The shape of your garage will play a large part in the layout and orientation of your garage cabinets; the interior of those cabinets, however, will be largely left to you to decide. There are a number of options that can influence the way your cabinets function, what they can easily store, and how you will ultimately use each cabinet.

Cabinet Options & When to Use Them

You’ll find that there are a large number of choices available to you as you go through the garage cabinet process, but we would caution you to not rush through the stage in which you lay out the interior options of the cabinet bases you have selected. It is also important to note that the layout of these cabinets will sometime dictate what is possible; for instance, a base cabinet that sits 34 inches wide can allow for a swinging door and numerous shelving options, but a bank of shelves will often finish thinner than 34 inches, creating a sort of math problem for your cabinet designer to solve – your decisions largely live within this optimal equation.


Inside your cabinets, whether they are base cabinets or full, wall-height cabinets, you’ll likely find some sort of shelf or shelves. Shelves provide separation within the cabinet and prevent the interior of it from just being empty space. However, we always caution our clients about shelves; too many shelves can limit what will fit within a cabinet, but too few will reduce the amount of storage options available. To further complicate things, shelves have become quite a bit more robust in terms of options from what they once were; long gone are the days when shelves were simple wooden structures or plywood atop plastic wedges; now, for instance, shelves can hold considerable weight while sliding outward along a silently telescoping track, only to slowly and comfortable return to the interior of the cabinet with a nudge. Other options include the ability to easily swap out shelf amount and height within same-size cabinets, telescoping cluster shelving that allows very small items to remain easily sorted, and even fully telescoping shelving interiors that can basically bring the entire inside of the cabinet, shelves and all, out to be inspected.

Storage Space

As mentioned above, often the absence of shelves can be just as powerful an option as the shelves themselves. By leaving some space for large-item storage in the bottom or top of your shelving, you open up the possibility of using plastic totes as catch-all or seasonal storage space, finding room for large tools to remain out of sight, and even for things to hang handily inside the doors or walls of the cabinets without being harassed by the shelves within. It is important to note that getting what you want out of your garage cabinets is often directly correlated to your ability and willingness to tell your cabinet designer about your storage space needs and desires, far and above the shelving and drawer options you will thoroughly review.

The Corners

Unless you make cabinets for a living, you have probably never put thought to the idea that a corner is an incredibly tricky spot for a cabinet. If you think about it, cabinets form an interior layer from the wall with almost no wasted space – until you reach a corner. This is because the corner cabinet (whether upper, lower, or wall-height) will have to somehow solve the dilemma that comes with meeting the large corner of the wall with the smaller corner of the cabinet’s face. This problem can be best illustrated and solved in three ways:

  • The angled corner cabinet creates an angled surface that cuts out the 90 degree corner of the wall with a slanted, room-facing corner. Angled cabinets typically house empty space or a Lazy-Susan for kitchen cabinets, but often boast large shelves for less-used tools and equipment in garage cabinets – this option offers (by far) the most accessible corner space.
  • The wasted space option is probably used least by cabinet makers because it does just what it sounds: Wastes the space. In this option, the cabinets continue on as though the corner were not there, meeting at the face and each extending back to their respective walls, but never stretching to fill the wedging void created by the corner.
  • The dead corner is a term that is used by cabinet makers to explain a longer, rectangular cabinet that extends inward past the door of the cabinet, but only on one side. Imagine it like this: Side A of the wall features a normal cabinet, just as those in the wasted space option, but side B features the same cabinet, extends back to meet wall A through the corner. This creates a 90 degree corner in which the space that extends next to the side of cabinet A through cabinet B’s side is only accessible by reaching around the “dead” corner.

Regardless of the option or innovative workaround you come up with for your garage, you’ll have to pay especial attention to the type of corner finish you would like (angled or 90 degree), as well as what functionality or storage space you are willing to give up or gain to achieve that look. It is important to note, however, that none of these options are innately “wrong,” but all of them seek to solve one problem, while potentially creating another; this decision is largely a matter of style and preference, but will not make or break your design.

Quality, Quality, Quality

The biggest piece of advice we can give for your cabinets is to get them made right. The difference between high-quality, specialty-made cabinets from a professional garage cabinet designer are going to function and feel profoundly different from any old cabinets thrown into a garage. While the difference may not be immediately obvious to the random passerby, anyone that uses their garage extensively enough to want garage cabinets will appreciate the attention to detail and general craftsmanship that comes from well-made, customized cabinets. In fact, years after the installation of their cabinets, many of our clients claim to still find new ways to appreciate the quality, durability, usability, and general functionality of their cabinets. If it isn’t clear enough yet: The quality of your cabinets will have the largest impact on your eventual love for them.

Get Your Dream Garage

If you’re tired of looking at worn-out garage storage, then contact Garage Solutions today for San Francisco’s greatest garage cabinetry and flooring design. During your complimentary initial consultation, you’ll receive more than just a visit from one of highly-qualified garage specialists – you’ll walk away with a fully customized design plan for your dream garage that is yours to keep. Find out what makes us the #1 choice for garage renovations, cabinets, and flooring in the San Francisco Bay Area!

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