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Design Ideas for Kitchens Without Upper Cabinets

When designing a kitchen, we often assume that both upper and lower cabinets are necessary. However, these designer kitchens show how forgoing uppers allows you to showcase favorite dishware or put the focus on a gorgeous view.

Open Up
A long counter of drawers with no upper cabinets allows the owners of this sunny kitchen to prep and cook with a clear view into the living and dining area.

Coordinate the Trim
By trimming the windows in the same wood that was used for the cabinets, the designers at Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd., gave this kitchen the same unified look that matching upper and lower cabinets would provide.

Hanging Shelves
The Brooklyn-based design firm General Assembly hung shelves anchored into a steel plate in the ceiling joists in this 300-square-foot duplex to provide extra storage while maintaining a connection to the upstairs.

Simple Shelves
In this kitchen, simple, linear shelves echo the lines of the subway tile that go all the way up to the ceiling. The black of the shelves pop, adding visual interest to the otherwise mostly white kitchen. For shelves that blend in, choose the same color as the walls — or go with glass.

Vive le View
With a stunning view of the Plum Island Salt Marsh, it seems a shame to obstruct it with cabinets. In this kitchen, all storage is below counter and island height with the walls reserved for windows.

Bold Backsplash
In a kitchen large enough to forgo upper cabinets, the backsplash becomes a major design element. Designer Nathalie Tremblay chose to stack white glass tiles in neat columns for an eye-catching, graphic look.

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