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Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Overhead Kitchen Cupboards?

As minimalist kitchens remain a popular design choice, we are often asked by homeowners whether upper kitchen cabinetry is really necessary for a functional space. 

While there’s no right or wrong answer to this question, there are cases to be made to ditch the overhead kitchen cupboards depending on the type of kitchen that you have. At the same time, custom kitchen cupboards above the bench are a staple for a reason, and there are lots of reasons you may want to think twice before leaving them out of your new kitchen. 

So what does a kitchen without overhead kitchen cupboards look like? We’ve put together some of the alternatives and how these may benefit the overall look and feel of your space. 

Opt for convenient open shelving

Open shelving has been a popular choice for many modern kitchen designs, with shelves offering a compromise between additional visual space and necessary storage. 

Shelves are a convenient option as they put your everyday essentials within easy reach. 

Without surrounding cabinetry, shelves also immediately make the kitchen feel bigger and provide the option to mix form and function through what’s on display. 

It’s worth noting that open shelving does mean that everything is out in the open. This has implications not only for what guests can see but also for cleaning as your shelves will accumulate dust much more quickly than custom kitchen cupboards

Open shelving can also look overly busy, particularly if you don’t have the commitment or confidence to styling them. 

Try this lookout by removing the doors from your current cupboards to see how you like the idea of open shelves.

Lighten things up with extra windows

Depending on the orientation of your home and your renovation budget, adding more windows or a pass-through into your kitchen can be a great use of the space where your overhead cabinetry once was. 

While this can be a costlier option, the end product can have a huge impact on natural light and ventilation throughout your kitchen. 

The windows or pass-through could also function as a servery either into your dining room or out to your outdoor entertaining space. 

Plus, it’s always nice to look out into other areas of your home or into your garden while cooking!

Mix and match 

There are no rules that say you need to stick to one storage solution for your whole kitchen.

Whether it’s an open shelf along one wall and custom kitchen cupboards along with the other, frosted glass cabinet doors and a hanging shelf above your island, or any other combination that works for you, don’t be afraid to mix up the style of joinery throughout the space. 

Keep the walls bare altogether

For those sold on leaving their upper cabinets behind, walls without cabinetry will make the kitchen feel much larger. This is particularly true of homes with low ceilings, where overhead cabinets that run to the top of the wall can make the kitchen feel more cramped than it actually is. 

Bare walls are the perfect blank canvas, whether you want to style them with a feature artwork or lighting fixture, or just enjoy the clean look of an empty wall. 

Obviously choosing not to replace the cabinets above the kitchen benchtops with anything does mean you are losing out on some significant storage space. If you’re not a serious cook, this may be fine for you, but do consider how a lack of storage could impact resale value if you do plan to sell your home down the line. 

Apollo Joinery Group has over 50 years experience in creating custom joinery solutions that maximise storage and functionality for homeowners across Sydney and the Central Coast. Visit a showroom to see more of our work and to chat with our team about your upcoming project. 
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