Eliminating Upper Cabinets: Crazy Beautiful or Crazy?

Eliminating Upper Cabinets: Crazy Beautiful or Crazy?

No upper cabinets?! Where will everything go?

Upper cabinets have always been essential for storage, but they take up the majority of wall space in kitchens. Plus, there is always an issue for reaching items at the very top of the cabinets. When this trend first started showing up, we weren’t sure how practical it would be. But after remodeling our last two homes without upper cabinets, we are loving how this design opens up so many possibilities.

Is Storage an Issue?

The thought of no upper cabinets might be difficult to imagine. Sure, it creates a clean line, but where do you put everything? Kitchens store a wide array of items, from dishes used daily to accessories that get pulled out once a year. For those who love Marie Kondo’s decluttering style, eliminating upper cabinets can help you get rid of kitchen items that don’t spark joy.

For those that want to keep all of their cookware and tools, kitchens can provide ample storage space when thoughtfully designed. Below are some storage solutions (side note: these are great options with kitchens that have cabinets too!):

  • Pull out drawers. Drawers come in all sizes and depths, with plenty of storage solutions inside. A narrow slide-out is perfect for spices, a shallow drawer can hold linens, and racks can keep plates and cups organized in your drawers. 
  • Utilize the dining area. You can extend your kitchen storage into your eating area in a variety of ways. Breakfast nooks with storage benches, a wet bar with cabinets, or storage in the formal dining room are all options.
  • Walk-in pantry. A pantry is not limited to storing food. Use shelves in the pantry to store small kitchen appliances and other items you only use on occasion. 
  • Open shelving. A couple of well-placed open shelves can become a focal point while creating additional storage. Just make sure whatever you place on these shelves is something you want on display.
  • Railings and Mountings. Backsplash railings can hold utensils, spices, and other small items, while pots and pans can hang from mounted ceiling racks. 

More Open Space in the Kitchen 

Without upper cabinets, there is more space in the kitchen for design elements (like tile!). Eliminating upper cabinets creates more depth, and allows you to get creative with design. Here are some features that can be highlighted when cabinets are no longer a distraction:

  • Dramatic backsplash. From tile to brick, colorful splash to geometric designs, backsplashes let you add in a bold design to the kitchen.
  • Windows. With less cabinetry, you can include more windows for fresh air and natural light. 
  • Range hood. There are incredibly beautiful range hoods that can become a focal point in the kitchen. When not surrounded by cabinets, range hoods make an even bigger statement. 
  • Lighting fixtures. Without upper cabinets, there is no need for recessed lighting under cabinets. Instead, focus on fixtures that add to the design of the kitchen.  Chandeliers, hanging pendants, ceiling lights, and mounted wall fixtures can help create the style you are after. 

Are kitchens without upper cabinets just a trend or this design here to stay? Let us know your thoughts!

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