Every morning, for 50 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., my kitchen is a flurry of activity. Lunch boxes spread over the counter, tea on one burner, breakfast on another, and cooker on yet another. Pots and pans strewn around. But, this is an organized chaos that we all have got used to over the years. If there is one thing that upsets this schedule, it is not being able to find what you are looking for. And often, it is the lid of something, or a Nutella bottle that was accidentally kept in the fridge.
Phew..now you know why kitchen design is so much important in one’s life. The corner is what every kitchen user dreads. This is an expensive piece of kitchen real estate that you cannot ignore, but at the same time not give too much importance to either. Rarely have I found someone who is proud to show off the kitchen corner; it’s as if it holds the darkest secrets of your life. There is no one-size fits all solution for this out-of-bounds, dark space of the kitchen. But, the corners are the most coveted space by every kitchen accessories manufacturer as the fancy accessories cost a bomb.
The design process for the new home is on. This time around, I was keen on having a parallel kitchen as it avoids the corners . But, when you have a large almost-square, rectangular kitchen, it is a lot of wasted space in the center. After more than a dozen trial and error designs for my kitchen, I was finally happy with one. It was truly a Eureka moment. But, couldn’t avoid one corner in this design. I’ve been researching and drawing from my experiences of what works best in a corner.
So, if you are like me, wondering how to best utilize the corners, read on and share your insights. Here’s a good article on the structure of the three solutions to get you familiarized with all the fancy terms: Magic Corner, Lazy Susan, Le Mans Corner and such.
There are three factors I check before I buy anything: ease of use, price, and flawless design. Flawless design means maximum use of space, less maintenance which brings in the service angle. I would ideally prefer something that needs zero service. No service, simpler life.
What should you check for before buying a kitchen corner accessory:
- Ease of operating. If it involves multiple steps like in a Le Mans corner, is it practical?
- Are the bottom shelves solid or do they have gaps? I’ve seen sachets slip through the gaps and it’s almost impossible to retrieve them.
- Is there too much gap between the wooden cabinet and the accessory? This increases chances of things falling over.
- What is the load bearing mechanism? The carousels rest on a central pipe which gives away with weight and use. I have spent hours in the evenings personally taking them apart and fixing it again. Why me? One, it’s not easy to find a carpenter for such odd jobs and I take pleasure in getting my hands dirty even if you told you otherwise:) Often, you will hear sales persons commit that it can take loads up to 35 Kg and 50 Kg. On prodding further and closely examining the system, they will sheepishly admit that you cannot keep heavy items. If it is just to keep a few pots and pans, wouldn’t it be prudent to have well-designed shelves?
- Having said that, if your budget allows, you can buy one that comes out of the cabinet and is well supported on the base of every shelf like a Lazy Susan.
Ideas of what to keep in a kitchen corner:
- Vertically hang the pans. Easy to access and they don’t get scratched by rubbing against each other.
- Store items in labelled boxes in asymmetrically built shelves. The boxes could hold stuff you use once in a while such as silver foil, cling wrap and tissue rolls. In addition, I have other items such as extra water bottles or lunch boxes for one of those days when your kid and husband have both forgotten to get it back.
- I wouldn’t recommend it for storing appliances such as juicer or processor as they have several small parts. If they fall through the gaps, then it would difficult to get it back.
- Baking accessories if you bake only once a month. This could include measuring cups, trays and weighing machine.
- If you do not have a copper piping to keep the cylinder in the utility, this is one space to keep it.
Here are a few solutions I love in the order of preference:
This solution obviously ranks high on design. Zero service. The only suggestion I would have here is to replace these hinges with butt hinges if possible. As you can see, the shelves don’t get in the way of each other.
Another variation of the shelving system with decreased depth.
I particularly like this solution from Blum. The cons are it is deep on the pockets and wastes space. From convenience point of view, it works great, and that counts when it comes to kitchens.
See this image to understand why space is waster in the drawer system:
Using the corner to vertically organize pans will work great if you have a few pans. Otherwise, bending every time to sort though the clutter and retrieve what you were looking for will tire you out.
The other neat options are of course the Le Mans Corner and Magic Corner Solutions from almost all brands.
I know what you are thinking. This is so simple. Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith to keep it simple. I would love to hear from you what has worked for you in your kitchen corners? Is there something you would do differently, if given a chance?