Kitchens Without Upper Cabinets

Kitchens Without Upper Cabinets – Yea or Nay?

Kitchen cupboard designs have graduated over the years from upper open shelving to the elimination of some or most of the upper cabinets.

There are a number of decorative and functional benefits to relieving a wall of it’s upper cabinets. Some of those include the ability to add stunning picture windows and to create a bright and airy atmosphere. Another perk of not having upper cabinets is that you no longer have to reach up for items that are difficult to get to.

1. A Combination of Fewer Upper Cabinets with Open Shelving

If eliminating all the upper cabinets doesn’t work with your kitchen’s layout, combining cupboards, open walls and open shelving makes for a gorgeous design. Shelving for dishware provides the kitchen with additional depth and removes that closed in feeling full upper cabinets can create. Smaller kitchens without upper cabinets make sense. If done correctly, it can help to create a sense of a larger area. However, it’s a problem in that necessary storage space is limited. If there’s a free wall to build a floor to ceiling pantry cupboard or an actual pantry room, then, problem solved.


2. Windows All Around

When your view is something to be behold, there’s nothing better than enjoying it while your preparing meals, sipping your coffee or gathering with friends and family. Whether you have high ceilings or not, counter to ceiling windows are spectacular. If the sun beating down on your kitchen poses a problem then look for treated windows, or window treatments such as motorized blinds.


3. Urban Designs – Ideal Fit for No Upper Cupboards

Contemporary designs compliment an open kitchen constructed without upper cabinets. The modern airy minimalist feel of urban décor is further enhanced with a kitchen that focusses on the concept that less is more. In the kitchen below, the walls are sleek and simple without embellishments. It’s a calming uncluttered space where a cup of coffee and clear head meet.


4. The Best of Both Worlds – A Wall of Windows with Some Upper Cabinets

A design featuring lighted glass upper cupboards in combination with a wall of windows is a spectacular design. The combination of ambient lighting and day or night views makes the kitchen that much more appealing to relax and gather in. A larger kitchen like the one featured below allowed for a stretch of windows to replace the uppers with a space for upper cabinets in another area. The design captures the best of both worlds, indoor warmth and convenience and outdoor freshness and beauty.

In Summary

Today’s home décor designs are far more personalized and unique to the home owner. One size doesn’t fit all. Designers look to create a space that fits with their clients needs. The only limit is imagination. Kitchen remodels are very distinctive. What one home has might never be duplicated. The above designs clearly tell that story.

Designing a kitchen without upper cabinets is conducive with today’s trends. However, trends are not what make a design work; creative details, uniqueness and functionality are always king.

More Tips – How to furnish and small condo and make it bright and airy, check it out here

About Barbara & Funkthishouse

Barbara is a home decor rebel who blames her decades in the real estate industry for her love of color! Since leaving neutral behind, she's built, a place where souls once trapped in neutral-decor-world roam free and funk'n love it!
About Funkthishouse
"Hey There! Thanks for stopping by today. I'm Barbara Cipak, Owner of Funkthishouse; a place where you can safely rebel against neutral decor.
My nutty passion is finding funky, colorful, and interesting products for the home or office. The products featured are suggested from companies I've established an affiliated relationship with, and in return, earn a small commission when items are sold. Visit FAQs for more about Funkthishouse and the whole funky story :)"

Barbara Cipak is an Independent Associate participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,,,, Amazon, the Amazon logo, MYHABIT, and the MYHABIT logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.
Funkthishouse Terms of Use/Privacy Policy/Cookies

2 thoughts on “Kitchens Without Upper Cabinets – Yea or Nay?”

  1. I would never have open shelves in a kitchen. With all the cooking, everything would get coated in grease and dust. I remember I used to keep knick knacks on top of my cabinets and they had to be dusted constantly. Open shelves = more work cleaning!

    • Jade I have to agree. I’m not a fan of open shelves either. But if I had a gorgeous view and my kitchen was large enough for a good sized walk-in pantry, I would put windows all around my counters, or most of them except for a wall or two for appliances. Ah, to dream. lol.


Leave a Reply