HomeDesignIs it Time to Say Goodbye to Overhead Kitchen Cupboards?

Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Overhead Kitchen Cupboards?

As minimalist kitchens remain a popular design choice, we’re often asked 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, these 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 you can achieve with custom kitchen joinery, 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 kitchens, 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. They’re a great solution for smaller kitchens, as they offer much-needed storage without the space feeling too cramped or top-heavy.

Open shelving is just that, however – open. Your guests can see everything that’s on display, so styling your shelves can be a commitment in itself.

Open shelves also have no protection from dust and grime, and so may require more frequent cleaning than contained cupboards.

Before taking the plunge with custom kitchen joinery, try this look out by removing the doors from your current cupboards to see how you like the idea of open shelves.

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Lighten things up with extra windows

If your kitchen backs onto your outdoor entertaining space or backyard, or it’s just crying out for some additional natural light, then 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 certainly not the most cost-effective option (as this can involve structural changes to the boundary of your home), the end product can have a huge impact on the 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 depending on where your kitchen is located within the home.

This is particularly effective in older homes, where the kitchen is isolated from other rooms in the home; creating the feeling of open plan living without knocking down walls. 


Mix and match 

There are no rules that say you need to stick to one storage solution for your whole kitchen. Especially if your kitchen is a unique shape or has uneven proportions, opting for different custom kitchen joinery may actually be the most suitable option. 

Whether it’s open shelving along one wall and cabinetry along 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

If you’re set on leaving upper cabinetry in the past, walls without any cupboards at all will certainly make the kitchen feel larger. This is particularly true of homes with low ceilings, where overhead cabinets that run to the ceiling 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. 

It goes without saying, but choosing not to replace the cabinets above the kitchen benchtops does mean you’ll lose out on significant storage. If you’re not a serious cook, or you’ve struggled to fill cupboards in your current kitchen, this may be fine for you – clever custom kitchen joinery throughout the rest of the space may give you all the space you need. 

However, it is worth considering how a lack of storage could impact resale value if you plan to sell your home down the line. It will be a lot more costly to install cabinets or shelving down the track than it will be to incorporate them into your renovation now! 

No matter the size of your space, our team can help you to design a kitchen that’s jam packed with storage, without compromising on style. To get an idea of what could be achieved with your kitchen, contact us to arrange an obligation-free consultation with one of our expert designers.


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