Wall cabinets can be found in most contemporary Kitchen Designs.
Yes, there is a trend to removing wall cabinets in today’s Kitchens, or replacing them with floating shelves, but the wall cabinet is still one of the best storage units in Kitchen Design.
There are also options when it comes to specifying the wall cabinets for your Kitchen Designs.
Check out my Top 10 Kitchen Wall Cabinets and get inspired to experiment with this aspect of your design.
Standard wall cabinets are placed 18″ from the countertop and typically are capped by some form of crown moulding to the ceiling.
They are very functional, housing items at this level and are usually the go-to specification for Kitchen Designers.
There are however other options for wall cabinets that can make your Kitchen Designs more interesting and in some cases functional.
Lift-Up Wall Cabinets
The lift-up wall cabinet will often be the same width and height as a standard wall cabinet but the doors lift up instead of being hinged on the side.
This type of door offers a different way to access the interior of the wall cabinet.
The doors can be opened and left that way while working in the Kitchen, eliminating a swing door getting in the way.
The lift-up door also provides a horizontal look to the wall cabinets instead of the vertical look that hinged doors produce.
Floating Wall Cabinets
Floating wall cabinets can give a unique look in your Kitchen Designs.
Since they are shorter than “standard” wall cabinets they inherently produce a horizontal line in the space.
They work with both hinged and flip-up cabinet doors. A bonus for flip-up doors is the space above ensures the doors will not hit the ceiling when opened.
This type of wall cabinet can be very functional in that all of the contents inside are easily accessible with no shelves too high for your client to reach.
Solid Stacked Wall Cabinets
With the ceiling heights of homes increasing, stacking a smaller cabinet on top of a standard wall cabinet is a popular way to increase the height of the wall cabinets.
This set up provides a smaller wall cabinet at the ceiling for less frequently accessed items.
Another approach to stacking cabinets is a grid pattern that incorporates the same sized wall cabinet stacked on top of each other.
This produces a more “modern” look and could work well in a Kitchen Design inspired by the mid-century modern décor style.
Stacked with Glass Wall Cabinets
Specifying glass in the doors of the top stacked cabinets is a great way to add some style to a Kitchen with high ceilings.
This option can also help to lighten the feel of the tall upper cabinets.
The key to a good look with stacked wall cabinets with glass is proportion.
When the sizing of the glass doors is not balanced it can really throw off a Kitchen Design.
Pantry Depth Wall Cabinets
Another way to deal with tall ceiling heights is to stack 24″ deep wall cabinets above 12″ deep standard depth cabinets.
These deeper cabinets when placed between tall units, act as a bridge and are a great design detail.
Specifying them in a different finish from the standard wall cabinets adds to the appeal of this application.
Flip-up & Hinged Wall Cabinet Combo
To add some interest to a design, consider combining flip-up and hinged door cabinets in a single stack.
This combination can work in both classic and modern décor styles.
Wall Cabinets with Mullions
Adding a detail like wood mullions to wall cabinet doors can break up the monotony of too many solid doors in a Kitchen.
With the amount of options available on the market there are mullion door styles for just about any décor style.
The Countertop Wall Cabinets
Bringing wall cabinets down to the countertop is functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Functionally, they are wall cabinets that meet Universal Design criteria for accessibility because most of the storage is in the “backsplash” area.
Aesthetically, wall cabinets brought down to the counter produce a hutch like furniture look that can bring interest to your Kitchen Designs.
Wall Cabinets with Drawers
Including a drawer or drawers under wall cabinets adds another storage option to your Kitchen Designs.
Apothecary drawers placed under standard wall cabinets are great for storing small items such as those used in the bake center.
Including a drawer at the bottom of a wall cabinet brought down to the counter will allow items to be placed on the counter in front of the drawer, and the hinged doors to swing open without hitting them.
In both cases this functional detail can also add some style to your client’s Kitchen Design.
Customize Your Wall Cabinets
Glass or mullions are popular ways to modify standard wall cabinet doors, but for a truly unique look consider customizing your client’s wall cabinets.
There are multiple ways to do this including using different materials as inserts or applying details to the front of the door.
Even repurposing other materials such as stained glass windows as cabinet doors can elevate your Kitchen Designs.
The standard closed door, hinged wall cabinet will always be appropriate in Kitchen Design, but I would encourage you to explore other options for your client’s Kitchen Designs.
I would love to hear about your approach to wall cabinet options. Please leave me a comment below.
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Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.