Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Corner Cabinets: A reason not to have one.

Corner cabinets: When faced with an option of using a corner for storage or voiding the corner, evaluate what can be gained without one. This kitchen would have lost it's impact, the hood would have to be moved over possibly, and the drawers would lost the balance this massive hood needs.

This gorgeous kitchen remodeled by Downsview Kitchens, for the 2007 American Red Cross Designers’ Show House, West Palm Beach, Florida, and featured in the July-August issue of Veranda Magazine, is designed with a voided corner . The impact in the design is the curvaceous hood, the molding, the simplicity of the drawers. It is the use of drawers instead of a typical corner storage cabinet that makes a case for voiding the corner in favor of symmetry and balance.

This kitchen would have looked off balanced had they used a lazy susan corner cabinet. I like the balance of the 3 drawers shown both left and right of the range. They are a good width, looks like they could be 18 or 21 wide. I don’t like using drawers that are too narrow. The designer used shallow depth glass fronted bin drawers; great impact below the window. Love the use of the wood butcher block surface. I also like the wall to the right of the hood. Painted niche style open decorative display with tile accents. This is beautiful.

Now for what I don’t like: for a hood this size, I would have expected at least a 36” range. But then the drawers would have to be reduced in width. This seems a typical problem for most homeowners: bigger appliances or better storage. Also note the glass cook top is not level in the back left corner. Not much else to critique. I really like this space! Bravo to Kitchen Designer Sean Daigle. Also to Monica Brent who skillfully painted the hood. Gorgeous!


kmndesign said...

You make some excellent points against corner cabinets. And since you pointed it out, I can totally see how the range looks out of proportion with the hood.

It's hard to tell from the angle of the picture, but it looks like the butcher block curves out from the rest of the counter top, and echoes the curve of the window above. If so, I think that's a nice touch, too.

Regarding corners in kitchens, what do you recommend for C-shaped layouts, where there are two corners to contend with?

Laurie Burke, Kitchen Designer said...

Good point about the curve of the butcher block. That was creative wasn't it? If we look at this space you can see that the depth of the cabinets here (butcher block counter area) is reduced depth of about 12 or 15 deep. Typically, one would see this area as a space for the kitchen sink and cabinets at 24" deep. And see how removing the sink and standard 24" deep cabinets improved the placement for this range/hood location? It works well. I don't think a kitchen sink necessarily needs to be placed at the kitchen window.

With regard to corners in a C shape kitchen, the recommendation for any design (as I see it), is to achieve the maximum amount of storage and work flow for a space as possible. I always ask myself, what is the greater gain for the space? Lazy susans are great but what happens if you don't have enough drawers? In any event this design house picture is a great example of how a design is impacted by voiding the typical corner cabinet. Thanks for your comments.

kim said...

Your point about balance with such a large hood is well thought out. However, I would suggest you look into the Hafele catalogue and contact your closet Hafele representative. Hafele has many solutions to blind corners making all of the space usable, as well as solutions to many difficult design problems for kitchen. go to:

Peggy Deras, CKD, CID said...

I think the vantage point of the camera in this image emphasizes the base cabinets when, in a real viewing situation, the viewer's eyes are much higher (unless the viewer is a child or in a wheelchair).
Most people viewing a kitchen only "see" balance above the counter anyway. What goes on below the counter is not appreciated or perceived.
In this kitchen I would have done the susan AND the 36" range and taken the photograph from a higher angle.
Designers, and mostly homeowners, obsess about balance and symmetry from wall to base when it is only an issue in 2D drawings, not in real life.

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