Kitchens Without Upper Cabinets

Kitchens Without Upper Cabinets – Yea or Nay?

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Kitchen cupboard designs have graduated, from upper open shelving to eliminating most upper cabinets.

There are several decorative and functional benefits to relieving a wall of its upper cabinets. Some of those include adding stunning picture windows and creating a bright, airy atmosphere. Another perk of not having upper cabinets is that you no longer have to reach for items.

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 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. It can help create a sense of a larger area if done correctly. However, it’s a problem because the necessary storage space is limited. The problem is solved if there’s a free wall to build a floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard or an actual pantry room.

2. Windows All-Around

When your view is something to behold, there’s nothing better than enjoying it while 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, look for treated windows or treatments such as motorized blinds.

3. Urban Designs – Ideal Fit for No Upper Cupboards

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

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

A design featuring lighted glass upper cupboards combined with a wall of windows is a spectacular design. The combination of ambient lighting and day or night views makes the kitchen much more appealing to relax and gather in. Below is a kitchen with a stretch of windows instead of cupboards. The design captures the best of both worlds, indoor warmth, convenience, and outdoor freshness and beauty.

 In Summary

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

Designing a kitchen without upper cabinets is conducive to today’s trends. However, trends do not 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

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"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, and interesting products for the home or office. I'm a home decor rebel who blames her decades in the real estate industry for my love of color! Since leaving neutral behind, I've built, a place where souls once trapped in neutral-decor-world roam free and funk'n love it. Visit FAQs for more about Funkthishouse and the whole funky story.

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6 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.

  2. We are doing a much needed update to our kitchen this year and considering whether to have upper cabinets or not! Certainly leaning to no upper cabinets and a freestanding larder instead. I think it would look and function better that way. It is a pain having to reach all the time to those upper cabinets and they seem to close the room in. I like the idea of some open shelving to display items on, but not sure of the practicality!

    • Congrats on getting your kitchen redone, awesome – I agree with you on this, if you can get away with no upper cabinets, it can help a kitchen look open and even brighter with strategically position overhead lighting. It’s also so gorgeous with windows where cupboards would normally go, a wall of windows if the view justifies it – expensive though


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