Over the years I've tried angle corner cabinets with full round lazy susans, pie-cut susans mounted to right angle doors, half-moon susans that open with one of the adjacent doors and then slide out (supposedly) for total access.
I must admit that after trying about everything I can think of, none of the solutions are really elegant or trouble-free. Sliders get out of whack after a few years, customers lose things off the back of lazy susans never to be seen again, and while I've tried piano hinging two adjacent doors together to open in concert, I haven't been able to match the "self closing" aspect of the other doors.
A client I'm just starting to work with has flatly stated that she "hates lazy susans," so this is a good time to see if there are any good solutions out there.
From contributor J:
The best solution I've found for small corners (12" a door, more or less) is either a lazy susan or a pull-out drawer system. If you go with the lazy susan, provide a radiused back attached to the cabinet to stop things from falling off the shelves.
You are right that no elegant solution has been presented yet. All you can do is give your client a list of options and be honest with the good and bad points of each.
I use 2 12" doors attached together with the Blum concealed bifold hinges. They have their own self-closing mechanism like their regular hinges. You can find those hinges with most of the manufacturers of concealed hinges.
My solution has been to set a drawer stack at 45 degrees into the corner, so the face is at the same angle as a regular 45 degree lazy susan. Better storage and solves the lazy susan problem. The other more recent solution I have used in higher end kitchens (because this hardware is not cheap, approximately $350) is to build a blind corner cabinet and use this sliding hardware from Richelieu for blind corners, which works great! Installed properly, there are no call backs.
Remember the biggest offender when it comes to lazy susans is the end user. Just as in pantries, a lazy susan is rated for 50 lbs. and they put 200 lbs. worth of stuff on it, double or triple stacked, and they wonder why it stops working and stuff falls off.
When it's 90 degrees, he does like contributor R. Why compromise the easiest to access and most useful storage (drawers) to gain access to less useful and difficult storage? Customers who dislike susans will usually agree with this rationale.
In his designs, which are mostly large, there's plenty of room for the big stuff that would go in the corner.
We make our own susan platters, and attach them on the bottom of the cabinet, and on a middle shelf, so they are actually sitting on a platform. We also make the middle shelf/platter adjustable so they can even put large pots and pans on the bottom and whatever on the middle shelf, as height is less of an issue. Nice thing about it is that they no longer have to worry about items falling off the susan, as it has a 1 1/4" side lip (total of 2 1/2", minus 3/4" material and 1/2" recess) and the farthest it can go is on the shelf. The platter is 3/4" maple (sometimes I use 1/2" if stock is low), ribbon around the side is 3/16" solid maple (although it can be any color), attached to 3/4" solid wood front (either splay or 90 degree). The susan is a stainless steel ball-bearing, which is rated at 1000 lb., and the pegs for the adjustable shelves are custom-made solid brass, which go 5/8" into the 3/4" side and back material. If the kitchen is large enough, I usually suggest a splay corner, with a splay cabinet above and an appliance garage up top.
An added benefit is being that the platter is set on the shelf, they can also place items to the left and right of the susan, in the back, that they use every once in a while, so the area which used to be a space thief is now wholly utilized. If you are doing a splay corner cabinet as opposed to a 90 degree, an added benefit is that you can also add a drawer on top.
No poles to adjust or re-adjust, simple installation, great product, great effect.
I would also like to learn more about the concealed bi-fold hinges - will they accommodate two doors on adjacent sides of a 90 degree corner fastening the two doors together on their common sides? Would I then anchor the whole thing with standard concealed self-closing hinges on the right side door? Do they keep their adjustment?
If I could get bi-fold doors to work I'd just make an L shaped corner cabinet and explain to the customer that it's for "deep storage."
The angled drawer bank I previously spoke of is usually just a set of slide-out shelves, open on the sides. It is similar to a slide-out wastebasket drawer, except that it might be three shelves rather than just one, with a "keel" down the center the full height of the total drawer to add some rigidity, and give you something to place items up against. I think Rockler has those too.
When you explain this to customers, most of them get it. I have only done two lazy susans in the last two years, and that was in the same kitchen, in an unusual condition.
My preferred solution to the "dead corner" issue is to design it out from the start. If possible, I run one wall of cabinets to the corner, then hold the other wall of cabinets about 5 feet clear of the corner, giving about 3 feet for access to the other wall of base cabinets. Now we are able to use the corner, have almost the same net usable cabinet space, lower cabinet cost, and a more interesting kitchen design because it breaks up that strong horizontal effect of having the countertops running unbroken all around the kitchen.
*16"x16" x pi x .75=603sq.in.
Comment from contributor A:
Nine out of ten times I will place a standard drawer/door unit. For a 36" corner, I use a 16" canbinet. I like to use this cabinet as a recyle bin area and as I can usually go deeper than 24", I can get 3 containers. The space loss is negligable compared to the usabilty of the unit.
Comment from contributor A:
I agree with contributors R and L who favor deadening, especially if the customer does not want a susan and there's no good way to design out the inside corner.
45 deg. corner drawers, even the pricy Blum units, waste at least as much space and even more if they are not long enough to reach the back corner. Picture the triangular dead spaces on each side of the drawers. Put them together and you have the same 24" x 24" dead area.