How To Deal With The Blind Corner Kitchen Cabinet

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I recently received a request from one of my readers to address the issue of the “blind corner cabinet.

In attempts to clarify she wrote,

I have no idea what else to call it. It is the one that you can reach into, but then have to practically crawl into to get to everything you’ve stuffed into the corner of it. This is a horrible explanation, but hopefully you know what I’m talking about!

Oh, my little down-on-your-hands-and-knees, searching for the crock pot in that vast expanse of cabinetry. Not only do I know exactly what you’re talking about, I truthfully can’t believe it’s taken me this long to mention it. The dreaded lower blind corner cabinet in the kitchen, that awful thing that unites all homeowners in their shared loathing. Today, in your honor, I will attempt to solve the storage space that has riddled residents since the day modern cabinetry was installed in that first kitchen, when most likely a carpenter mis-read some plans…

1. Choose wisely

The corner cabinet is low on the kitchen real estate totem pole. That means that the items you’re stowing within should be the ones you don’t reach for on a regular basis. Those commonly used items should be awarded prime placement in other, far more accessible cabinets. Perhaps you only use your kitchenAid mixer about three times a year, making that mixer an excellent candidate for the corner cabinet. Ditto various serving trays, bakeware, etc.

2. Establish and uphold capacity

It’s of the utmost importance that you keep the contents stored in the corner cabinet to the bare minimum. This is no place for clutter and I mean that and I really do. Once you combine A. the dark, and B. the hard to reach with C. (appropriately enough for) clutter, what you gets equals out to a disaster and the biggest pain in the arse to deal with– each and every time you open it.

If you do nothing else, cut back on the amount of items you store in the blind corner cabinet. Consider instituting a no stacking or nesting rule, instead requiring each piece to have a distinct place on the shelf. Store no more than that.

3. Throw yourself a bone. That turns. 

If you are open to equipping your blind corner with some cabinetry accessories, then a lazy susan is certainly the way to go. This half moon lazy susan or this pie cut turntable would both make a massive difference in the accessibility of your corner cabinet.

4. Throw yourself a fancier, even more flexible, customizable bone.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, there are a bevy of options to ease the corner pain. One step beyond the lazy susan in ease is the pull-out lazy susan, like this half-moon shelf set (wood version also available), and perhaps one step beyond that is the blind corner optimizer which allows for accessibility of the entire unit.

5. Rethink everything

Always remember that you have the freedom to set up your home in the way that works best for you.  Just because that tricky corner guy has been traditionally used as a home for things like muffin trays and crock pots does not mean yours has to be the resting ground for such things. Forget everything you know and ask yourself what the ideal use of that space is for you. A few ideas to set your thoughts ablaze:

rotary recycling center.

A wine rack.

And although I couldn’t come up with photographic depiction, I have seen the following done: remove the shelf, install hooks on the inside and top of the cabinet, and hang pans up by their handles.

6. Light it up

Last ditch idea– an easy way to increase the visibility in the corner cabinet is to illuminate it. Though the cabinet will still be in the corner, it won’t be blind with a battery-operated stick-on tap light. Stick one of those bad boys on either shelf level and press it on when you need to search out granny’s sterling silver serving tray. 



How do you deal with your blind corner cabinet?

Image credits: Martha Stewart, Young House Love, BHG, BHG, Kraftmaid, BHG, BHG, Enzy Living, Blum

34 thoughts on “How To Deal With The Blind Corner Kitchen Cabinet

  1. Heidi Cole

    I put in an angle sink base cabinet. It gets rid of the 2 worst cabinets in one. The other corner is like the top photo, and I put mixing bowls, baking dishes and colanders. The one that we got rid of was a true blind cabinet, not like the photos above It had one door, and went back behind the other cabinet in the corner.

    1. Annie Post author

      OH MY GOSH those are THE WORST! I know exactly what you’re talking about, and really, could and should be a post in and of itself.

      1. Kerri

        I’d love a post on those, too! Although the picture showing the full lazy Susan with the angled door above *is* giving me an idea!

      2. Deneen

        Did you get time to write this post you planned to write? I would love to get your ideas. I am dealing with blind corners to the left of a stove on both the lower and upper cabinets. Especially the blind corner in the cabinet to the left of the stove where I store my pots, pans, etc. That area is such a pain since it is right next to the stove … there is no return … just like in your last image of the wine rack where the door hits the front of another cabinet … my door hits the front of my oven. Things like that irk me … why would someone even create a cabinet like that? And the upper cabinets … ugh! The top shelf blind corner just doesn’t exist for me … I’m not eeeeeven trying to store anything in THAT corner. Plus, I am 5 feet 1 inch tall …

        All I can think of is buying a large 16 inch Lazy Susan to sit at the bottom of that cabinet and a smaller one for the shelf that’s inside. Kitchen renovation is not an option because I will probably move when my lease ends in March (just moved back to Illinois & renting until I decide where I want to put down roots/buy). Sorry for the rant. Any ideas?

  2. Jen

    A little disappointed with this article. Are there really ZERO solutions for the UPPER corner cupboard…that don’t involve you building your own house or altering your rental kitchen?!? Really depressing…

    If you have written the post you mentioned where you said you’d tackle it, can you please leave a link here in the comment thread?

    1. Sonya

      I have an upper corner cabinet, it is to the right of my stove. It has a lazy susan in it and I use it for my multitude of spices, cake coloring etc. Keep them in alphabetical order, works great.

    2. Brian Wells

      Dear Jen
      Two baskets or trays per shelf will do the trick. Leave on half alone and treat as a normal cupboard. The other side pull one basket right out, then move the other basket/shelf from the corner, across, access, and then slide back, then replace front basket/tray. If I was your partner I would build for you.

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  5. SukieJ

    I don’t know if any of these pictures address the problem the reader who wrote in was talking about. Not if she was talking about the “true blind cabinet” that Heidi mentions above. I would love to have any of the “problem” cabinets above! A lazy susan is of no use in a true blind cabinet. I can’t remodel, because I rent. Is there nothing that can be done with the cabinet I have? Do I just have to resign myself to having to empty out half the cupboard every time I need something from the back?

  6. Lorie

    My blind corner is from the 60’s era and measures almost 4 feet deep.As a pretty handy and resourceful person I am dumbfounded by this stupid cabinet. I cleaned it out last week and now only my crockpot lives there. With the door at just 13 inches I will still lose a lot of space no matter what shelve system I decide on. Love the drawers for that angle but I would lose the cabinet that sits next to it.

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  9. Renee

    What GREAT ideas!! The pie shaped turntables (lazy susan) you have pictured in the 3rd picture is exactly what i’m looking for. I have have 2 separate shelves like is shown in that picture and don’t want a lazy susan with the pole in the middle. Any idea where I can find something like this or exactly what it’s called? The link now goes to a lazy susan with the pole in the middle. This is my most troublesome cabinet and I cannot thank you enough for this post!!

    1. Annie Post author

      Hi Renee, if I follow, I think you’re looking for something like this?—Shelf-4WLS401-32-BS52-Kidney-Susan/dp/B00H45NB3C/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&qid=1422490955&sr=8-26&keywords=corner+cabinet+lazy+susan I’m not actually sure, but I think in most cases you’re meant to remove the existing shelves (and since there are usually 2…). Anyhow, I believe the one linked to does come with rotating hardware. Hope that helps!

  10. Margaret

    Had the large, centre pole lazy susan. When spinning the shelves to reach items, stuff went flying off and jammed up the whole operation. Finally gave it up when the shelves acquired a life of their own and kept sliding down the pole and collapsing into each other. My advice – nail the, usually folding access door, shut and fugeddabout it. Can’t win em all. Margaret.

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  12. Mary Coady

    I’ve installed two base corner cabinets, each with a two-shelf lazy susan. I think it’s the kidney variety (no pole). They are 32″ in diameter measuring from outside the rim, 30.5″ measuring from inside the rim. The cut out area is about 16″ deep x approximately 10.5″ inches at the widest point of the cut out. I am looking for shelf liners (total of four) for the lazy susans. They are wood, and I plan to use one as a pantry and want to keep it clean. I plan to use the other for pots and don’t want to scratch the surface. Have you seen any shelf liners for cabinet lazy susans? Where to find them?

    1. Anna Hartley

      The blind corner optimizer, #4 is the LeMans by Kessebohmer Clever Storage. The item is sold at local kitchen and bath showrooms nationwide. Just tell your kitchen dealer you are looking for the LeMans!

  13. Mike

    I am dealing with a blind cabinet, but with a different twist. It is a 36″ cabinet with a 10″ door. It is cornered with a cabinet of drawers, so the lazy Susan wouldn’t work.
    However the back of the cabinet is not against a wall. It creates a small,island type sey up.
    My thought is to take the back off an install sliding by-pass doors or to install a 2 door cabinet front on the back. Then install pull out shelves.
    Now I have never attempted a project like this, but when I’ve talked with several places that do cabinet work they kind of looked at me like I had 2 heads.
    Is this possible? Where would I look for someone that could do this?

  14. mrsben

    Not to offend, this is an excellent article provided you have the type of blind corners like you have featured that involve two adjacent openings. That said; for those who have only a small opening on a single run — search: which may help you out. Though not as elaborate as those above, it may be a solution for you and better then what you do have. -Brenda-


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