Corners are difficult challenges in kitchens and pantries. Frustrated home owners, clever carpenters and dedicated designers, have come up with wonderful solutions to make them more functional.
A blind corner pantry or a blind corner cabinet refers to a corner that you can’t access well in a kitchen cabinet layout plan – it’s hidden. Blind corners or hidden corners are difficult to reach contents in the back of the corner.
Blind corner cabinets are typically used for dishware, mixing bowls, and pots and pan storage.
This article covers all of the accessories or units that make a blind corner cabinet more pleasant to use. It’s heavily focused on kitchen base cabinets, but their are tall versions, too, that work especially well for pantry units.
There really is a difference between “blind corner pantry” and “hidden corner pantry.” Blind corner pantry means that you can’t see fully into a corner. The term “blind corner” is usually in reference to kitchen base corner cabinets. This is usually applied in kitchen design to access these hard-to-reach corners. Special cabinet accessories and pull outs help to bring the contents of the blind corner out to where the user can reach it.
Hidden corner pantry refers to a closet or small room which the entry door is disguised as a kitchen cabinet door. A hidden corner pantry is just one possible placement in a kitchen. To understand better the pros and cons of hidden pantries, check out Hidden Pantries, the Best-Kept Kitchen Secret.
Blind corner cabinet math
To understand better the pros and cons of hidden pantries, check out Hidden Pantries, the Best-Kept Kitchen Secret.
A blind kitchen corner cabinet box is built to contain the exposed kitchen cabinet base door, as well as the blind section. This means that a 36″ wide box exposes just enough of the box when clearing the adjacent base corner cabinet to fit a 12″ door. That doesn’t sound like a very practical size, does it?
It’s common to see blind corner cabinets come in sizes of 36″ and greater, because the wider the box, the greater the exposed door will be. Some cabinet companies offer a 33″ wide blind corner pantry unit, the access door becomes impractical at this size. If people are using that size, they have no other choice in the given space.
Remember that the larger the box, the bigger the size of the exposed door. If the exposed door is 12″ or less, it is not a very productive cabinet space. The voided space makes sense if it is sacrificed for the greater good of the overall kitchen design.
The other alternative to using a blind corner is to design a kitchen without corners, a popular and more “clean” look seen in kitchen design today.
What Are Magic Corners?
Magic Corners are cabinets that utilize special hardware to access blind kitchen cabinet corners. Shelves are attached to the cabinet door and pull out when the door is open, giving convenient access to shelves in the hidden part of the cabinet.
There are different versions of Magic Corners. For example, in one version, both the primary and secondary set of shelves pull completely out of the cabinet in an “unfolding” motion. In other versions, only the primary set of shelves fully pull out, and the secondary shelves slide into the space where the primary shelves first occupied so contents can be reached.
Watch the video to get a better understanding of how a Magic Corner works. I would describe the Magic Corner as a “Swiss Army Knife” – it flips out “magically” (of course I had to use that word). It really is fun to watch the innovation that went into building these blind corner storage solutions.
Are Magic Corners worth it?
Have you seen the price tag of Magic Corners? Oh, my. The next obvious question is “are Magic corners worth it?”
To quote Marie Kondo, does it bring you joy? At $1,000 a pop, it better bring you a lot of it. Magic corners more efficiently use space than “LeMans” corners, half-moon corners, or traditional Lazy Susans. Magic Corners are engineered to give the best possible experience of using blind corner cabinets.
Given the different variations of the Magic Corner idea, there will be different price ranges.
If I had a tiny kitchen, and could afford it, I would splurge and put a Magic Corner in. Magic Corners are enjoyable to use and really make it easy to use everything, no matter the location. Compare this to some blind corner solutions where the items may never see the light of day again (or reserved for seasonal storage because of the hassle of retrieving them).
If space is no issue in the kitchen/home, I would opt for the less expensive blind corner solutions, or just learn to live with a blind corner pantry. There is always something to stick back there, after all. But as we know, out of sight, out of mind. That wedding gift we received 10 years ago will be all new again in a few years of hiatus in a blind corner.
As mentioned, you can step down to a less expensive “LeMans” corner, which is a step above a half-moon corner cabinet accessory or the traditional Lazy Susan corner if you are looking for other options for blind corner pantry cabinets.
Pros of Magic Corners
- operates smoothly
- maximizes blind corner space
- easy to access
Cons of Magic Corners
- hardware takes up space
- watch weight limits
Watching the video below, you can quickly understand how the term “magic” came to describe it. There are several different versions of Magic Corners including wood interiors and chrome. I must say, Magic Corner videos are entertaining to view!
Here is a video featuring a wood version of the Magic Corner.
What are LeMans Corners?
LeMans corner units are accessories for base kitchen cabinets that offer easy access to blind corner cabinets. The race track shape cleverly swivels out to reveal contents of the odd, oval-shaped shelves. Users manually pulls the unit out which come in pairs.
I must give credit to Cannadines Kitchen & Bath Designers that did a nice job explaining where the unusual name comes from. The term “LeMans” originates from the shape of a famous auto race track located in LeMans, France.
Let’s throw another name in there to confuse you even more – “Kesseböhmer.” The LeMans solution was developed by Kesseböhmer, kitchen storage specialists, and won the internationally renowned Red Dot design award in when it was launched in 2004. – Cannadines If you see those two words used together, you can better understand the relationship.
If someone refers to a “LeMans in a kitchen” or a “LeMans shelf” they are referring to a base cabinet blind corner accessory. Another description of this shape is “peanut” or “bean” because of the more organic shape of the unit.
Pros of LeMans corner blind cabinets
- operates smoothly
- easy to access
Cons of LeMans corner blind cabinets
- added cost
- reduced storage space
There are other cabinet companies that have their versions of the LeMans corner cabinet unit. The Rev-a-Shelf company makes a similar product called “The Cloud.” Although the LeMans corner does not have quite the maximum space that a Magic corner does, it is less expensive (and there are different price points, so anyone could have this in their kitchen).
The truth is that if space goes unutilized because of awkward access, then any blind corner cabinet accessory will be an advantage.
Half Moon or Half Lazy Susan Shelves
A half-moon shape corner pantry shelf is an even more budget-friendly option for a blind corner kitchen cabinet. As the name says, the shape is a half-moon or half a circle. There is less engineering for this corner cabinet accessory as compared to the Magic and LeMan corner solutions.
Half-moon corners come in two shelf tiers with railings on the side to keep items from falling off. They range in price from $145-$300+. This is an easy price range for most people to enter into.
Traditional Lazy Susan
Traditional Lazy Susans have been the long-time standard solution for corners in kitchens. It is not technically a blind corner (blind corners are straight). Traditional Lazy Susans take up the whole corner.
Two rotating round shelves are attached to a center spindel and sometimes the door as well. If attached to the door, the corner door rotates with the unit ultimately returning to a closed position. The “door” is composed of two panels that meet into a 90° inverted corner, much like the inverted blind corner drawers.
The positive side of opting for traditional Lazy Susans corner cabinets are that they are more budget friendly. They can get pricier the nicer they are finished, such as with pretty chrome baskets.
The negative side of using Lazy Susan corner cabinets:
- not maximizing the space as well as they can
- round shape is difficult to organize
- items tend to fall off the trays into the back of the cabinet – retrieval is difficult
- fingers are pinched between cabinet door and side when rotating the door
Blind corner drawers
In this very unusual cabinet solution, the corner is built to look like and function as a set of drawers. Extra craftsmanship is required to build drawers that “invert in.”
Technically, it works. It’s easy to see that there will be significant wasted space along with additional material requirements. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but I am sure it appeals to some kitchen owners.
There will not be any room for large items. This space will best serve small things like jars and spices.
Pros of blind corner drawers:
- offers a drawer choice for blind corner pantry
- adds special aesthetic to kitchen
Cons of blind corner drawers:
- wasted space
- additional materials
Other blind corner pantry solutions
The cheapest blind corner pantry solution is to not do anything at all with the corner. This results in reaching into the dark abyss or getting down on hands and knees with a flashlight to recall what you stored there last.
Some people come up with homemade solutions, such as sliding a basket into the blind corner and sliding it out. Of course, don’t forget that to “slide it out” everything in front of it has to be take out first.
ShelfGenie came out with a super simple solution with less moving parts and expense, but it gets the job done. When the primary shelves are rolled out fully, secondary shelves have space to roll out from the blind corner. This solution works best with a wide door access. I am sure ShelfGenie is using heavy duty slides to carry the weight of the wider shelf span.
Remember, in all of these versions, the extra hardware takes up extra space. This is especially true in the versions that require more engineering. Regardless of the solution used to improve a blind corner cabinet, space will be lost.
All of the versions are shallow shelves with enough railing to prevents spills. This shallow storage lends itself well to pots, pans and bowls that can safely and solidly stack with no fear of tipping over.
Blind corner accessories are most often used for base kitchen cabinets, but are available for upper kitchen cabinets as well. They are not used as often because it’s a bit easier to access upper kitchen corner blind cabinets because they are not as big.
Current design trends are to design kitchens without corners. That sounds like a design challenge, but it really isn’t. These days, there is a design focus of putting more useable storage space into mega islands, so the kitchen owner is definitely winning. Don’t forget that hardware and accessories for blind corner pantries add cost to a kitchen – it’s to your benefit to avoid them if you can.