Even as open shelving gets more and more popular, it also accrues more and more criticism from people who just don't like to see all their kitchen stuff at one time. But there's no denying its advantages: substituting open shelving for upper cabinets results in a more open, lighter kitchen, with plenty of wall space for things like art and even windows. Now there's a way to have the best of both worlds. Some kitchen designers are starting to concentrate all the full-height cabinetry on a single hardworking wall, striking a lovely balance between storage and spaciousness.
Above: This striking black kitchen from Bolig has no upper cabinets at all on the right side, leaving space for a huge window above the kitchen sink. Opposite the window, a couple of china cabinets provide plenty of space for storage.
This kitchen from Jessica Helgerson Interior Design does the same thing, but with a built-in wall of cabinets. The freed sink wall sports an enormous bay window — the next best thing to cooking outside.
This Swedish kitchen from My Scandinavian Home has a lovely, minimal look — and also plenty of storage, thanks to the wall of cabinets on the left side of the kitchen. The way the cabinets float above the ground, and around the lower cabinets on the adjoining wall, is a particularly interesting detail, although I do wonder how one accesses the cabinet in the corner.
Here's a similar setup in a much more traditional kitchen from deVOL, where the separate bank of full-height cabinetry is built to resemble a china cabinet. The open wall above the stove and the surrounding cabinetry gives the kitchen a light, open look, and also provides a spot for hanging storage of oft-used kitchen implements, which are now always within easy reach.
Here's another wall of cabinets in a kitchen from deVOL, in a sophisticated pink and green color scheme.
You can also go for a more minimal look, so that the cabinets almost disappear into the wall, as in this kitchen from Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.