Ditching wall cabinets and going for kitchens without upper cabinets has a minimal and modern effect on a kitchen interior and allows you to work with open shelving in your kitchen remodel to finish off your kitchen walls.

Since you lose the storage space that would otherwise be provided by the wall cabinets a kitchen without upper cabinets is typically easier to achieve in a kitchen space with a bigger floor plan, as you can work with ample lower cabinets to provide you with enough storage opportunity.

In the list below, you can find a selection of my favorite kitchens without upper cabinets in different layouts, floor plans, settings, and color palettes for you to get inspired.

A spacious kitchen without upper cabinets to accentuate room height

In a spacious kitchen with high ceilings, it makes sense to ditch the upper cabinets if you can find a place to store your pots, appliances, and other kitchen items. A low layout will make the space appear even higher and the combination of the three pendant lights in varying height above the dining table accentuate the tall room even more.

A kitchen with dark oak kitchen cabinets and lower cabinets only for a lighter look

via Nordiska Kök

A wide kitchen layout without upper cabinets

The absence of upper cabinets in this beautiful natural wood kitchen makes the space feel larger and the combination with the aesthetically pleasing dining area in different wood tones works well in this kitchen design where the materials themselves are the focal point. The range hood and the beautiful piece of art are the only elements on the wall in this kitchen living space.

A light oak kitchen without upper cabinets

via Superfront

A corner kitchen layout with storage space in the bottom kitchen cabinets

This kitchen is planned out in a corner layout with a kitchen island in the middle of the space. The different lower kitchen modules are great to maximize storage space so that the wall space can be kept minimal, with the exception of the white range hood and two elegant wall lamps.

A corner kitchen layout with lower cabinets only and a green-grey marble countertop

via Nordiska Kök

A wall shelf instead of upper kitchen cabinets in between two windows

This beautiful corner kitchen layout has two windows that add a lot of natural light, which makes adding upper cabinets rather challenging. Instead, lower cabinetry is paired with wall shelves that can hold serving dishes, dinner plates, and serving bowls mixed with a beautiful selection of wall art on the top shelf.

A corner shaker kitchen without upper cabinets, wall shelving

Photographed by Lisa Wikstrand , styled by Helen Sturesson and Johanna Wikstrand Moresco for Kulladal

An awkward floor plan with a blue kitchen without wall cabinets

The blue kitchen cabinets have been adjusted to this rather awkward floor plan, which would look much too heavy with upper cabinets. Open shelving is added to the niche spaces in the wall to store easily accessible kitchen items.

A blue kitchen with stainless steel countertops and no upper cabinets

via &Schufl

A kitchen island provides extra cabinets and drawers on the back

This spacious kitchen with light oak kitchen cabinets includes a large kitchen island with seating and a long module of lower drawers and cabinets. The white marble countertop and backsplash add an elegant touch to the one wall on the back where the black task lighting adds a wonderful contrast.

A spacious light oak kitchen without upper cabinets and a spacious kitchen island

via Ballingslōv

The absence of upper cabinets allows for extra wall space for a beautiful floating shelf

Rather than trying to fit wall units in the small wall space available above the sink, this beautiful kitchen has been fitted with a floating shelf that adds visual interest to the kitchen design. Since the sloped ceiling makes the room feel smaller, this is a great solution to create the illusion of more space.

A small kitchen without upper cabinets and a small floating shelf

via Nordiska Kök

Practical high cupboards on the side eliminate the need for upper cabinets

When you are worried the drawers and cabinets on the lower half of the layout won’t suffice to store all your plates, dishes, and appliances, a tall wall of cupboards like in the kitchen example below is great for functionality and it allows you to keep the rest of the kitchen free of wall cabinets.

A dark wood kitchen without upper cabinets

via Himlekök

Dark kitchens without upper cabinets look lighter and more balanced

A dark kitchen with upper cabinets can easily become too heavy visually, so leaving out the upper cabinets in this case will make your design appear lighter, especially when combined with white walls like in the example below.

A dark blue kitchen without upper cabinets and white walls for a lighter look

via Nordiska Kök

A long kitchen module underneath a sloped roof

This space requires a bottom kitchen layout and the long module of drawers provides a place for each and every kitchen detail. By painting the wall in an eye-catching color, the space becomes interesting and the fact that there is less space available is not so apparent anymore.

A low kitchen layout underneath a sloped ceiling

via &Schufl

An off-white shaker kitchen without upper cabinets

The off-white shaker cabinets in this beautiful kitchen have been paired with tall cupboards on the side for extra storage, yet no upper cabinets have been added to keep the look light and airy. The tin floating shelf above the sink is great for displaying ceramics.

An off-white shaker kitchen with a floating shelf instead of upper cabinets

via Nordiska Kök

A galley kitchen without upper cabinets

This galley kitchen layout provides lower cabinets on both sides, allowing for the upper area to be kept free of upper cabinets. This way, the accent pendant lights above the sink get all the attention they deserve.

A galley kitchen without upper cabinets

via Reform CPH

A spacious kitchen with historic details and dark cabinets

Ditching wall cabinets in this historic kitchen was a great design choice, as the wall and ceiling features, dark cabinetry, and herringbone flooring get all the attention they deserve. The area above the sink is filled with a black marble backsplash, wainscoting, and black accent wall lamps.

A classic kitchen with dark cabinets, black marble countertops and lower cabinets only

via Nordiska Kök

A bamboo kitchen without upper cabinet space accentuates the high ceilings in this townhouse

This kitchen is located in a historic townhouse with high ceilings, which are accentuated even more because of the absence of wall cabinets. The wall above the counter is filled with an elegant wall lamp and an open shelf to display a selection of beautiful ceramics.

Dark-stained bamboo cabinets in a Rotterdam townhouse

Styled by Michiel Bosman, kitchen by Ask Og Eng

A small kitchen inside a niche space without upper cabinets

In this small niche kitchen, the combination of tall cupboards and lower cabinetry allows for a practical layout that is light and airy at the same time. The natural stone countertops stand out against the white cabinetry and they complement the beige limestone flooring beautifully.

A small niche kitchen space wihout upper cabinetry

via Nordiska Kök

Kitchens without upper cabinets work great in larger floor plans

In small spaces, you have to take every opportunity to provide storage, which often means a kitchen without upper cabinets is challenging. If you can work with a large floor plan, you might not need the extra space on the wall for upper cabinets, which will make your kitchen appear lighter. Especially in rooms with lower ceiling height, this can be such a great design decision.

Dark bamboo cabinets in a space with an intricate floor detail

kitchen by Ask Og Eng

A long peg rail rather than wall cupboards to complement the lower cabinets

This elegant kitchen without upper cabinets has been fitted from wall to wall with an impressive oak wood peg rail which provides a true focal point in this kitchen design. The white-soaped oak of the lower cabinets complements nicely with the warmer wood tone on the peg rail for a beautiful effect in this cozy kitchen design with a white marble countertop.

A soft wood kitchen with a long wood peg rail over the counter, from deVOL kitchens

via DeVol kitchens

Open shelves make up for less storage in the kitchen

Open shelves are a great alternative for wall cabinets, however, if you are worried your kitchen items or appliances will gather dust, you can use the shelves for decor items only. Just like in the example below, open shelves are great for a fresh green plant as well.

A minimal off-white kitchen with a floating shelf instead of upper cabinets

via Nordiska Kök

An attic kitchen with open shelving in the same material as the backsplash

When your kitchen is fitted underneath a sloped roof, it’s often not a possibility to fit in wall cabinets. This kitchen design pairs white kitchen cabinets with beautiful grey marble countertops and a backsplash that also comes back in the material of the open shelves for an integrated effect.

A white attic kitchen with open shelving in the same material as the backsplash

via Nordiska Kök

A long brass rail replaces the upper cabinets in a yellow shaker kitchen

This beautiful yellow kitchen from deVol features a pretty brass rail where you can hang your most used items. Above the rail, three beautiful vintage pendants provide the area above the sink with light and I’m a big fan of the classic shaker cabinetry which usually looks rather heavy, yet without upper cabinets the kitchen still looks light and balanced.

A classic English kitchen in a subdued yellow with a brown kitchen island from deVOL kitchens

via DeVol kitchens

Kitchens without upper cabinets allow for art and decor elements on the wall

This modern, minimal kitchen with dark wood cabinets and white terrazzo countertops has tall cupboards for storage, yet the absence of wall cabinets above the kitchen sink allows a beautiful artwork on eye level paired with a white wall lamp that complements the countertop and small backsplash.

A minimal dark wood kitchen without upper cabinets

via Nordiska Kök

The post 21 Kitchens without upper cabinets for a minimal and light look appeared first on COCO LAPINE DESIGN.