Dead corners-accessing space from another room

oldbat2beMarch 31, 2013

I have two lower, dead corners from our remodel; one in the pantry and one in the kitchen. I've been mulling over how to use this space from the room on the other side of the walls, either for a cabinet or drawer stack.

The pantry space is 24"x24" and abuts two interior rooms.

The room on the other side is one with a wood burning stove and nice view of the back garden. As part of the remodel, we omitted a window (you can see the structure here). The cabinet would start a little above the top left corner of the duct and go to the left. We're planning on new drywall for this wall; not sure if we will rip out the old paneling or no.

The kitchen space is around 26" wide x 30" deep and abuts an exterior wall (covered garage space). I'm sure that will present special requirements, but boy would that space be nice to have!

Have any of you done this? I'd love to see pictures if you have any.

This post was edited by oldbat2be on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 7:48

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We have a powder room on the other side of our kitchen wall, and one of our lower kitchen cabinets is in a corner with space that would have been totally inaccessible because of its odd location. Our carpenter took that space and built a cabinet so we can access that space in the bathroom. It is great storage to have. We also have another spot in the kitchen where the other side of the wall opens into an area that is down a few steps because it goes down to a stair landing. In that space in the kitchen we just have a false front where a cabinet would be. We access the space from the stair landing and use it as a type of broom closet.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:58AM
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I had a house that used similar space next to the fireplace in the next room; it was lined and had a little bin door; that is where kindling was kept.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Oooh I like the idea of a kindling cabinet.

Cutting into the kitchen from a garage would likely be a no-go for code reasons. Garages need to be airtight re. the threat of carbon monoxide. You could theoretically cut through the brick, insulate and protect the enclosure, and wind up with a small set of drawers. But I imagine it would be quite cost prohibitive vs. buying a set of Husky steel drawers or something.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:27PM
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If you could find a small fire rated door, you could put it in the garage for the opening to the kitchen "lost" space. Then you could use that for a worm bin to compost veggie scraps directly from a hole in the counter much like the Hafele compost bin that you already have.

Or, if you were willing to cut a slot hole or square in the counter, you could use one of the mechanisms that rise up out of the counter and on which you could place a TV, or your mixer, or some other large gadget. Or a fancy dumbwaiter for groceries. And have the garage access panel to service all of that. (Yes, it would still have to be a fire door.)

For the one next to the wood stove, yes, a kindling storage would be ideal. As long as you de-bug-afy the wood before you bring it in. Insects and snakes living in a woodpile is still one of my less pleasant memories of visiting my grandmother and being sent to fetch a log or two for the fire.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Needinfo1, raee - thanks, it's nice to hear I'm not the first to think of this. Before the chaos today, DH cut into the walls and was able to give me an estimated rough opening: 30 tall x 26 deep x 28 wide. Now to figure out how to best use that space.

Maybe an upper drawer for games and the like and a nice tall lower drawer for comfy afghans and comforters. I'm just very excited at figuring out a use for the space :)

We typically keep 1 to 1.5 cords of wood stacked in the garage, and I will split a couple of the drier logs for kindling (in the garage, you can imagine the cement floor) so, no need to keep kindling inside (but nice idea).

Taggie - I knew there would be problems with the garage, couldn't remember why/what, thanks for the reminder. Husky steel drawers or the like (steel cabinet) sounds fine. I'll have to research further, thanks!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 8:49PM
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lwo - love your ideas, keep 'em coming. Easy empty compost bin, right in the kitchen.... neat but yuck!

I use the kitchen corner countertop - for mixer and coffee machine. Have two screens (for watching shows) over in the desk area and am eventually planning a TV (maybe) over the fireplace mantel.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:33PM
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If that room is where the woodstove is, how about a two -doored compartment that you can load wood into from the outside and then access it from the room.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Grandmother had two dead corner compartments in her kitchen accessed from the dining room.

One had table linens, the other was just general storage (and often partially blocked by extra dining room chairs).

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:08PM
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We have an old house with lots of strange built-ins, and several rooms have drawers flush to the wall that are built into under-the-eaves closets, etc. Very handy, but as brickeyee notes, it limits furniture placement in the room. In our kitchen remodel, we'll have one dead corner in our peninsula when all is said and done, and we're making it a pull-out "secret drawer" that will blend into the cabinet wall, and opens on the bar side. It will hold a small fireproof safe, to keep legal documents, originals of heirloom photos, hard copies of our bazillion login codes/passwords, etc. The danger is that 20 years from now when they haul us away to an old folks' home we'll forget the secret drawer is there. By the way, has anyone seen my keys?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Our old kitchen had a dead corner like that. Since our family room and kitchen are one, we kept the games and puzzles in there (accessible from You did have to make sure you didn't bonk your head on the counter when you stood up.....

Mizinformation---funny! Good idea as well.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Mizinformation, any chance you could post pics?

I promise we will all keep it a secret! :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:04AM
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My parent's house had an amazing amount of wasted space in the laundry room where laundry, bath, and hall cabinets had been sheetrocked in. They all backed onto a dead space that was about 3x3. (not counting the cabinets). The bath had about 6 feet of cabinetry.

We removed the laundry cabinet and the partition it was in, took out the hall cabinet entirely, and removed the box part of the bath cabinets, leaving their doors and facings so they opened directly into the laundry room.

Then we sheetrocked over most of the bath/laundry wall, and installed extremely shallow shelving on the bath side, between the studs and behind the original doors. Just big enough for a 4 or 6-pack of toilet paper, or shampoo stocks. One bath cabinet remained open to the laundry, with its shelves in the laundry. Towels for that bath went straight to the shelves. :)

Then we rigged a sliding "barn door" (this was late 1960s, before barn doors were trendy) for better access, and put adjustable shelving all around the new U-shaped pantry space. It turned into a 4x6 pantry area and was far more useful.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:17AM
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Hi, MareLuce. No photos yet! Still (still, still) in deconstruction mode. Basically, imagine a U-shaped kitchen with one leg of the U being a peninsula. Where most folks would have a corner lazy susan in the peninsula corner, we're doing two drawers instead, so we have the 24"x24X dead space in the corner that we'll open from the bar side as the secret drawer. As heidihaus mentioned, there will be the danger of head bonking on the bar over-hang, but that's why we're going with a drawer instead of a door -- can pull it out a little further.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Belatedly, thanks to all for the help and ideas.

We opened up the wall and framed out the space:

We ordered a cabinet with two walnut interior drawers and drawer fronts, which arrived this week and which I will be staining over the weekend. Hopefully DH will finish the electrical tonight/tomorrow morning and then we'll get the space insulated and drywall up over the weekend.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:34AM
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