Kitchen Trend: No Upper Cabinets?

Today we’re sharing some inspiring kitchens. These spaces feature beautiful cabinetry, fabulous backsplash & delightful styling, but they also share one thing in common: the lack of upper cabinets.

This design feature has been gaining popularity over the last 5 year. First we saw the introduction of open shelving or glass fronted cabinets - sometimes including light features but always allowing a peek at treasured collections of glassware, cookware or serving ware. However; as this trend has gained popularity, it has dovetailed with the movement of the ‘unkitchen’ - a space which features less of the traditional cabinetry & layout we have grown accustomed to, and moves more towards integrated cooking & living spaces with distinct pieces of furniture intended to look collected, curated & reflect more closely the way these spaces are used & the people who live there. We’re excited to see where the ‘unkitchen’ trend goes - but for today we’re focusing on one feature which many ‘unkitchens’ utilize - open shelves instead of upper cabinets.

link  Suggested Design (island): New Quay Suggest Design (perimeter): Fieldstone

link Suggested Design (island): New Quay Suggest Design (perimeter): Fieldstone

This kitchen uses floating shelves to display a minimalist collection of wooden bowls & the most often used kitchen items - glasses, plates, bowls & mugs. One consideration for open shelving is certainly whether they will require additional maintenance in terms of cleaning or dusting. The consensus seems to be that if you use your items frequently, dust is not an issue. This is a lovely way to incorporate utility into your kitchen - if your floating shelves feature most-reached-for items, you’ll have easier access to them!

link  Suggested Design: White Cliff

link Suggested Design: White Cliff

This kitchen has similar floating shelves flanking an oversize range hood - but it also shows a popular feature of a kitchen without uppers - a large pantry! While the floating shelves are often a way to create a serene & orderly visual for a kitchen, the fact remains that these spaces are the workhorses of our homes. That means food storage is an essential consideration. Many homeowners who opt for open shelving find a way to incorporate a large pantry into their kitchen design. The plus to having one large pantry instead of several cupboards containing food is that you can see at a glance what your kitchen has stocked & everything should be within arm’s reach.

link  Suggested Design: Delgatie

link Suggested Design: Delgatie

If you aren’t convinced of open shelving’s utility, or you simply prefer the look of cabinetry, this kitchen is a gorgeous example of how you can incorporate a small area of open shelving to display beautiful objects. We love these three shelves between more traditional cabinetry, it is a little bit of the best of both worlds! As always, while trends will come & go, the true barometer of style is what works for your family & lifestyle. Whether you like a lot of open shelves or none at all, the only design rule we adhere to is that you love the space you’ve created!