Diagonal upper cabinet or easy reach?

lzhwongMarch 21, 2013

I will be meeting with my cabinet designer soon and wanted to see what your thoughts are about for a few things. Should I make the corner cabinet a diagonal cabinet with glass doors or an easy reach cabinet? If I do the former, should the bottom cabinet and countertop also be at a diagonal?

The hutch cabinet on the far right will have regular doors (might do glass uppers) as it will store my everyday dishware. I was thinking of doing a diagonal cabinet with glass to lighten the space a bit and maybe store a few decorative items.

Thank you for your help!

This post was edited by lzhwong on Thu, Mar 21, 13 at 16:04

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lzhwong

Do I have room do a diagonal cabinet like this?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:59PM
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lzhwong

deleted

This post was edited by lzhwong on Thu, Mar 21, 13 at 16:03

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 4:01PM
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athomeinvagw

Easy reach would be better than the diagonal imo. But if it were me I would prob just do a straight cabinet that meets the wall.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 4:12PM
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madeyna

I did a single door diagonal and I love it. I,m 5.2 so I don,t have alot of reach. I just shove things to the back that I seldom need because that far back corner even though its brought out a little is still really deep for a short person.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 4:12PM
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jimandanne_mi

I know that some people will advise against them, but I did a blind corner cabinet. I can put one large item that I almost never use (that is, I haven't used it, but don't want to get rid of it!--or I can leave much of that space empty) on each shelf back in the "blind" part, and a few more items just a little back from the door frame (in space that wouldn't be there if I didn't do the blind corner) that are easily accessible.

Anne

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:02PM
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madeyna

Which would visually balance out that space between the uppers and the window? I would try to do that as much as possible. It looks like what you have written up does that best. I think going straight into the wall would take away that upper balance as would a double.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:08PM
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lzhwong

Does anyone have a bottom diagonal cabinet? How is that in terms of storage?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:40PM
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islanddevil

Color me stupid, but what is an "easy reach cabinet? Can you show me a photo? Thanks

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:00AM
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robo (z6a)

Easy reach

(image from harlancabinets.com)

Possibly more often the doors are hooked together with a piano hinge like a corner base cabinet. Some examples in the thread below

Here is a link that might be useful: Upper cabinet layout

This post was edited by robotropolis on Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 1:30

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:28AM
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islanddevil

Cool! Thanks Robot.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:39AM
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annkh_nd

I currently have 2 diagonal upper cabinets in my U-shaped kitchen, and I hate them. I don't know if they would be better with lazy susans, but as they stand now, they are huge black holes of wasted space.I can't see/find/reach anything in the back or sides of the bottom shelf, much less the upper ones.

If you are going to put in a glass door and use the space for something lovely (pretty instead of functional storage space), that would be fine. There is a thread here somewhere of a gorgeous upper corner with lazy susans on every shelf, and beautiful things displayed no matter how they were turned.

But if you are trying to make use of every square inch of space (as I am), I think easy reach cabinets are the way to go. For my space, where the closed end of the U is only 10 feet, I felt square corners would give a more open feel.

As for the base corner - what do you have planned there now? In my new kitchen, one corner will be a diagonal lazy susan; the other will be a dead corner with drawers on each side. I'll have easy reach uppers in both corners - even over the diagonal base. There are a lot of options for base corners, depending on your needs.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:48AM
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suzanne_sl

Here's a photo of an upper easy reach with a center hinge door:

and a lower with a super susan and a center hinge door:

What to do in the corner really gets to be a personal preference thing. I'm really glad we chose the easy reach because it doesn't cut across the diagonal which seems intrusive to me. I was also concerned about access to the stuff inside given the limited opening of a diagonal cabinet. I have found that we don't rotate the mugs and glasses as much as we should - we tend to keep picking the ones off the front row.

Something that might help you make up your mind about what you want is to go stand in the kitchen displays and open all the inside corner cabinets. You'll probably find that opening and closing them and envisioning getting your stuff in and out will demonstrate that you prefer one thing to another.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:02AM
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raehelen

Think about what you want to store in there. The advantage of the diagonal corner is the added depth. I use mine with lazy susans for my spices. Wouldn't be able to do that with an easy reach. So, no glass doors, cuz it's functional but not particularly pretty. My lower is like the above picture with the centre hinge door. I don't think the lower has to be a diagonal too.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 4:43AM
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lzhwong

I was planning on doing a super susan for the bottom cabinet. Would it look funny if the top was a diagonal and the bottom was a 90 degree angle?

I read another discussion topic on GW that mentioned if you do a diagonal on the top, the bottom should also be a diagonal along with the countertop. Some have mentioned that it makes the space looked cramped. Here is an image of what it would look like.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:49AM
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writersblock

> Would it look funny if the top was a diagonal and the bottom was a 90 degree angle?

That's probably the most common corner configuration for the past ten years or so.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:28AM
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theresa2

If you have to have a corner cabinet, I like an easy reach on the top, because you can see everything in the cabinet right away, you won't have to go digging. Also you'll have more natural light on the counter under the cabinet. I have a diagonal cabinet which I make the most of. I store my big salad spinner there, the rest of the space is used for infrequently used items. You should think ahead in how you might use the space, and then decide.

I like a blind cabinet for the base because you gain more base cabinet space on the adjoining wall. Again, I just put infrequently used items in the blind area of the blind base cabinet. A diagonal base would make the countertop really deep and hard to reach for cleaning.

I don't like glass cabinets unless they are semi-transparent because they are either a maintenance headache or they are dirty all the time and you are force to put pretty things in them which is not always practical. Plus it just adds to the cost of the cabinet.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 4:37PM
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cooksnsews

Had so-called Easy Reach cabs in my old kitchen, but decided on a diagonal w/ glass doors in the new one. I really like the significant extra capacity. Seasonal/occasional use stuff is kept at the back and highest shelves. My KD was totally against it, especially if the bottom cabs weren't diagonal as well - said it would look "funny". I checked out the combo in several real life kitchens before I decided, and I couldn't anything funny about them at all.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 6:22PM
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a2gemini

I went with the diagonal but no glass as this was one feature that I could not be totally linear.
The lower shelves are easy to reach. The upper shelves, I just used a basic turntable - I have to look at my notes, by one GW built her own turntables that are more space efficient than these - but for now, these work fine.

Close up of one of the shelves

Rotated around a bit

I also hide some interesting things in the corners - extra thermal style mugs that I hardly ever use.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:12PM
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tmy_jax

Bellsmom installed the supersusans in her upper corner cab. She has a very good thread covering the install process (see below).

HTH,
tmy

Here is a link that might be useful: Bellsmom wall corner susan thread

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:31PM
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buehl

Personally, I prefer the 90-degree corner cabinets for both upper and base cabinets.

In my old kitchen, we had a diagonal upper cabinet and a 90-degree base cabinet w/a lazy susan. I disliked the upper and liked the lower.

Even at 5'10", most of the depth of that upper cabinet was inaccessible to me without climbing onto a chair. I could reach all of the bottom shelf, about 1/2-way into the second shelf, and only the very front of the top shelf. We needed all the space we had and really couldn't afford to relegate that much storage for seldom-used items. In addition, it was a bit intrusive - but it could be b/c I had a 90-degree base cabinet.

I really liked the lazy susan b/c it fit so much stuff (all my pots & pans, colanders, and several large serving pieces). In addition, everything was right in front for easy access - just spin the shelves until the item you want is right in front. The walls of the cabinet were contoured to fit the curve of the shelves and were so close that nothing bigger than a grain of rice could fall off the shelf. The door was attached to the shelves so it rotated into the cabinet when I opened it - no issues with doors banging other doors or needing extra filler so the door would open.

My mother has a lazy susan in a diagonal upper cabinet - I don't like it. Things are always falling off and items on the top shelf are too high to reach except the items on the outside of the shelf. The lazy susan is also quite a bit smaller than it could be - a wider one would have been better, I think.

My MIL has blind corners for both upper and base cabinets - and she and I both hate them! She does her best to not put anything in the "blind" part of each cabinet b/c it's such a pain to get at things. Even with the pullouts they have for the base cabinet, you have to be careful how you store things b/c if anything falls off, you can't push the pullout back in until you crawl inside the cabinet to retrieve the item (after a certain age, you need a small child/grandchild to do it for your!) When we cleaned out her cabinets one time, we found boxes of food in the upper blind cabinet that had expired years ago! She couldn't easily see or reach into the blind corner, so she didn't know the boxes were there.

In my new kitchen, I have two corners and had really wanted a lazy or super susan to store my small appliances (the other corner is a corner sink base that houses my prep sink). Both corners are open in the back. I made the "mistake" of thinking out loud about putting in a cabinet in the corner w/o a sink that faced outside the kitchen and about putting dog food, etc. in that cabinet. My husband immediately jumped on it and insisted we had to have it - and so I lost what I thought would be wonder appliance storage for me. *sigh* However, I do have to say that it really is the best use of a corner - it wastes very little space if you plan it right and the storage space is very accessible. It was the best use of space for us b/c now we have a place for the 6-gallon tin of dog food & 3-gallon tin of treats + a pullout for leashes, spare collars, pet meds, etc....all things doggy! The top drawer holds flashlights & batteries. My small appliances now reside in my pantry.

I don't have any corner upper cabinets as I just extended them out to the sides and I have no side walls on that side of the kitchen. If I did, though, I would opt for easy-reach as I, personally, think (1) they're the best use of space for an upper corner that has all the space that is not only accessible, but also visible, (2) they're less intrusive if you're working in the corner, and (3) I think it looks better.

For a corner base cabinet, I prefer a 90-degree cabinet as it adds 12" of counter frontage on each side of the corner. If you're short on counterspace or have an appliance butted up against the corner cabinet, it gives you more room to move around. Diagonal corners do give you added depth, but unless you plan to put a MW, TV, or similar in that corner, the deeper depth may not be usable (depending on how long your arms are).

Looking at the picture with the wider corner cabinet, I would not do it if you're short on storage or counterspace or, as is the case in the layout you posted at the beginning, it's against one or two windows. Corner cabinets take up a lot of wall space. A 33" cabinet, for example, needs approx 48" on each wall. That's 12" more than a standard corner cabinet - and those 12" can be incorporated into other cabinets to give you much more useful storage.

Since you do have a lot of counters & storage space (at least I think you do - if I'm reading your plan correctly), you could probably do it if it weren't for the placement of the window on the range wall - I think it's too close to the corner for that size cabinet.

Sorry this is so long! Good luck with your kitchen!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:45AM
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lzhwong

Thank you for all of your input! Like buel mentioned, I think my space is probably too small for a diagonal cabinet. I definitely don't want to eliminate any windows. I will probably do the easy reach upper cabinet and a lazy susan for the bottom cabinet. I will try and find a way to incorporate some glass into the uppers as I do like the lightness it brings to the kitchen. I don't have a lot of uppers so I don't think it will be too costly.

Thank you again to everyone who chimed in with their suggestions!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:36AM
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motherof3sons

I have had both and prefer the easy reach cabinet that is in my current kitchen. One diagonal cabinet had a lazy susan (plastic on a pole) that was utterly useless. Had we stayed in the house we planned to remove it and put in glass shelves and redesign the door.

The lower cabinet in my current kitchen is a blind 90 degree corner with a mechanism that pulls out. It works, but I much prefer the lazy susan in my previous kitchen. I chose the blind corner more for symmetry than function.

As far as diagonal upper and 90 degree lower, that will look fine. My previous kitchen had this layout and it looked great.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:53AM
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efeuer

I'm only 5'3" and I much prefer the diagonal upper. I have easy-reach below. True, I can't reach the back of the shelves, but at least I can reach the front! I'm planning a remodel now and I didn't even consider easy-reach. That would place all of the storage further back where I couldn't get to it. If there's an esthetic problem mixing and matching styles, I never noticed it. BTW, I use my trusty kitchen tongs to grab stuff in the back of the 2nd shelf. :) I can't reach anything on top shelves of any of my cabinets without a stepstool or a son/husband. Blame my short parents.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:59AM
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lzhwong

Thank you for all of your input! Like buel mentioned, I think my space is probably too small for a diagonal cabinet. I definitely don't want to eliminate any windows. I will probably do the easy reach upper cabinet and a lazy susan for the bottom cabinet. I will try and find a way to incorporate some glass into the uppers as I do like the lightness it brings to the kitchen. I don't have a lot of uppers so I don't think it will be too costly.

Thank you again to everyone who chimed in with their suggestions!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:36AM
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lzhwong

Hmm, that's odd. Don't know how that last post got posted. I certainly didn't post the same message twice.

I'm also short and now I worry that I won't be able to reach anything in the easy reach. My current kitchen has an L shaped corner cabinet so you can't put anything in the back corner. The part where the corner is located is difficult for me to reach. I think now it will just come down to price. Is the diagonal upper or easy reach cheaper? I have a feeling the diagonal will be more expensive since I would want to put glass in the front.

Anyone have a picture of glass in a diagonal upper cabinet?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Caliente63

You can buy "D-shaped" super susans like the ones BellesMom created (no need for mad skillz as a woodworker). You need a 24"x24" diagonal corner cabinet and nominal 20" D-shaped susans. This brings the contents much nearer to you than a right-angled cabinet of the same dimensions.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 2:38PM
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