Kickass Alternatives to Traditional Upper Kitchen Cabinets

Kickass Alternatives to Traditional Upper Kitchen Cabinets

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Dabney Frake
Nov 4, 2015
(Image credit: OeO Studio)

Home trends have moved towards a more open kitchen, and away from traditional closed cabinets that often feel bulky. We’ve noticed many other types of shelving, and even little to no storage above waist height at all. This means more room for windows, and a lighter, more airy kitchen. Explore these different kitchen design ideas...

One Long Ledge

One continuous ledge that’s as long as the countertop is a sleek and modern option. The shelf in this green kitchen (lead image above) was designed by OeO Studio, and makes the space look extra long and sleek.

(Image credit: Yellowtrace)

It's especially lovely when the ledge is the same material as the countertops. Joseph Dirand's Paris apartment looks classic.

Hanging Storage Bar

(Image credit: Gisbert Poeppler)

Minimalists might love a bar on which to hang utensils and supplies. Above, Gisbert Poeppler designed this kitchen with a long copper one that's beautiful with the pinks and greens.

(Image credit: Milk Decoration)

For those on a budget, IKEA's GRUNDTAL series can get you a similar look. You can see it above the sink in Gesa Hansen's kitchen.

Suspended Shelves

(Image credit: Birmingham Home Garden)

There’s something so architectural about these suspended shelves from Marianne Strong Interiors, seen in Birmingham Home & Garden.

(Image credit: Dean & Silva)

When constructed in the middle of the room, or above the island, it provides the storage but has less visual weight than regular closed cabinets. This kitchen was designed by Dean & Silva and the shelving doesn't block light from the windows.

Open Shelves

(Image credit: Dalla Polvere)

For this vintage style kitchen design, Dalla Polvere also borrowed elements of commercial kitchens with their open stainless steel shelves that hold spices and supplies overhead.

(Image credit: Domino)

For a more seamless look, consider minimalist glass shelves in this sleek modern kitchen from Domino.

Open Storage Boxes

(Image credit: Nest)

This is a twist on the traditional cabinet and can be configured in various ways, using something like Muuto’s stacked system.

(Image credit: J. Ingerstedt)

... or in a neat rows like this kitchen from Elle Deco UK.

Closed Full-Size Storage Cupboards

Instead of eye-level cabinets, consider full-size cupboards, like these flanking the stove in a kitchen from Reno Rumble (Australian reality TV show) designers. One hides the fridge and the other is storage. Via The Life Creative Blog.

(Image credit: Made Architects)

Or, one whole wall of cabinets on the side, like this beautiful space from Made Architects.

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