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 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 corner kitchen layout with storage space in the bottom kitchen cabinets
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.
Photographed by Lisa Wikstrand , styled by Helen Sturesson and Johanna Wikstrand Moresco for
An awkward floor plan with a blue kitchen without wall cabinets
A kitchen island provides extra cabinets and drawers on the back
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
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.
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 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.
An off-white shaker kitchen without upper cabinets
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 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 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.
A small kitchen inside a niche space without upper cabinets
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.
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.
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.
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
A long brass rail replaces the upper cabinets in a yellow shaker kitchen
Kitchens without upper cabinets allow for art and decor elements on the wall