Turning the Corner in Your Kitchen PlanIn it's worst form it has only fixed or adjustable shelves. The back portion (to the left of the opening in this drawing) is a kind of black hole where things disappear until the next renovation. These kinds of cabinets are common in older homes and in cheap "Builder" kitchens and should be avoided at all costs. I'm not saying that blind corner cabinets should be ruled out completely. There are some designs where they are the best or only solution available. And there are some inserts available that make these cabinets pretty effective. The first is 1/2 round shelves that turn and slide out, as illustrated below.
The key to using these inserts is that they must be from a quality manufacturer. Because they come out so far they must have heavy duty hardware supporting the shelves, and the shelves must be strong enough to support moderate weight. Even then there are limits to how much weight these will hold.
The second solution for a blind corner is what is commonly called a "Magic Corner". This is a serious piece of engineering, as illustrated right.
The right hand (in this configuration) shelves are either attached to the door or not depending on the manufacturer, and pull out and over. At the same time the back shelves slide over and in some cases out to provide pretty much full access to the available space. They work- I've had one in my kitchen for 10 years and we use it to store pots and pans. This kind of engineering and robust quality comes at a price and you should expect to pay a premium for a cabinet with this type of hardware, but it provides a lot of valuable storage space in a difficult situation.
The more common corner situation is a full corner cabinet, as shown here:
In it's most basic form with just fixed or adjustable shelves it's not very useful, even though there is a lot of space inside, because the opening is fairly cramped and you have to reach way in to get to the back. This is why you see lazy susan hardware in all but the cheapest kitchens:
There is also a version that works with certain styles of cabinetry where the doors fold in and rotate with the trays. This works on a 3/4 round cabinet (where the doors form a right angle instead of 45 degrees).
As in the blind corner hardware, cheap quality will not work here. These shelves are big and capable of holding a lot of stuff. In the cases above, all of that weight is carried by that center shaft. I have found that, in situations where I knew these cabinets were going to get heavy use, individual rotating trays mounted on sturdy shelves is a better solution.
The last corner configuration that I'm going to discuss is where the layout turns to form a peninsula.
Any of the previous set-ups will work here, but another option is to access the corner from the back side:
This could, for example, provide storage for linens, platters,etc. on the dining room side of the room.
Everything that has been written here concerns corners in lower cabinetry. What about upper corners? While the shapes of these cabinets are the same, it's not always possible or even necessary to fit these with inserts and it's much more common to have simple adjustable shelves here. Because upper corners are half as deep as lowers, it's much easier to access the interiors. And because these cabinets have so much open space in them, they are very useful for storing a lot of dishes and glassware. It’s possible to fit them out with lazy susan’s and other accessories; it’s just a matter of personal preference.