Author Topic: Kitchen corner units, which is best?  (Read 770 times)

Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« on: 10 September, 2021, 09:20:18 am »
I'm organising a kitchen upgrade for my elderly parents. They don't want the disruption of a complete new kitchen so the plan is to tart it up with new doors and improve cupboard accessibility with a few pull out drawers in existing base cupboards.

There are two blind corners in base units. As far as I can see there are three options:
1. Carousel, a semi circular thing that rotates out and may even pull out further for full access
2. Magic corner, where there are two rectangular sets of shelves that both pull right out and fold away again.
3. Le Mans corner, a kidney shaped set of shelves which pulls right out.

It's hard to decide which to go for based on online pictures and reviews. Any thoughts on these?

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #1 on: 10 September, 2021, 09:40:44 am »
I'd probably go for the carousel, and put less frequently accessed things in there.
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robgul

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #2 on: 10 September, 2021, 09:49:22 am »
Unless you really, really need the space I would "block off" the blind area in the corner - just have the space that the door encloses with some shelves.  The carousels, fold-out stuff etc is just a total PITA.

What is useful is to fit slide-out trays in the cupboards - see pics (same kitchen, worktop was changed from "leopard skin" to black granite!) - easy to do with slider units from Screwfix and some plywood




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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #3 on: 10 September, 2021, 09:59:03 am »
If you want to regularly crawl into the back of the cupboard to rescue items and sweep up spilt stuff then get a carousel. In my (admittedly limited) experience carousels are rubbish, the low lip height means that as you put things on the front other things fall off the back of them. They are also not very sturdy so you are limited to what you can store on them.

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #4 on: 10 September, 2021, 10:01:26 am »

Option two in the OP sounds the best use of cupboard space.

I'd advise not to get carousels! I lived with carousels for a year in a rental flat. It needed careful loading and gentle use to avoid items falling off the turntable and getting wedged in a corner stopping the carousel from working. The handles of pans could foul the carousel if they got wedged in a corner, even if the pan was on the turntable IIRC.

I currently live with L-shaped fixed shelves in corner cupboards and it typically involves taking half the things out of the cupboard to get to the item I want. Not massively inconvenient but the open cupboard doors kind of get in the way when I'm loading and unloading. So It's occured to me that if I removed the doors and the fixed shelf and stored bins beneath that worktop there'd be less faff.

I won't fit corner units in future. I may remove a section of worktop to give better access to the remaining portion, as a prototype 'remodel'. I'd make it permanent when it's time to replace the worktops.

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #5 on: 10 September, 2021, 10:06:26 am »
I saw a design that turned the corner of a kitchen into a walk in larder, seemed like a good solution but a lot more work.

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #6 on: 10 September, 2021, 10:51:41 am »
I have carousels, installed by myself, and they work just fine.  I have also fitted sliding drawers to cupboards and they make a huge difference in terms of accessibility and utility.

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #7 on: 10 September, 2021, 11:02:40 am »
I have the 'Le Mans Corner' arrangement (although that term is new to me!) and quite like it.  I certainly seems more user friendly than the alternative 180 degree carousel, although I don't have direct experience of using one of those.

The 'Magic Corner' units always look excellent to me, but I wasn't convinced that the little extra storage space was worth the extra expense. YMMV.

Worth remembering that some designs (particularly carousels) might need to be fitted to the carcase before the worktop is added, so that is likely to restrict your options if you're leaving the existing top in situ.
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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #8 on: 10 September, 2021, 03:01:33 pm »
We blocked off the corner space as it was a PITA (as others have noted). All base cupboards (apart from under the sink) have been replaced with drawers. Much better access to the contents, they're back- and knee-friendly, and probably better space efficiency.

@robgul: I like your slide-out trays. Might just have to make one for the under-sink cupboard :thumbsup:.
Pen Pusher

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #9 on: 10 September, 2021, 03:11:28 pm »
Last house had carousel type thing and we were happy with it.

Current house has magic corner (if I understand your terminology) and it's better.  I pull the door open and out and it gives me two baskets of "stuff" and another two baskets appear.  We've put plastic storage boxes in the trays which increase the volume of chocolates/crisps/bread/crackers/flapjacks/cling film/tin foil/biscuits/everything that can be stored.

Only drawback is the 4 year old who is insistent at all times of the day that he needs "a snack from the secret cupboard".  I keep telling him that as he knows about it it's not a secret anymore and so he can wait until meal time.

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #10 on: 10 September, 2021, 03:32:17 pm »
If you want to regularly crawl into the back of the cupboard to rescue items and sweep up spilt stuff then get a carousel. In my (admittedly limited) experience carousels are rubbish, the low lip height means that as you put things on the front other things fall off the back of them. They are also not very sturdy so you are limited to what you can store on them.

+1 to all this. Almost word for word what I would have said.

The other thing I would say, based on the carousel we have in a corner cupboard, is that they take up a lot of space - so you might end up with no more usable cupboard capacity than if you went for robgul's solution.
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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #11 on: 10 September, 2021, 03:39:15 pm »
Could use some sort of trolley under the counter. Pull that out to access the cupboard behind.

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #12 on: 10 September, 2021, 06:26:40 pm »
From your description, in my last kitchen (sob!) we had a Le Mans thing. It worked fine but we only kept things like tins and jars on it, not anything light that would easily fall off. Having just recently gone back to cupboards I'd say they're a pain in the arse for small items like jars and packets. Deep drawers are great for keeping packets of stuff in (I used to keep baking ingredients like sugar, nuts, dried fruit etc in mine).

I found myself pondering the same thing the other night, whether I could retrofit a corner cupboard, but I decided I probably couldn't be arsed.
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robgul

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #13 on: 10 September, 2021, 08:07:50 pm »
We blocked off the corner space as it was a PITA (as others have noted). All base cupboards (apart from under the sink) have been replaced with drawers. Much better access to the contents, they're back- and knee-friendly, and probably better space efficiency.

@robgul: I like your slide-out trays. Might just have to make one for the under-sink cupboard :thumbsup:.

Yep - they were a no-brainer . . . I'm about to make another couple for the under-sink cupboards in the utility room.   
In the same vein, sort of, I made a "cleaning cart" that wheels into the triangular under-stair pantry (that is fitted with shelves too) - cart houses vacuum cleaner, dust pan, mop, bucket, dusters, cleaning material bottles etc.  It's just knocked up from some plywood and two sets wheels from an IKEA office cupboard unit.

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #14 on: 21 September, 2021, 09:23:34 pm »
Agree carousel is average at best

'Le Mans' kidney shaped magic geometry is excellent. Most have a decent guardrail too. We have 1. Good for things you want regularly like mugs & tea up top and 'things with holes' underneath

The other corner is just shelves with larger, rarely used stuff like cake tins and the enormous, we have guests - size casserole pot
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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #15 on: 22 September, 2021, 08:12:13 am »
Architect here, who often helps people with kitchens.

"Carousels" are often called "Lazy Susans" here in Leftpondia, fwiw. 

  Here they come in two flavors:
   larger, with 3/4 of a circle, and cabinet fronts on the straight sides.  Higher-end ones might have a round liner inside the cabinet to prevent items falling off into the abyss in the back.
   smaller, with an angled front of the base cabinet, but with full circular shelves.

I encountered the "magic corner" in the kitchen of some folks who want to add on a garage, and were showing me how the kitchen came out form an earlier project.  To my mind, clever, but really only useful for a few pans.

Some times you can access the space under the counter corner from an adjacent room.  Perhaps there's a dining room, and you can have a partial-height cabinet opening into the dining room for napkins, etc.

Do be careful to have fillers / scribe strips at the inside corner so that opening a drawer isn't blocked by a drawer pull on the perpendicular side, same can happen with doors.  Don't ask how I know this.

Drawers, instead of pull-out shelves behind doors, are good for the base cabinets.  If you are having the cabinets built to order, and you know how you (or your parents) stack pots and pans and whatnot in their current  cabinets, then you can be specific about getting exactly the minimum clear heights needed.  The pull-out shelves, if the cabinets were set up with the 32 mm module, can be adjusted for height (a bit).  It is clunkier to open a door in order to pull out a pull-out shelf.

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #16 on: 22 September, 2021, 07:07:13 pm »
Our gas hob sits in a corner, at 45 degrees to its adjacent walls.
The cavern underneath was previously occupied by the gas boiler but our plumbers became bulkier and more arthritic, so the replacement boiler was fitted in the bathroom upstairs.
The cupboard is awkward to access (though the cats like to hide there occasionally).
We store cat food and some cleaning stuffs there. One wall is external and there's an old chimney breast there. I'm not inclined to change anything.

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #17 on: 24 September, 2021, 09:30:24 am »
Thanks for all the comments.  Some interesting ideas and, even better, real-world experience.

I think we are mainly going to go for pull-out shelves in most of the base cabinets (its a retro-fit so drawers won't work).  You can get the wire basket ones but I fancy having a go at making some out of drawer runners and plywood as it looks pretty straightforward and fun.  I've ordered some runners and will have a go at making some in our own kitchen as an experiment.

We may not bother with the corner units.  The stuff that is stored in these corners is not accessed much.  TBH it could probably be chucked out. 

The main priority is to replace an old fitted fridge which broke down a decade ago, but which my mum has used as a cupboard ever since.  When I looked at it I realised that it would be easy to take it out and that the space could hold twice as much if just shelves.  I think that is the low-hanging fruit! 

Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #18 on: 27 September, 2021, 10:52:27 am »
I think we are mainly going to go for pull-out shelves in most of the base cabinets (its a retro-fit so drawers won't work).  You can get the wire basket ones but I fancy having a go at making some out of drawer runners and plywood as it looks pretty straightforward and fun.  I've ordered some runners and will have a go at making some in our own kitchen as an experiment.

There is clearly more to it than I had expected.  I made a shelf on Saturday and it doesn't work very well.  There are a few refinements that I could make but, TBH, it needs greater precision in the execution than my woodworking skills permit. 
I expect I'll have to scrap it as soon as I can bear to do so.
Good to have done it for the learning and so I can avoid messing up parents' kitchen.

robgul

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Re: Kitchen corner units, which is best?
« Reply #19 on: 27 September, 2021, 11:48:34 am »
I think we are mainly going to go for pull-out shelves in most of the base cabinets (its a retro-fit so drawers won't work).  You can get the wire basket ones but I fancy having a go at making some out of drawer runners and plywood as it looks pretty straightforward and fun.  I've ordered some runners and will have a go at making some in our own kitchen as an experiment.

There is clearly more to it than I had expected.  I made a shelf on Saturday and it doesn't work very well.  There are a few refinements that I could make but, TBH, it needs greater precision in the execution than my woodworking skills permit. 
I expect I'll have to scrap it as soon as I can bear to do so.
Good to have done it for the learning and so I can avoid messing up parents' kitchen.

YouTube is your friend for making and fitting drawers in cabinets - have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCf5I89Ql00   - and search too for loads of others.