Kickass Alternatives to Traditional Upper Kitchen Cabinets

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

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…

Long Ledges

(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

One or two continuous ledges that are as long as the countertop is a sleek and modern option that makes the space look extra spacious.

It’s especially lovely when the ledge is the same material as the countertops, as in Joseph Dirand’s Paris apartment.

Hanging Storage Bar

(Image credit: Federico Paul)

You might love a bar on which to hang utensils and supplies, which makes things easy to see and grab. For those on a budget, IKEA’s GRUNDTAL series can get you a similar look.

If you want something more minimalist, Gisbert Poeppler designed a kitchen with a long copper one that’s beautiful with the pinks and greens.

Open Shelves

(Image credit: I Spy DIY)

Borrowed elements of commercial kitchens with their open stainless steel shelves that hold spices and supplies overhead. Here, wood makes things a little more rustic.

Open Storage Boxes

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

This is a twist on the traditional cabinet and can be configured in various ways, using something like Muuto’s stacked system…. or in a neat rows like this kitchen from Elle Deco UK.

Closed Full-Size Storage Cupboards

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

Instead of eye-level cabinets, consider full-size cupboards that stretch from floor to ceiling. Some even hide appliances on top of being tons of storage.

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

Re-edited from a post originally published 11.4.15-DF