Corner Cabinet Space Calculations and Analysis
This is an attempt at putting some numbers to the age-old question: what do I do with this darned corner?!? I have answered this question for myself, but thought my analysis might be helpful to others pondering this same question.
- Tried to standardize on a 24D x 48W blind cabinet
- Lazy susan & corner drawers required 36 x 36 corner cabinet
Total usable space is calculated based on the interior space of the drawer/pullout
Usable space given is PER TIER and calculated based on the footprint of the box
Multiply usable space by number of tiers/drawers for total storage area
Drawers and pullouts are 22” deep minus 5/8” drawer front/back
Drawer widths are box width minus 3/4” box sides, 1/2” drawer slide clearances, and 5/8” drawer sides
- Your cabinet builder’s specs may vary slightly from my numbers
Shelves & Non Corner Drawers
Plain shelves (not shown) maximize space use (88% of footprint due to plywood box sides and back) but minimize accessibility. The gold standard is drawers (see 'Non Corner'), balancing space utilization and accessibility (only 73% of footprint due to hardware and clearances), but obviously, two drawer stacks are NOT an option for a corner. Space efficiency should be compared to the drawer 'gold standard' rather than plain shelves which are a terrible idea for any deep cabinet, especially corner cabinets!
The corner drawer solution (53% of footprint, 73% of non-corner drawers) does have LARGE dead dead space in both corners, and awkward angles all over the drawers. The pluses are: you can store a lot of stuff by having 4 drawers (2728 sq in), and you can have access to ALL of your stuff. 4 corner drawers offer 81% of two 24W drawer stacks, but takes up 12.5% more floor space.
The super susan (60% of footprint, 82% of non-corner drawers). It’s impractical to do more than 2 tiers, and it lacks a certain sex appeal, and stuff can fall off and get lost in the dead space areas. There’s a maximized version of the Super Susan called the Korner King, which looks like it stores a LOT of crap, but it looks like a Frankenstein’s cabinet, an esthetic purist’s nightmare. For those not offended by its looks, functionally it has a lot of broken up pieces of storage of which only about 10-40% of your stuff is accessible at a time.
My 'custom corner' (narrow pullout, wide side slide), my choice, has the same usable space as drawers per tier (73% of footprint), but a lot less accessibility due to the limitations the corner imposes. I chose it because while we have lots of storage space, I still wasn’t ready to seal off the corner. The large sideways slideout is perfect for items like our 60 and 100 qt pots that wouldn’t fit in drawers anyway (we occasionally cook for LARGE groups). The main pullout would have 3 tiers for more often-accessed items, for a total of 1494 sq in (514 s.i. x 1 full height slideout for big pots, 327 s.i. x 3 for front pullout), a decent amount of storage including a very large, full height side-slide. 2 L + 3 S tiers would give 2009 s.i.
The simplest corner solution, the 'dead corner,' only gives 29% of the footprint in storage, or 40% of the storage of 48' of non-corner drawers. But if you use a 4-drawer stack, you get a lot of functional storage - 1348 sq in, though no room for tall/large items.
Hafele’s Magic Corner offers that WOW factor when you see it gleaming and gliding in and out with soft-close. But it’s only 536 s.i. per tier (49% of footprint, 67% of non-corner drawers), 1072 total s.i. It could store more, but it’s designed to fit in more applications (21D cabinets, narrower cabinets), and therefore has a lot of dead space.
- Unlike straight base cabinets where there’s clear consensus that drawers are best, corners are ALL about limitations and compromise (and debate, with everyone having their own favorite corner solution that fits their needs)
- Drawers offer the greatest accessibility, and by using 3 or 4 drawers, you quickly make up for less space efficiency over 2-tier solutions. For example, even though the dead corner only offers 29% of the footprint of storage per tier, multiply that by 4 drawers = 1348 sq in, more than the Magic Corner’s 1072 s.i. and almost as much as the Super Susan’s 1550 s.i. with 144 s.i. smaller footprint. Despite the large dead spaces, the Corner Drawer offers a LOT of potential storage, up to 2728 s.i. with 4 drawers, though losing large item capability.
As impressive as the 'Magic Corner' solutions are to demo (I too “ooooh”ed at first), they are extremely costly (about $900 and up after hardware and baskets) and optimized to fit in shallower cabinets so have more dead space than other solutions.
My custom corner maximizes total use of the footprint area and also maximizes large and bulky item storage with relatively limited access to the inside corner area, while minimizing cost.
- As with marriage, there is no perfect match, only great or poor fits for your needs. If you’re unhappy with your corner solution, either ignore the limitations or find a better solution. Just don’t expect perfection!
Here is a link that might be useful: Korner King - not for me, might be right for you?