In a world that values simplicity and open concept designs, homeowners are considering innovative kitchen styles without upper cupboards.
There are both pros and cons to this approach, so make sure it will meld well with your lifestyle and preferences before you start tearing down cabinetry!
Pros: Aesthetic Benefits of Skipping the Top Row Cabinets
Going without upper cupboards in your kitchen can have a positive aesthetic impact and set your kitchen apart. What do you do with the wall space where the cupboards would have been? The answer partially depends on the size of your kitchen.
If your kitchen is large enough that you can install a sufficient number of lower level cupboards to meet your storage needs, you can really do whatever you want with the wall space above the countertop. In fact, HGTV offers a photo gallery of some possibilities, and these include –
• Installing or showcasing large windows, especially if you have a great view.
• Tiling the walls.
• Creating recessed niches for storage and display.
On the other hand, if you still need to store dishware etc. above the counters, you will want to hang attractive shelving where the upper cabinets would have been. There are many different looks available, as you can use wood, wire, melamine, or glass shelving. Also, there are diverse options in shelf brackets and support systems ranging from unobtrusive, to industrial, to ornate.
Whether or not you install shelving above the counter, there’s no doubt that skipping the upper cupboards can make your room look and feel larger and more open. It also gives you more design options as we discussed above. Lastly, using open shelving or niches makes it possible for you to feature your beautiful dishes, unique serving bowls, elegant wine glasses, etc.as an integral part of the room’s décor.
Pros: Practical Benefits of a Kitchen without Cupboards above the Counter
If your house is home to busy parents or a family that loves to entertain, anything that makes food prep faster and more convenient is appealing. When dishes, utensils, and ingredients are stored on shelves there is no more opening cupboard doors or wondering where you put something. Also, for some personalities, open shelving provides the perfect motivation for keeping kitchen space clean, tidy, and sanitized.
Cons: When Skipping Top Row Cupboards Is a Mistake
Keeping dishes and other goods on open shelving means that they can collect dust. This is compounded when the shelves are in the kitchen where splatters and greasy residues are unpleasant realities. If you want your shelves and their contents to remain clean and attractive, you’ll have to have the means and motivation to dust and clean them regularly.
Furthermore, your shelves or niches will lose their aesthetic appeal if the contents are in disarray, so you may want to ask yourself whether you’re someone who will put things neatly back in their places when you’re done using them. Bottom line – if you hire a cleaning service or are good at keeping things very clean and tidy, consider using open shelves in the kitchen. If not, you might want to consider an alternative.
Cabinet Glass: The Best of Both Worlds?
For the homemaker who loves the idea of an open look but fears dust build-up, cabinet glass is a wonderful option to look into.
• Clear cabinet glass – If you replace your cupboard fronts with clear glass, your items will be protected from kitchen grease and dust but remain in view. This makes it easier to show off your lovely dishware and keep it clean.
• Frosted, tinted, or patterned cabinet glass – The use of vision-obscuring glass on some or all of your cupboards frees you from the need to keep everything perfectly tidy and organized but still allows you to create a fresh and open ambiance through the use of glass.
However, the payoff for protecting your items from dust is that you do have to open and shut cupboard doors. So the perfect compromise for many homeowners may be to incorporate easy-to-clean shelving into their kitchens and use this for storage of their most frequently used items.
Cupboards that house dishware they wish to display can be fitted with clear glass fronts, while other cupboard doors can be left as they are or upgraded with frosted, tinted, or patterned glass.
For information on glass shelving, cabinet glass, or any other glass or mirror needed for your home or business, call ABC Glass and Mirror, Inc. at 703-257-7150.
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