Kitchen without upper cabinets: design ideas

By | November 17, 2022

The kitchen in many homes is a place where households spend most of their time. Here not only food is prepared, but also joint gatherings are organized. It is important to make it cozy and functional. Designers offer a lot of fresh solutions.

Advantages and disadvantages

Kitchen sets offered by stores are usually bunk. We are used to hanging cabinets in the kitchen and, it seems, we can’t do without them anymore. However, kitchen design without overhead cabinets is gaining popularity now. And although this idea is not new in principle, it looks fresh and original.

Here are the reasons that make housewives abandon the upper hinged cabinets:

  • Destroys stereotypes – your kitchen immediately acquires individuality.
  • More space and light, the room looks more spacious
  • Dust and dirt accumulate on the hanging cabinets, meanwhile they are difficult to clean – abandoning them looks more hygienic.
  • The hinged locker, if overloaded, can collapse under the weight. It’s good if there are no casualties.

Design of kitchen without upper cabinets.

In general, the kitchen without hanging cabinets looks lighter and more welcoming. But of course, it is not free from shortcomings, which must be taken into account in advance:

  • The design of a kitchen without overhead cabinets is not always justified in terms of functionality. It is necessary to think over the storage system in advance in order to minimize the loss of practicality.
  • The kitchen, where everything in sight will have to be kept perfectly clean – an open space will give out all the flaws of cleaning.
  • If instead of hanging cabinets you have shelves, then they very quickly clutter up with unnecessary things and give the kitchen an untidy look.
  • Where to remove communications? Previously, they could be disguised with a hinged cabinet, but now they are all in plain sight.

The disadvantages, as you can see, are mostly of an aesthetic nature. A thoughtful approach will help to avoid the disadvantages of such a design.

Features of the kitchen layout without upper cabinets

The first thing that begins the creation of the kitchen interior is its layout. If you want to get rid of the upper cabinets cluttering up the space, then you need to know how to arrange the furniture.

There are several ways:

  • Linear. All cabinets, cabinets and drawers are arranged in one row, along one wall. The simplest type of layout, ideal for a small and narrow kitchen.
  • Corner. Also suitable for a small room. The kitchen set occupies two adjacent corners, in which storage spaces are organized.
  • Parallel. The kitchen set is located along opposite walls. If the kitchen is square and large enough, then this is quite a good option.
  • U-shaped – kitchen furniture is placed along three walls. An option for a spacious kitchen.
  • Island – a multifunctional kitchen island can be a work area, a dining table, and a storage space at the same time.

How you organize the space of your kitchen depends on its size and personal taste.

Kitchen without upper cabinets: all attention to the walls

The rejection of hanging cabinets freed up the walls, and they became the focus of attention. The design of the walls has become crucial for the entire appearance of the kitchen. Let’s start with the wall above the work area, or apron. There are special requirements for finishing materials here. They should be: moisture-proof, heat-resistant, easy to clean, durable.

  • Tile meets all these requirements best of all. This is the most popular material due to its practicality. However, pay attention to the seams. They require special care, since the porous material of the grouting joints is a haven of dirt and bacteria.
  • Glass. The glass kitchen apron looks very stylish, has no seams, but gets dirty quickly. All stains and drops will be visible, you will have to wipe it often.
  • Panels made of chipboard or MDF are the cheapest option. They have a limited service life, but they can be easily replaced independently.
  • Natural stone or brickwork will give the apron brutality and originality.

How to design the rest of the walls? They’re in plain sight, too. There is room for creativity here. You can paste them with wallpaper, decorate them with frescoes or stucco. The walls can be made of wooden panels, laminate or brick.

The overall style of the room plays a great role here, which will be discussed below. The main requirement: they should be in harmony with the work area, the whole entourage of your kitchen looks like a single ensemble.

Scandinavian style in the interior.

Design ideas and tips

The upper tier in the kitchen was used as a storage place for dishes, spices, cereals and so on. We decided to abandon it. Then where to store all this? Above the sink there was usually a hinged cabinet with a dish dryer. Move the dryer down into one of the drawers. The other drawer is adapted for storing cereals. By the way, it is much more convenient than in the closet.

Sometimes you have to sort through and get out of the closet all its contents to find what you need. And then put everything back. And in the drawer everything is in plain sight. You hardly kept large pots and pans in the upper cabinets. With the lower layout, there will be more space for them. Spices can also be stored in a drawer.

Household appliances (microwave, oven) in such a kitchen looks harmoniously if it is built-in. A refrigerator can also be built-in. Pay special attention to the kitchen hood. Now there is nowhere to hide the corrugated pipe. Buy one that could become an independent interior detail.

An excellent alternative to hanging cabinets are high cabinets-pencil cases. They can use space up to the ceiling and place everything you need in them.

Other storage options:

  • Shelves are good if you are a good hostess and you are not too lazy to wipe everything on them every day and put them back in their places picturesquely. Then this option will look very stylish and fresh. On the shelves you can put beautiful jars for spices, dishes, some decorative trinket. The main thing here is not to overdo it. Shelves are good if they are not overloaded and there are not very many of them.
  • Railings. Spoons, ladles, skimmers, towels can be hung on them. They will also help solve the problem of storing spices. However, there shouldn’t be too many of them either.

How the storage space will look depends on the style of interior design. That’s about the stylistic solution of the kitchen without upper cabinets and will be discussed further.

Interior design style

The design of such a kitchen can be decorated in any style, but the most suitable:

  • Minimalist style is a natural design of a single–tier kitchen. It looks light and airy. We adhere to the principle of extreme conciseness, light tones. The furniture is arranged in one line.
  • Hi-tech style is close to minimalism, no unnecessary details, restrained color scheme. Loves gloss and metallic luster.
  • Country, Provence – similar styles fell in love with the charm of naturalness and the romance of village life. Here, the airiness and simplicity of the kitchen without upper cabinets will come in handy. Shelves for storing spices will also fit perfectly.
  • Modern – the right geometry, a lot of glass and metal, glossy surfaces – also quite dispenses with the upper cabinets.
  • Art Deco is for lovers of classic luxury. Decorate the free walls with panels or paintings – and your kitchen will look chic. Organize all storage places at the bottom: this style does not like open shelves.
  • Loft style is where a brick wall would be most appropriate. You can even not really hide communications – the loft style allows it. But he doesn’t like an abundance of furniture, so a kitchen without overhead cabinets is what you need.

Correctly selected lighting completes any design.


How to organize lighting in the kitchen without upper cabinets?

A few words about which lighting to choose. There is more natural light in such a kitchen, but lighting of the work area is still required. If you have shelves instead of hanging cabinets, build spotlights into them. If there are no shelves, you can strengthen the lighting modules on brackets or hang an LED strip on the wall.

Your lamps should illuminate the work area, not blind your eyes. Choose those where it would be possible to adjust the luminous flux. General light is not always needed. Buy a chandelier according to the general style.

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