Last Updated on February 14, 2019 by Kristi Linauer
Well, after fretting over how to handle the blind corner storage in the lower cabinets of the pantry, and mulling over just about every solution I could find online (both ready-made and DIY options), I finally made my decision, came up with my own design, and spent yesterday implementing it. I got the building part done on one side, although I still need to decide how I want to finish the drawer fronts. And today, I’ll be building the other side. Now that I’ve figured out the process, I anticipate that the second side will go much faster.
So let me back up a bit here and remind you that the very last option I considered, and that I really liked, was this Shelf Genie blind corner storage.
I must have been overtaken by the awesome music when I originally watched that video, though 😀 , because once I really stopped and thought about it, I realized that this wasn’t really the best option for me.
That video shows those shelves completely empty. What happens when they’re piled full of stuff? I’m only five feet tall, which means I have pretty short arms. By the time that first shelf is pulled out completely, and the other shelf is pulled over, there’s no way I could easily (or at all) reach over all of the items stored on the front shelf to reach the items at the back of that back shelf. Someone much taller than I would probably have no problem, but my short arms would have trouble.
But I remembered someone commenting and saying that they had a UK version of that where the front/first shelf actually lifts out, making access to that back shelf much easier.
That got me to thinking. I would need to do something similar so that I could reach the items on that side/back shelf once it was pulled over into view. And since I only plan to store things back there that I don’t use often…or ever (like perhaps our stash of freeze-dried food that’s good for 30 years that we keep on hand for emergencies, but have never yet, to this day, had a need to access), then I shouldn’t have to be removing those main drawers often. But when I do need to remove them, I want it to be an easy process.
Here’s how mine works. (And pay no attention to the drawer fronts just yet. I’m still trying to work out how I want those to look.)
The main drawers/bins fit into the cabinet on the lower and middle shelves, and I promise that they’ll look nice when they’re done. 🙂
The drawers slide in and out easily, and have a guide on the right side (i.e., the side opposite the blind corner storage) that holds the drawer securely when it’s open.
But that drawer can easily be pulled all the way out (as in, removed completely and placed on the countertop) to access the blind corner pull-out shelf.
And that shelf can be pulled over to the right for easy access to everything stored on it.
I think this design will work out great for me! Especially since I won’t have to access it frequently. And as you can see from the picture below, it would be a very long reach to the back if that main drawer weren’t easily removable.
So to create my blind corner storage and removable main drawers, I started by raising the bottom of the cabinet so that the bottom was flush with the top of the face frame. I just did this by adding an additional layer of plywood.
I only added it to half of the cabinet, though. There was no need in wasting plywood for the blind corner since nothing would actually be siting on the bottom of the cabinet in that blind corner storage area.
Next, I added a shelf in the middle by measuring halfway up (the halfway point of the cabinet opening, i.e., between the horizontal face frame pieces, and not the halfway point of the actual cabinet cavity). I used some 1″ x 2″ pieces as supports for the shelf, glued and nailed into place on the back as well as just inside the face frame on the front inside of the cabinet.
Then I cut a piece of 3/4-inch plywood for the shelf. Once I made sure it fit, I removed it so that I could add the drawer slides for the blind corner pull-out shelves. I installed one set along the bottom and one set along the middle, making sure that I had enough room for them (and the pull-out shelf) to clear the bottom plywood piece and the middle shelf when extended.
This was actually much easier than I had anticipated. With the shelf removed, there was actually plenty of room for me to get inside the cabinet to easily install the drawer slides.
One important thing I learned, though, is that it’s a good idea to shim out the drawer slide that goes on the back wall of the cabinet. Without it shimmed out, it’s almost impossible to remove the pull-out shelf once it’s installed. I don’t know why I would ever need to remove it, but I like to have that option. So when I start on the other cabinet today (the cabinet by the freezer), I’ll just attach a strip of 1/2-inch plywood first, and then attach the drawer slide to that plywood. That will allow room for my finger to get back there and unlock the drawer slide if I ever need to remove the pull-out shelf.
I built the drawers and pull-out shelves just like I showed you in this post on how I built my cabinets, so I won’t go into details on that again.
Once the pull-out shelves were built and installed in the drawer slides, I placed the plywood shelf back into place, and then attached a piece of 1″ lumber along the left side, making sure it was square with the front of the shelf before attaching it with nails. The purpose of this piece is to serve as a guide for the main drawer box. I couldn’t use any kind of drawer slide on that side of the main drawer since it would interfere with the function of the blind corner pull-out shelf, but I did want to make sure there was some sort of guide that kept the drawer square with the front of the cabinet as it is pulled out and pushed in.
And then on the other side, I made a very basic drawer guide. The part inside the cabinet consisted of three layers of 1″ lumber. The top and bottom pieces were the same width, and the middle piece was 3/4-inch narrower. When stacked and nailed into place, this created a 3/4-inch track. I ripped another piece of 1″ lumber that fit perfectly into that track, and attached it to the side of the drawer box.
Once it’s attached to the side of the drawer box, that piece slides into the track inside the cabinet. And the guide on the left side of the drawer box ensures that the drawer box will go in and out straight and won’t come out of the track.
And that’s it! The boxes can be made as drawers with higher sides, or as pull-out shelves with lower sides. (You’ll notice I decided on higher sides for the main boxes and very low sides for the blind corner pull-out shelves.) You can add pretty drawer fronts to the main boxes, or hide them behind cabinet doors.
I’m still deciding how I want to finish mine. I actually made cabinet doors for these side cabinets, but I didn’t like them because of the width. (I tend to like narrower cabinet doors, which is why you might remember me switching out my 24-inch-wide kitchen cabinet doors for sets of double 12-inch-wide doors when I repainted last time.) So I have a couple of other ideas that I’m playing around with. We’ll see in a couple of days where I land on that.
My pantry is finished! Want to see the entire project from start to finish? You can find every single post about the pantry build right here…
Or you can skip to the end and see how it turned out. Here’s a peek of the finished pantry…
You can see more pictures on the before and after post right here…
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
EmNovember 14, 2018 at 10:17 am
Can you hear all the quiet?
That’s me sitting here with my mouth open, catching flies, while I marvel over your solution.
Okay, so you missed the ORC deadline, but you are totally winning this pantry.
(ALSO, keep a watch out for the Instructables contests…this project could win you a really nice prize and you’ve already done the documenting!)
barbNovember 14, 2018 at 10:57 am
I just sat here with my jaw dropped.
HollyNovember 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm
Marianne in Mo.November 14, 2018 at 4:46 pm
Also me. I say apply for a patent, right now!!! Brilliant! Short homemakers everywhere will love you! LOL!
PauletteNovember 14, 2018 at 1:12 pm
😂😂😂Ditto! Is this girl amazing or what?!?
AinOakParkNovember 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm
You said it all. Kristi did it all. Holy smokes!
JudyNovember 15, 2018 at 12:53 pm
Me too! Sooo clever!
HeidiNovember 14, 2018 at 10:18 am
That’s really genius! If I had any blind corners in my kitchen or pantry, I would definitely use this method!
Theresa PNovember 14, 2018 at 10:26 am
You are amazing! The way you pull all of the building together. I’m always so impressed.
Keep on trucking!
Alta CraigNovember 14, 2018 at 10:29 am
Again, it’s just too bad that the contest ended before you were able to get these done. The design and build of these hidden shelves would surely have won a prize! One question, what will you store in the pull out drawers? Will it be light enough to remove easily once filled?
Lori JonesNovember 17, 2018 at 11:15 am
That is what I was wondering! The weight of the drawer and the stuff in it , I would not be able to lift it to the floor let alone to the counter top! I am not saying it is a bad thing, cause it is a great idea! And how much weight can the hinden draw hold? I like this idea cause I have some iron pans that I would store there.
You are a great inspiration!! Thank you for the ideas that you have shared!
KristiNovember 17, 2018 at 1:31 pm
The drawer slides I used are rated to hold 100 pounds. So they’ll hold pretty much any kitchen item I have.
Lori JonesNovember 17, 2018 at 4:18 pm
Wow guess that will hold a couple of kitchen gadget!! Thanks!
MarilynNovember 14, 2018 at 10:30 am
Well isn’t that just the smartest thing I have seen. Genius. I need to keep this in mind. Looking forward to the finished room. I know it will be awesome.
EileenNovember 14, 2018 at 10:37 am
Your decisions are truly amazing. My only suggestion is to plan to put very light things, linens, maybe, in that front drawer because whether it’s often or seldom used, it will still be a chore of removing heavy objects in order to pull the drawer out of the way for access to the back.
Carol FNovember 14, 2018 at 10:40 am
I sure wish you have a video of how the draw/corner works. I can’t figure it out with your pictures. I happy that you are happy about the solution.
SueNovember 14, 2018 at 10:46 am
Genius! What a great idea and you will love the convenience of it. Too bad you don’t have room on each side for pull out ladders so you can easily reach those shelves but a lightweight 3 step ladder tucked away will work just as well.
I agree that this room is a winner in any contest!
Sharon CNovember 14, 2018 at 10:47 am
Kristi, you never cease to amaze me……..you’re an absolute genius!!!!! Here’s another product you’ve created that you could market & sell…….you know, in your spare time, haha!!!!!! No, seriously, you’re on a real corner storage dilemma solution here. It’s a winner for sure. Well done.
Mark TisdaleNovember 14, 2018 at 11:04 am
Okay, I don’t normally watch videos, but I think one of this in action would be awesome. I am pretty sure I get how this is working but I think it would be clearer in moving pictures. LOL
Either way, I can tell there’s a magical design in this!
MelodyNovember 14, 2018 at 2:31 pm
I agree with Mark. I know you don’t love making videos, but could you make a 30-second video just showing this in action?
PearlNovember 14, 2018 at 11:32 am
You. Are. A. Genius.
KathieBNovember 14, 2018 at 3:58 pm
She sure is!
DorisNovember 14, 2018 at 11:42 am
You are AMAZING!!!!!! So much talent!!!
janice dinseNovember 14, 2018 at 11:49 am
I am wondering how heavy that first shelf will be if you have to lift it out when it is full of stuff. Are you going to have to empty what is in it in order to lift the drawer out? Did you say on the bottom blind corner will be empty?
Susan P.November 14, 2018 at 12:15 pm
I’ll say it again….you are my hero!!! Let me be cheesy a moment. Every time I see an email from you it’s like a present and I can’t wait to open it. You never, ever cease to amaze me. You are such an inspiration to us all. Thank you.
LindaNovember 14, 2018 at 12:22 pm
You are such a damn wizard of all things! I always considered myself pretty savvy in a vast number of ways till I met you…… Girl, you outshine even the brightest star! I am so proud of all you have accomplished. Great job on all your hard work.
'TriciaNovember 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm
Kristi, you are so D.I.Y. Smart
… and your reasoning skills are Phenomenal.
As always, I am in awe at how you can do it ALL
and so thankful that you share with us.
ErinNovember 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm
Really great idea, and the best part is it’s so SIMPLE!
Since those drawers won’t be on ball bearing drawer slides, you may have some binding. You also may have difficulty grabbing the boxes if they contain anything heavy. Simple solution to both potential annoyances: cut some handle holes in the sides of the drawer boxes, similar to what you’d see on a tabletop tray or fruit crate. Easy peasy with the jigsaw.
Cheryl Smith-BellNovember 16, 2018 at 9:15 am
Excellent thought, and my suggestion is to rub a soap bar, on the wood drawer slides, that works wonders as a dry lube on a drawer. [I have one book case with small drawers that did stick] Of course yours may be engineered better than mine! This is a genius solution! Thanks for bringing us all along on this build! Love it!
Cheryl Smith-BellNovember 16, 2018 at 11:14 am
Forgot to ask, do you have any tips for getting the drawer glides perfect? You may have already shown this and I missed it!
Also maybe a bi-fold door would work for this area
Barbara L. Borowy+November 14, 2018 at 1:01 pm
A good place to keep guns!!!
Kathy from TennesseeNovember 14, 2018 at 3:47 pm
I’m laughing at the gun comment because I’m always looking for a place to hide a gun, but I always lean toward somewhere up high because of kids…they find EVERYTHING…LOL!
Barbara BorowyNovember 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm
I have a devious mind!
LaurenNovember 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm
I’m amazed! This is really coming together nicely. I totally want you to come help me with my kitchen!! You’re just amazing and super talented.
AngelaNovember 14, 2018 at 2:14 pm
You need to patent this, sister! That is Einstein genius thinking there!
Diane FairbanksNovember 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm
I totally agree with you checking out getting a patent for this! Otherwise, some expensive custom-cabinet place could see this and claim its genius for their own! Also, I don’t know why that same chi-chi cabinet company doesn’t snap you up to design for THEM! Just something else to add to your ever-growing list of projects to develop for the masses! Believe me, there are few as ingenious as you are in designing and building things for a home; I only wish l had 1/10th of your talent!
P.S. The outlet covers that you made to match your custom tile are a final splendid touch! Your pantry is going to be prettier and more useful than many peoples’ homes in their entirety.
Mary EllenNovember 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm
Your cabinets and drawers are beautiful inside and out!
PamNovember 14, 2018 at 2:27 pm
YOU.ARE.A.GENIUS!! Already looking forward to your next post…
chiflipperNovember 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm
Did I spy…a custom painted “outlet cover” on top of your gorgeous tiles????
Kathy from TennesseeNovember 14, 2018 at 3:51 pm
Although I totally get what you have explained and pictured, because you are so thorough…I would still love to see a video too. 🙂
janeNovember 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm
I am so impressed! you are amazing!!
Alma MorandaNovember 14, 2018 at 9:42 pm
Wow, good grief! That is ingenious.
PattyNovember 15, 2018 at 12:14 am
Halfway through this post, I exclaimed, “Genius!” This is absolutely genius! And your directions are great! I have a corner cabinet in my kitchen that I despise. I may just have to do a version of this to it!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
NicoleNovember 15, 2018 at 1:51 pm
So clever! I’ve been on and off your blog for years but only recently started keeping up with new posts. This is an amazingly clever solution. I had one of those old Formica lazy susan dealies in my corner cabinet, replaced that with a rotating garbage thinger (super technical, I know). But if I ever have a blind cabinet, I for sure am going to build one of these!
JustinNovember 15, 2018 at 2:52 pm
I must have seen dozens of DIY and commercial solutions for blind corner storage and I have to hand it to you…this is the best, most solid one I’ve seen yet.
Two of my biggest beefs with other solutions is that they waste space because the “shelves” must be cut with curves to swing out OR they can’t carry much weight because of the hardware. Your solution takes care of that because you’re able to use heavy-duty hardware on the blind shelves and your everyday drawers are literally on wooden slides (and resting on a sturdy shelf).
Seriously, the only improvement I could see for this is to maybe figure out a way to put a pin in as a stop from the everyday drawer from accidentally coming all the way out if you don’t want it to, but that’s a minor feature.
Great job! Go you!
SallyNovember 17, 2018 at 11:27 am
Wow! Think about patenting this idea! What do you think of cutting out holes for handholds on the sides of the front drawer to aid in lifting them out of the way?
KristiNovember 17, 2018 at 1:32 pm
Love that idea.