Did you ever wonder how the Blind Corner stacks up against the Corner Pantry? Perhaps not?
Typically when designing we are concerned about the price and overall aesthetics when designing a new kitchen, but pausing to consider some of the differences between the two options can be a useful activity.
In this short article we break down the mathematics of kitchen storage.
The kitchen can be a difficult room to keep organised and the use of pantries is an important part of the solution. There are some common design mistakes we see when using the different options.
Remember with the typical Corner Pantry – the door is extended fully to the floor – this makes a “walk inside” ability to the pantry providing better access to the back of shelves. The same feature also means that coloured End Panels are also required on either side in order to cover the white carcass. This needs to be factored in both for the additional cost as well as the size required.
With the Blind Corner Pantry we don’t necessarily require these End Panels (depending on the design) which is part of the cost advantage, however there are some common design mistakes we see:
Firstly, it is important to allow for a Filler Panel(s) from any cabinets on the adjacent leg. This is important for both clearance of adjacent cabinets (i.e. being able to open the dishwasher door), as well as allowing for installation tolerance in case of walls not being perfectly square or straight. Ideally this Filler Panel is between 50mm and 70mm.
Secondly, the cabinet is designed with a void which pulls the cabinet away from the back of the wall. This void coincidentally makes it easier to reach the back of the cabinet. The coloured panel next to the door extends past this void and directly into wall acting as the Filler Panel. It is this panel that can be neatly scribed against the wall.
While maximising space in any design is always preferred to wasting space – there are occasions when deliberately designing in tolerance means a much safer installation. If our project is on a tight budget or a tight timeline than this will be critical. Leaving dead space may be the best option for your kitchen, especially if you’re renovating an older home with a dysfunctional layout. Often you won’t be able to fit in a large corner cabinet which sits against walls on both sides.
You can see in these two images that both cabinets have very different footprints and here is where the design opportunities are.
The traditional corner pantry requires almost a square metre (1.0m2) of floor space – this will work in large spacious layouts and particularly where there is wall space to balance this with other towers (oven, fridge etc).
Alternatively, the Blind Pantry has a smaller footprint around 0.7m2 (or 30% less) and so can be much more practical in small design spaces. Most importantly here though is the different legs.
With a depth of 630mm this can be forced into a corner which is much tighter – perhaps constrained by a window, or simply the need to include certain cabinet combinations.
See how we took a client brief for a tight space and made a functional kitchen – all built around the Blind Corner Pantry.
The Blind Corner Pantry can also be a more economical option and may be an attractive option if you’re on a tight budget. Typically, you will find the Corner Cabinet is the most expensive product in any kitchen range particularly with the required Coloured End Panels. This is simple maths – it is the largest cabinet with more material.
The Blind Corner Pantry on the other hand will usually price around 40% cheaper – that is a significant saving in anyone’s budget. In fact typically the savings are around $400, which on an average Flatpack kitchen will pay for an upgrade from standard Matt laminates to a Sheen or mid-gloss option!
The above savings are proportional to the smaller size of the Blind Corner Pantry – so what is the compromise on storage? This is quite simple to calculate in terms of shelf space: the typical Corner Pantry has 4.3m2 of storage shelves compared to 3.6m2 for the Blind Pantry. This is about a 17% reduction in storage so while this is less, it is a more economical way to include storage into a design.
Of course, some people will argue that the strict numbers are not the only factor – accessibility or how well we can access the storage is equally important. This is an important and valid point and the Corner Pantry does offer slightly better access to back corners with its semi-walk in design. Regardless, with either option, effective storage must emphasise placing most common used items at front and hand level while utilising more difficult points of access for less often used items (like that mix-master that is used a couple of times a year.)
With any new project it remains important to play around with the various options when in the design stage. If we can finalise our best design options before spending a dollar on site then we immediately increase our chance of a successful and on-budget renovation.
We recommend using the Semble online Kitchen Planner to create your designs and see the impact of space, layout and budget on as many design options as you want.
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