Kitchen storage space is a major consideration for many homeowners. That’s why kitchen renovations are often made with an eye toward storage solutions. Sometimes there is simply not enough room for all the pots, pans, bakeware, plates, appliances, and everything else that you’ll find in the average kitchen. Other times, the issue lies in accessibility.
Enter the lazy Susan.
What is a Lazy Susan and Why is it Less Than Ideal?
A lazy Susan, also known as a turntable, consists of racks or shelves on a rotating base. A lazy Susan in a corner cabinet allows you to turn the shelf, bringing items at the back around to the front for easier retrieval. In concept, it sounds great, so why is the lazy Susan one of the most disliked kitchen accessories?
For one thing, the round shelves don’t offer many options for organizing items efficiently. Taller items have a tendency to tip over when the shelf is turned, sometimes falling off and becoming lost. It may also become somewhat unsteady or difficult to rotate. Some may feel that the space could be used more efficiently and dislike the perceived waste of space in exchange for a limited gain in functionality.
Lazy Susan Alternatives
When planning a kitchen renovation with custom kitchen cabinets, you will want to ensure that the changes you make are both attractive and functional. To help you in creating your new kitchen, here are some lazy Susan alternatives that you might want to consider for difficult corner spaces, either for greater storage, or to serve other purposes.
Pullout Tray Drawers
Rather than having to spin a lazy susan, many prefer to outfit their corner cabinets with pullout drawers. Pullout drawers are sets of trays sitting on a wheeled hinge, allowing you to pull out the tray you need to access its contents when you need them. To maintain a clean, neat kitchen appearance, they have a straight door opening.This has the advantage of making things easily accessible, and can bring an interesting vibe to the design. The drawback is that a pullout tray drawer isn’t necessarily the best way to maximize the total amount of available storage space, given that they leave a small empty area on each side.
These are actual pullout drawers, as opposed to the tray drawers mentioned above. One of the more expensive alternatives, corner drawers are an excellent means of making everything easily accessible. The downside is that they require generous clearance for opening and also need a little space on each side. This means they cannot simply be added to an existing cabinet and must be part of a remodel or renovation. They tend to be extra sturdy, which can make them good choices for the storage of pots and pans.
Functionally similar to a lazy Susan, the super Susan uses fixed shelves, each with a single lazy Susan tray. Typically, there will be two in a single corner cabinet, though depending on the spacing of the shelves and the items to be stored, you might fit three. Where the super Susan has an advantage over the regular lazy Susan is in the fact that the trays spin independently and doesn’t require a pole upon which a typical lazy Susan rotates. This provides more room for the storage of larger items.
If your kitchen design is such that you already have enough space for your storage needs, you may want to consider putting your corner cabinet to a different use by making it a recycling centre. Adding three small bins allows you to keep garbage, recycling, and compost neatly out of sight.
Magic Corner Pullout
This type of storage features a section that pulls out and to the side, pulling a second section along behind it. Although some feature a flat bottom, others are wire racks that some might find loud, and which might allow items placed on them to slide around.
On the more positive side, they allow a great deal of storage and easy access, though it’s important to plan their integration with a professional designer to be sure that you are leaving enough room for clearance.
Pot and Pan Organizer
One popular use of the lazy Susan is storage for pots and pans. Some of the alternatives mentioned here are also suitable for this, though you may prefer to choose a dedicated organizer. A spinning pot and pan organizer lets you arrange your cookware in a neat and convenient manner.
One of the pricier solutions for your corner cabinet is motorized shelves. Storage lifts rise from your countertop to display everything on the shelves. It need not be simple storage. In fact, you could have a motorized coffee station rise to meet you each morning, or it could be equipped with other accessories that you use less frequently.
Once you are done, the shelves return to position, leaving a neat, unobstructed countertop.
The layout of your kitchen and your own particular needs might make it worth considering a built-in appliance. While not an ideal solution for a kitchen that is already low on space, you may find that it is suitable in your own kitchen.
Your corner space may be an ideal location for a display cabinet with a glass window door. Of course, as with certain other options, this assumes that you already have sufficient space that you can afford to effectively give up the corner, but if you have special items that you like to display, or if you simply like the aesthetic of a corner display cabinet, this may be a good choice for you.
A custom kitchen remodel is your opportunity to make it uniquely your own. Whether you need more storage, a place for little-used items, or an eye-catching display, the corner cabinet can assume that role. With a bit of planning, what once appeared to be dead, wasted space can become an important part of your design.