Inspiration
25/6/2022

Upper Kitchen Cabinet Alternatives

Kitchen design is a matter of personal style. If you are someone that likes to keep up with design trends, you may have noticed there is a major kitchen movement that has become extremely popular recently in the world of kitchen design: kitchens with NO UPPER CABINETS.

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The Trend

This new trend may have some scratching their heads! It seems odd to remove storage when most of us are trying to plan a kitchen to create more storage! Because of this, we reached out to some of our customers who have adopted this trend to see what they had to say.  

We discovered that in some cases, the upper cabinets cast shadows over the counters, making the workspace feel darker than necessary. Some of our customers prefer bright beautiful windows over a wall of cabinets. Other people are excited to incorporate open shelving to create a greater sense of space. A few of our clients are even covering the ceiling-high walls with bright white subway tile to make it reflect light into the room.

"My kitchen felt cramped. I wanted to brighten things up. Removing the upper cabinets opened the space up and made the kitchen appear much larger!"

Anna - our client in Southwest Calgary.

No Upper Kitchen Cabinet
An entire wall of windows floods this kitchen with natural light

For the average household, most upper cabinets are hard to reach, so removing those upper cabinets is a great solution to keep everything nearby. You won't need to lift your arms or climb on the countertops to reach the tallest shelves.

"Storing plates on upper cabinets is so heavy when it stacked. I like a well-planned base cabinet to make it much more practical and even the kids can help out."

Irene - shared her kitchen ideas with us when she visited our Calgary showroom.

Minimalist Kitchen Ideas
A minimalist kitchen meets fully function and storage with the lower drawers

Alternatives for Upper Cabinets

Despite what many people think, fewer cabinets do not necessarily mean less storage. It is more like rearranging the function of the space.

When you remove your upper cabinets in the kitchen, it is vital that they are replaced with something stylish and functional. Here are some replacement solutions for the upper cabinets to keep your kitchen running smoothly:

1. A Well-Planned Base Cabinet

One of the challenges of removing the upper cabinets is to make use of every space in the kitchen that can be adapted to storage. Although most of us are used to storing our glasses and plates in upper cabinets, lower cabinets can serve the same function. It is all a matter of habit! If storage with doors requires a lot of stooping and bending, switching to drawers will allow you to pull out to access everything inside much more conveniently.

Corner base cabinets are notorious as dark and difficult-to-reach storage spaces, but they also have the potential for efficient storage if they are organized well with some smart hardware.

Base Cabinet Accessories
Make well-planned corner base cabinets with a wide selection of smart hardware

Today, a varied selection of innovative drawer organizer systems can satisfy any storage need. You can customize movable dividers into any configuration you like. This makes drawer storage options almost infinite!

Drawer Organization
Use racks and dividers to divide your cabinets to optimize your under-counter storage

2. A Kitchen Pantry

Adding a pantry cabinet to your kitchen provides a large storage space without adding upper cabinets on all sides of the space. It can be used for food storage, as well as a place to store your cookware.

Pantry Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
A pantry cabinet, with a pair of wall ovens, adds storage without overwhelming the space

3. Open Floating Shelves

If you need a bit more storage space, or you do not have enough space for a pantry in your no upper cabinet kitchen, consider going for several open floating shelves. However, anything displayed out in the open tends to get dusty, so you will want to be on top of keeping the space clean.

Open Kitchen Concept
The floating shelve above adds both storage and visual interest

If you are not ready to ditch your upper cabinets entirely, we suggest adding a few cabinets above your preparing area. They are ideal for adding storage to your room without taking up too much space on your walls.

No Upper Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
Keep a few upper cabinets to get more storage space without overwhelming the space

4. A Kitchen Island with Drawers

Kitchen islands are very versatile in terms of functionality. More than storage space, kitchen islands can also provide open counter space for food preparation or can be used as a gathering place with comfortable seating.

Kitchen Island
The lower drawers are more efficient in terms of capacity and convenience

5. Recessed Shelving

Recessed shelving or wall niches in place of upper kitchen cabinets feel compact, neat, and tidy. You can use them to display items such as glassware, for a sleek, modern look that will not make the objects stand out too much.

Sink And Faucet For Kitchen Cabinet
Recessed shelving helps to create a tidy look, reducing visual clutter

A kitchen is a place that you are going to use every day, it is important to understand your functional needs if you are thinking of following this trend. Upper cabinets are certainly a kitchen staple, so removing them from your kitchen is a big step.  

If you are working on your new kitchen design idea, you do not have to figure it all out on your own! We are here to help! Contact one of our kitchen Design Professionals for a FREE Kitchen Design Consultation.

The Trend

This new trend may have some scratching their heads! It seems odd to remove storage when most of us are trying to plan a kitchen to create more storage! Because of this, we reached out to some of our customers who have adopted this trend to see what they had to say.  

We discovered that in some cases, the upper cabinets cast shadows over the counters, making the workspace feel darker than necessary. Some of our customers prefer bright beautiful windows over a wall of cabinets. Other people are excited to incorporate open shelving to create a greater sense of space. A few of our clients are even covering the ceiling-high walls with bright white subway tile to make it reflect light into the room.

"My kitchen felt cramped. I wanted to brighten things up. Removing the upper cabinets opened the space up and made the kitchen appear much larger!"

Anna - our client in Southwest Calgary.

No Upper Kitchen Cabinet
An entire wall of windows floods this kitchen with natural light

For the average household, most upper cabinets are hard to reach, so removing those upper cabinets is a great solution to keep everything nearby. You won't need to lift your arms or climb on the countertops to reach the tallest shelves.

"Storing plates on upper cabinets is so heavy when it stacked. I like a well-planned base cabinet to make it much more practical and even the kids can help out."

Irene - shared her kitchen ideas with us when she visited our Calgary showroom.

Minimalist Kitchen Ideas
A minimalist kitchen meets fully function and storage with the lower drawers

Alternatives for Upper Cabinets

Despite what many people think, fewer cabinets do not necessarily mean less storage. It is more like rearranging the function of the space.

When you remove your upper cabinets in the kitchen, it is vital that they are replaced with something stylish and functional. Here are some replacement solutions for the upper cabinets to keep your kitchen running smoothly:

1. A Well-Planned Base Cabinet

One of the challenges of removing the upper cabinets is to make use of every space in the kitchen that can be adapted to storage. Although most of us are used to storing our glasses and plates in upper cabinets, lower cabinets can serve the same function. It is all a matter of habit! If storage with doors requires a lot of stooping and bending, switching to drawers will allow you to pull out to access everything inside much more conveniently.

Corner base cabinets are notorious as dark and difficult-to-reach storage spaces, but they also have the potential for efficient storage if they are organized well with some smart hardware.

Base Cabinet Accessories
Make well-planned corner base cabinets with a wide selection of smart hardware

Today, a varied selection of innovative drawer organizer systems can satisfy any storage need. You can customize movable dividers into any configuration you like. This makes drawer storage options almost infinite!

Drawer Organization
Use racks and dividers to divide your cabinets to optimize your under-counter storage

2. A Kitchen Pantry

Adding a pantry cabinet to your kitchen provides a large storage space without adding upper cabinets on all sides of the space. It can be used for food storage, as well as a place to store your cookware.

Pantry Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
A pantry cabinet, with a pair of wall ovens, adds storage without overwhelming the space

3. Open Floating Shelves

If you need a bit more storage space, or you do not have enough space for a pantry in your no upper cabinet kitchen, consider going for several open floating shelves. However, anything displayed out in the open tends to get dusty, so you will want to be on top of keeping the space clean.

Open Kitchen Concept
The floating shelve above adds both storage and visual interest

If you are not ready to ditch your upper cabinets entirely, we suggest adding a few cabinets above your preparing area. They are ideal for adding storage to your room without taking up too much space on your walls.

No Upper Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
Keep a few upper cabinets to get more storage space without overwhelming the space

4. A Kitchen Island with Drawers

Kitchen islands are very versatile in terms of functionality. More than storage space, kitchen islands can also provide open counter space for food preparation or can be used as a gathering place with comfortable seating.

Kitchen Island
The lower drawers are more efficient in terms of capacity and convenience

5. Recessed Shelving

Recessed shelving or wall niches in place of upper kitchen cabinets feel compact, neat, and tidy. You can use them to display items such as glassware, for a sleek, modern look that will not make the objects stand out too much.

Sink And Faucet For Kitchen Cabinet
Recessed shelving helps to create a tidy look, reducing visual clutter

A kitchen is a place that you are going to use every day, it is important to understand your functional needs if you are thinking of following this trend. Upper cabinets are certainly a kitchen staple, so removing them from your kitchen is a big step.  

If you are working on your new kitchen design idea, you do not have to figure it all out on your own! We are here to help! Contact one of our kitchen Design Professionals for a FREE Kitchen Design Consultation.

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