Where Have All the Upper Cabinets Gone? - Conestoga Tile

Where Have All the Upper Cabinets Gone?

If you spend any time browsing modern design blogs and websites, you know there are fewer kitchens to be found with upper cabinets. Where did they go? How did this happen?! Was it our love for European design that’s driven this trend? Or the modern aesthetic of clean lines and little clutter? If it’s the latter, we’re confused. Where do you put all the stuff? Yes, you get clean lines, but kitchens hold an enormous amount of actual…. stuff. Especially if you like cooking or entertaining even at a small level.

Our serious cook friends might like the idea of an “open kitchen” and prefer their home to reflect a commercial kitchen functionality. They like to easily grab a bowl or utensil as they’re crafting their food masterpieces. But this doesn’t jive with the clean lines of minimalistic modern style, if the walls are lined with shelves, which are filled with stuff.

However, the trend has arrived, and it is definitely prevalent—at least in the design world. Is this trend here to stay? Some trends hang on for decades. Some don’t become as widespread as others. So maybe the naked upper walls in kitchens will stay neatly tucked away in a trendy modern niche, and the rest of us can confidently keep our upper cabinets. It’s hard to predict.

Nevertheless, if you like the look, here are a few practical ways we’ve found to achieve form and function in an open kitchen concept:

  1. Highly functional, multi-purpose lower cabinets. Maximize your function with deep lower drawers that can store dishes, pots and pans of every sort. Some can have a utensil drawer that pulls out inside of the bigger drawer, offering multi-purpose storage with a clean look.
  2. One wall of cabinets, floor to ceiling combined with wall ovens. This gives you a lot of storage in one place but leaves the other walls free to be—cabinet free.
  3. You’ll want to utilize the many unique features most cabinet companies offer to maximize your organizing and storage options. Think through everything you use on a daily basis, and what you need to store that is used only occasionally. Work with your kitchen designer to come up with a good plan that will give you the clean lines you want, with creative storage solutions to contain all of your stuff!

One of the best side effects of cabinet-free wall space is the open wall space.  Imagine a dramatic backsplash – but uninterrupted.  A wall that becomes your canvas to “paint” in tile.  The possibilities here are limitless.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the open kitchen trend. Do you think it will stick around? What is your vision of the wall without cabinets?