Pretty much every kitchen has at least one and every kitchen owner has an opinion of what to do with them but in reality what is the best solution for the dreaded corner unit?
If you are lucky enough to have a large kitchen with a lot of storage then our advice is usually to blank them off. ‘What a waste of space' we hear you cry but if you do have lots of readily available storage space what exactly are you going to use that corner for? Tins that you forget about until they are out of date, the big soup pot that you get out every winter then realise it makes more soup than you can possible eat and has to go in the dishwasher by itself because it’s so big or even worse, has to be washed by hand!! Some kitchens have so much easily accessible space I dread to think of the conversations that go on when one person is trying locate something the other has stowed. ‘Where’s the blender?’ ‘In the cupboard four doors to the left of the sink’ ‘ It’s not in there’ ‘ the wall cupboard, not the bottom one’ Really there must come a point where a clear-out and clever storage beats LOADS of storage.
At Waterford Interiors we are always trying to think up practical and aesthetically pleasing storage solutions. We don’t love the off the shelf wirework units as they have so many limitations. Units have to be set sizes, their loading weight tends to be quite low and wire baskets always have the annoying tendency to jam because something has dropped between the wires or is poking out of the sides. Consequently we build a solid carcase box inside our pull-outs so whether it is a full height larder or a cooker adjacent spice pull-out we make it to fit and function as the customer requires it.
So back to corners, small kitchen owners will want to make the most use of their limited space. I love small spaces, the possibility for endlessly pleasing clever solutions is huge. However you won’t want to waste any of that precious space so a corner cannot be avoided.
So how much room is in a ‘corner’? Taking an average unit with a visible front that is 600mm wide then the whole unit has 0.34 cubic metres of internal space and if you have a shelf in there that is 1 square metre of area upon which to put your items. Bearing in mind that unless you stack the inside of your cupboards with the accuracy and intensity of a Tetris master you are unlikely to use all this space.
Off the shelf the two favourite corner solutions are the pull-out carousel, an oddly shaped white tray that wiggles out of the cabinet or the magic corner, a sliding and turning set of four wire trays. That pull-out carousel gives you 0.1m3 of storage volume and 0.43m2 of storage area. The magic corner has 0.14m3 of volume and 0.44m2 of area. So really the only difference between these two options is the function and look, which one do you prefer. The alternative is to void the corner and just use a standard drawer pack. A one shallow, two pan drawer unit has 0.08m3 of volume but 0.59m2 of area. So if you are storing short items like cans, jars and plates you actually get more area by using the drawers. Those special mechanisms are clever but they do use up quite a bit of space.
We are currently pondering the problem and trying to think up ways to get back some of those lost 0.2 cubic metres. Meanwhile more pan drawers and a well organised larder unit with one of our pantry interiors is a definite recommendation for maximising storage space.