Upper Cabinet Layout - Need Advice Please!

BlackChamoisAugust 3, 2012

I've gone back to the drawing board in terms of my upper cabinet layout ... and I'd love to get your thoughts/suggestions.

I am toying with two options.

Option 1 (the original plan)

- The corner cabs to the left and right of the sink are angled

- To the immediate left of the window is open shelving (the sketch shows wine cubbies, but they would actually be "floating" shelves)

- The cabinet to the immediate right of the window would have a glass door


Are angled cabinets a good use of space? (I thought it would be a good idea to eliminate "blind corners" but now I am wondering if angled cabs might not be as functional.)

Option 2

- This option has eliminated the angled cabinets in the corners and instead will have blind corners for the cabs on the left and right wall

- The cabinets to the left and right of the window each have a glass door (looks purple in the sketch). One door would be about 18" wide, the other door would be about 22" wide


A 22" door means the glass insert would be about 17" wide (the frame is about 2.5" wide on each side). Is that too wide for a glass insert? Or should I do double glass doors on that cabinet? Would that look odd to have a single glass door on one side and a double on the other?

I hope this all makes sense and I so appreciate your feedback!!! Thank you in advance!

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I prefer the second option. It balances out your off center sink. The other option looks a bit busy to me, plus I love glass cabinets! I would leave them single, but do not know about the feasability.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:39AM
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I have forever disliked angled corners. Can never figure out what should be stored in there and seems like wasted space since a turn table is used. Something always falls back in a corner to require digging out. I do use the bottom ones for large appliances. For blind corners there are always the set-ins which allow you to pull out and swing open to reach the back portion.

Like the second layout. Enjoy your new kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:15AM
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I like the second option better as well. It presents more symmetry which I find pleasing to the eye. Looking at the open shelves- in the first option I had a hard time figuring out what would be stored there that would be useful.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:17AM
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Another vote for the second option!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Don't neglect the possibility of using an "easy-reach" upper corner cabinet. This is an L-shaped cabinet with a two-piece door. You can get them with a double-hinged door like so:

or with two independently hinged doors like so:

I got one like that in the first picture and am very happy with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Easy-reach corner cab

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Option 2. Someone posted a kitchen very much like your first one and it felt claustrophobic.

I have a short refrigerator wall like yours. It was the hardest leg of my U to design--I had a lot that needed to fit in there, and we wanted a 36" CD fridge that looked built-in. We used a 9 inch pantry pull-out. I would suggest you make your pantry smaller so you're not squeezed into the corner, especially with a DW there. Your counter space and cabinets to the left of the fridge will become more functional.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:54AM
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I am echoing may_flowers' comment and that of Angie_DIY.
On topic:
I prefer your non-angled plan. And I would definitely use Angie's suggestion. I bet you can get those corner cabs with the inside door glass and the outside door wood. The visual space you will gain from not having the angled upper cabs (which make the area look smaller to me) AND from the glass doors will be great. And you will have every precious inch of that upper space available.

OFF topic:
I would really not like the confined corner workspaces. I speak from experience. Here's the best pic I have of my old kitchen.

Fridge and stove Faced each other. There was a little more than 24'' of counterspace to the right of the stove and about 20'' to the left of the fridge. Not nearly enough to do much cooking. Your kitchen will be spacious in comparison.

But even so, consider making the pantry smaller, moving the fridge toward the door , and making the cabinet to the left of the fridge as large as you can, as Mayflower suggested.
BUT, I just realized, where are you putting the trash? I would hate to use that cab for trash, but it looks like you will have to, at least in part. Or, you can house a trash pull out under the sink. A better choice, I think. Then nice usable drawers next to the fridge.
Either way, you NEED the counterspace. Corners are not usable work area, as you know if this is a remodel.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Bear in mind that if you use an easy reach corner cabinet, it will take away 12 inches from the adjacent cabinets. What size cabinets will that leave you with? With that choice, it's even more important to shrink the pantry. With a blind corner, you'll have larger adjacent cabinets. I decided on a blind corner cabinet with a 12 inch door. It's not extremely useful but the adjacent cabs are, at 24 inches and 30 inches. It's all a balancing act to achieve symmetry when you have a small U-shaped kitchen.

The corner in question, but taken at an angle so it looks more squished than it really is.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:40AM
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How about no cupboards flanking the windows. Just leave it open and spacious feeling.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Thanks everyone for your feedback!

p.ball2 - The spacing and number of the "floating" shelves in Option 1 is not set. If I did go with this option, I had planned on using for display items, vs. storage.

Angie DIY - Great idea about the easy reach cabinet! Thanks!

MayFlowers - I did choose a CD frig (this is the appliance I am most excited about!!!!! French door freezer at the bottom. Can't wait!) I think the sketch looks a bit more crowded than it will actually be. I kept all my appliances in the same place as I didn't really have many/any options to make significant changes. In looking at the pic you posted, in comparison, my pantry will be about double the width, as well as I will have more space to the left of the frig. I don't have all the exact measurements but I don't think it will be any more crowded than it is today ... and I can function pretty well in there now, tiny as it is! :) Question - the 3 cabs to the right of your stove - how wide are they (each, and in total)?

Bellsmom - The trash will not have it's own cabinet. It will go under the sink as it did in the past, which I am fine with.

Thank you all for your insightful feedback!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Blind corners and angled cabinets are such a waste of space.

I have to ask, can you move your DW over to the right of the U, where open, you'd still have room to put your dishes in.

That you would you move your sink over, maybe a lazy Susan (NOT A BLIND CORNER) and this back and forth could be settled for you. That makes things so tough, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:14PM
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Question - the 3 cabs to the right of your stove - how wide are they (each, and in total)?

Answer - On the stove wall, there's a single 24 inch cab with double doors and a 12 inch blind corner cab. A 12 in. opening isn't really wide enough to do much with (Euro hinges take up some space) so I mainly use it for paper towels and napkins. I still have lots of empty shelves since the remodel, so it doesn't bother me to "waste" a cabinet. I wanted the full 30 inches for the cabinet adjacent to the corner because that's my main food cabinet, along with the pantry and a spice drawer. I didn't want to use a hinged easy reach for my everyday food items.

I'd still try to make your corner more useful by going with a 12 inch pantry. I had a 20 inch pantry before--moving the fridge down just 8 inches gave us a lot more breathing room in the corner. We would have ditched the pantry and moved the fridge all the way to the end, but then we'd have had to move our refrigerator water hook-up. That's what I'd recommend for your kitchen. Without the pantry, you'd have such great counter and cabinet space to the left of the fridge and your kitchen would feel downright spacious!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:51PM
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I was just thinking what Christine said about moving the dw to the left of the fridge and centering the sink? I totally get the whole '15 pounds in a 5 pound bag' situation of a small kitchen but a centered sink might work better?

And then as BL said, what about forget the corner cabs... just run your cabs up to the window wall and stop them there? You could do some nifty tile or something on the window wall and keep it real open feeling. Or, go with the easy reach and don't put anything more between them and the window other than maybe your floating shelves. Just ideas.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:53PM
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I'm working on this blind corner issue as well. I like the idea of the easy reach corner cabinet. Can you please clarify for me size options. Does it only come in one size (12 inches each side). Is there any reason that a custom cabinet maker wouldn't be able to make one in any size? With the blind corner I would basically have 2 cabinets (doors part in the one with the blind end) that are the same size. I like how that looks, but hate the blind corner.. Would rather have it be blocked off and a dead corner I think. I have a blind corner in this spot now and the only things that are back there a things that I probably should have thrown out a long time ago... And will when we remodel :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:57PM
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I've been gone a while with vacation and other stuff, so I haven't caught up on your kitchen work.

We have an easy reach cabinet and it's great. Here's a picture of ours. My second choice would be Option #2. I'm not a fan of corner cabinets - their look or their function. :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Here's a pic of my upper corner easy reach cabinet. A custom cab maker should be able to make the cabinet almost any size you'd like.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:12AM
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