Renovation Inspiration: 10 Beautiful Kitchens with No Upper Cabinets

Renovation Inspiration: 10 Beautiful Kitchens with No Upper Cabinets

Nancy Mitchell
May 1, 2014
(Image credit: Homelife)

I love the little bits of architect gossip that you hear on public house tours. Once, I was visiting a very large, very modern Houston home that was designed by an architect for his parents. The story I heard was that the architect son loved the look of no upper cabinets in the kitchen, but mom wasn't on board. The architect stuck to his guns, until a conversation with mom, where tears might have been involved, forced him to change his plans. Clearly, people have strong feelings on this issue.

Recently, kitchens with glass doored cabinets or open shelving have experienced a huge uptick in popularity. But lately I'm seeing a lot of what is, after all, only the logical next step — kitchens with no storage above waist height at all. If, like me, you've had upper cabinets your whole life, this may strike you as a little crazy. I asked the architect mentioned earlier why he was so keen on eliminating the uppers, even at the cost of family discord, and he said the he just 'liked the look.'

Admittedly it's a very nice look — eliminating the upper cabinets really does open up the space, and it gives you much more room on the wall for windows, which are wonderful to have in a kitchen. But of course, there's a trade-off, and it comes in the form of losing half your storage space. You could make up for this by having an old-fashioned hutch somewhere in the kitchen or dining room — or maybe you're just one of those people who don't have that much stuff.

For your inspiration, here are 10 kitchens sans upper cabinets. Some have a few open shelves, but many are totally bare. What do you think? Do you love the look? Or does the thought of giving up all that lovely storage strike you as absolutely insane?

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