Monday, February 15, 2010

Here's what you're saying!

It's always so interesting to me which topics resonate so strongly with readers - No upper cabinets in the kitchen is one I have received an incredible amount of email and comments about over the past few days. Readers, bloggers, designers and kitchen enthusiasts all have sent me their opinions and many have sent on photos. This kitchen from Southern Living turned up both in my inbox and on the Gardenweb! Everyone agreed the windows were wonderful. This kitchen won high marks because of its size, it is so large the storage aspect would not be compromised. Another kitchen from Southern Living with a similar feel, though this kitchen had a mix of windowed walls and storage walls. Having both seems to be a popular trade off. Linda Banks of Banks Design (one of my favorite designers) contacted me. She mentioned she wrote an article over 15 years ago in the now defunct, Decorating and Remodeling Magazine, shunning upper cabinets. She continues to limit their use in her kitchen designs. Here is a beautiful kitchen she did in CT.
Linda built free standing cupboards for extra storage. I love the mirrored fronts. To see posts of more of Linda's work click here.
This kitchen by Smallbone found its way to me via a reader in New Orleans. She thought I also might like the industrial stools. (which I do!) Notice the height of the ceilings in this kitchen - I think it adds to the drama. Many of these kitchens highlighted different types of storage - Here we see a copper pot rack on the wall. This could easily free up a lower cabinet for dishes. This kitchen is from Plain English. Many readers also mentioned that omitting the upper cabinets is easier when other types of storage are available. This kitchen from HGTV shows a Hoosier cupboard.
Photos of European kitchens came my way - here is another one from Plain English. This is a favorite of mine, I love simplicity and warmth in this kitchen. Another blogger directed me to architect Ruard Veltman who often sans upper cabinets. Isn't this kitchen fabulous?! Here is another angle of this great room! Notice the wonderful inset shelves on the left.

Most readers agreed that having a Butler's Pantry or large wall of cabinetry allowed the rest of the kitchen to be freed up to allow for windows. Veltman outdid himself with this striking wall of cabinetry.
This wonderful paneled wall turns into a trove of hidden cabinets. Spectacular! To see more of Veltman's work here. To see more on Butler's Pantries click here.
Thank you all for commenting and sending on the photos. It seems the overall verdict was that people preferred the natural light. And if space allowed, they wanted to at least incorporate one wall of windows. Let's wait and see then, if this does in fact become a trend!


  1. i don't see how most kitchens would be able to fare with no upper cabinets, as well as no butler's pantry- where would everything get stored? i'd kill to get rid of my uppers, but it just ain't possible- unless i replace the stove with storage! (considering how much i cook, not a bad idea).

  2. we're building now and have majority open shelving on the upper. i love all these designs you've featured!

    it promotes simplicity which america is desperately in need of.

  3. I too love the designs featured!! I would settle for the old-fashioned glass-front cabinets-- they seem to take up less visual space and help to avoid the cluttering as everything is on display! But these rooms look so serene....

  4. Love the Plain English kitchens as well...something about the white and the wood in combination...

  5. Dying to know more details on the industrial stools...exactly what I am looking for!

  6. Lovely kitchens Gina. Like all things, kitchens with no uppers are all about luxury of space. xv

  7. Great follow up post! As mentioned previously, I am only having upper cabinets in a small section of my kitchen, but I will have two floor to ceiling storage cabinets as well as a large pantry/butler's pantry right off the kitchen. I will send you the plan - would love for your opinion!

  8. Holly,
    Would be happy to look at them.

    Sorry I do not know the source for the stools.


  9. Love your inspirations. Keep up the great work.
    You are one of my favorite blogs.

  10. I am remodeling my kitchen this summer, and one of the biggest design 'shocks' we have adjusted to is the fact that we will only have 2 upper cabinets (plus a little extra storage in the hood and a cabinet above the wall ovens) instead of the more traditional run of uppers all around the room. These are good size wall cabinets, but our first thought was still "how will we store everything?". Looking at the room as a whole, though, we realized that our lower cabinets will be better organized, and we are adding a tall stand-alone pantry and a huge hutch. We already have large windows on two walls that are staying. I believe the lack of continuous upper cabinets will really make the room feel more open and allow the natural light to 'shine' (pardon my pun). Right now the upper cabinets kind of create a tunnel effect around the windows, it will be nice to have some space--and maybe a place to hang some art!

  11. the first kitchen is so lovely! I love how it looks without upper cabinets. but I'm afraid lower cabinets are not comfortable for me... I'm tall and my back hurts every time I have to look for something down.
    hope you have a lovely weekend!

  12. great post. Love the plain english photos... never get tired of looking at kitchen designs

  13. I think it is a HUGE benefit if you have banks of drawers when you have no uppers. This kitchen we are in now has all drawers including at least 4- 36 inch pot and pan drawers. I really believe you can house more things more efficiently in drawers. Our previous kitchen was small...and we incorporated shelves (but not all shelves). I had an island built to store two pull out pot and pan drawers. plates and cups were stored on the shelves...and on the opposite side we had a bank of upper and lower cabinets.

    There are so many ways to skin a cat!

    Great kitchen images!

  14. Enjoyed looking at these....Thanks for sharing. best, -susan

  15. Lots to love here. Linda Banks is located about 45 minutes from here and her shop, Simply Home is... well, Simply Fabulous. I look forward to becoming a regular visitor here. Off to read many more of your lovely posts.

  16. Linda's is by far my favorite with the freestanding cupboards with mirrors, dark floors, and I'm loving that clock!
    Happy V-Day weekend Gina!

  17. I love the no upper cabinet kitchens. They take on a much more personal look (not as predictable). Great pics and great post.

  18. Love white kitchens! Thank you for posting this I have been looking for a picture of the perfect white kitchen to show my husband!

    Pamela ...French Buttons

  19. I love white kitchens! Classic style and I can't wait to have my own white kitchen!

    Thanks for the great pictures.

    Pamela...French Buttons

  20. Just popping in to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

    Suzann (The Olive Cottage)

  21. They are all beautiful but my husband and I still want to know----DO all the dishes and stuff on the open shelving get horribly dusty? That would be my concern...eating on dusty plates. Anyone?


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