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Upper Blind Corner Cabinets for Kitchens

14 April 2008

“Go Up For Glory”

Several weeks ago we ran a series on corner cabinet solutions for kitchens, specifically those that occur in base cabinets.  As I said in a previous article on blind corner cabinets, these are cabinets with a blank face that allows another cabinet to butt into them. They occur because it’s the most cost-efficient way of going around the corner in a run of kitchen cabinets.

In our exploration of the various solutions offered up to this problem, we examined all kinds of elaborate, and expensive, solutions to this problem, but none of them, to my mind at least, actually solved the problem.  These include lazy Susans, Blum Space Saver drawers and push-pull-push hardware. All of them made the space in that blind corner more accessible. None of them provided as much storage space as we would have obtained with a simple drawer bank and boarded up blind corner.

Blind corners are not, of course, relegated only to base cabinets, but when that problem occurs in upper cabinets, it suddenly becomes solvable because of two main elements: location and the very issue that doomed all of the base cabinet solutions to failure—mathematics.

Because base cabinets are, of course, on the floor, it means that we often kneel down to access them, with all the attendant knee strain that becomes more and more of a problem as we age. And depending on how the kitchen is configured, a blind corner can also be a most awkward one. Upper cabinets allow us the luxury of simply reaching into them.

The second element that works in our favor is that base cabinets are normally 24″ deep, while wall cabinets are normally no more than 12″ deep. Speaking of which, did you ever wonder why that is so? It has to do with the efficient cutting up of the plywood or particleboard that is normally used for cabinet construction. These materials come in sheets 48″x96″, so if one makes faceframe cabinets, one can cut the base cabinets at a width of 23¼”, thereby getting two cabinets in 48″. And if the wall cabinets are cut at 11¼”, one can get four cabinets from 48″. And after you’ve attached ¾” faceframes, you are at 12″ and 24″. And if you’ve ever tried to get a deeper depth from any cabinetmaker who utilizes factory made cabinets, you’ve received a crash course in the benefit of dealing with small independent cabinetmakers. But I digress.

When you angle across the corner to install something like a Lazy Susan for a base cabinet, that angle comes into the kitchen, and you end up using more space than would otherwise be the case. With wall cabinets, because they are already set back 12″ from the edge of the cabinet, that angle simply brings the blind corner closer.

As it turns out, blind corners are like the lovers in the old Carpenters song. They long to be close to you.

Joseph

Next: “Close But No Cigar”

    2 Responses to “Upper Blind Corner Cabinets for Kitchens”

  1. Sandra  Says:

    I’m pretty sure that uppers are 12″ vs 24″ so you have a workspace on your counter. Otherwise wouldn’t you be working in a tunnel? Possibly banging your head? Thanks!

  2. Joe Freenor  Says:

    Upper cabinets are typically 12″ deep. Base cabinets are typically 24″ deep. However, this has more to do with the number of pieces that can be cut from a sheet of plywood then it does with what is best for the kitchen, although you are correct in saying that if both uppers and lowers were the same depth you would end up hitting your head. I just find myself objecting to being relegated to ONLY these depths. Maybe a 25″ base cabinet and 13″ wall cabinet would better fit your needs, but try getting that from anyone who is selling factory-made cabinets!

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