September 4


Why Interior Designers Are Opting for Wall Cabinet-Free Kitchens This Year: 7 Key Reasons

Kitchens without wall cabinets – 7 reasons why interior designers are ditching cabinets this year

In recent years, there has been a growing love for open and minimalistic kitchen designs. Many homeowners are choosing to make their kitchens more functional and aesthetically pleasing by ditching traditional wall cabinets. This trend has been embraced by interior designers who are demonstrating creative ideas to maximize space and create a better flow in the kitchen.

Barbara Sallick, a renowned designer and co-founder of Waterworks, published an article recently, submitting the answer to why kitchens without wall cabinets have become so popular. She stated, “The trend towards kitchens without wall cabinets is driven by a desire to have more open and airy spaces. Removing upper cabinets gives a sense of spaciousness and allows for a cleaner and simpler architectural aesthetic.”

By using open shelving or wall-mounted racks, chaos in the kitchen can be minimized. When used smartly, these simple storage solutions can provide a functional and organized space, while also adding a unique design element. Jennifer Kilner, a landscape architect and interior designer, has worked with homeowners who have opted for kitchens without wall cabinets. She explains, “Open shelving allows you to showcase your most prized possessions, like beautiful dishes and glassware. It also gives you the opportunity to bring in more color and texture into a small space.”

Perhaps one of the key reasons homeowners are choosing to go without wall cabinets is the need for additional space. With open shelving, homeowners can easily access everything they need without having to rummage through a cluttered cabinet. This extra space can be used to create a bar area or even a small herb garden.

The trend of kitchens without wall cabinets is definitely here to stay. Interior designers are embracing this concept to create more functional and visually appealing spaces. By removing upper cabinets, homeowners can maximize their kitchen’s potential and give it a whole new look.

Do you need wall cabinets in a kitchen

When it comes to designing a kitchen, homeowners often face the question of whether or not to include wall cabinets. Traditionally, wall cabinets have been a staple in kitchen design, providing additional storage space and keeping clutter off the countertops. However, recent trends in interior design have seen a shift towards kitchens without wall cabinets.

Aesthetic appeal

One of the main reasons why interior designers are ditching wall cabinets is for the aesthetic appeal. Open shelves can give a kitchen a more open and spacious look, creating a sense of airiness. This minimalist approach can be particularly beneficial for small kitchens or spaces with limited natural light.

Functional alternatives

Instead of wall cabinets, homeowners and designers are turning to functional alternatives. Open shelving is a popular choice, allowing for easy access to frequently used items such as dishes and glasses. Hanging racks and hooks can also be used to store pots, pans, and utensils, keeping them within reach while adding a decorative touch.

Maximizing storage space

Designing a kitchen without wall cabinets does not mean sacrificing storage space. There are a variety of creative solutions available to maximize storage without the need for wall cabinets. Drawer organizers, pull-out pantry shelves, and built-in storage systems can ensure that every inch of space is utilized to its full potential.

Embracing the trend

Leaning towards a kitchen without wall cabinets is also an opportunity to embrace the current trends in interior design. Top designers like Barbara Sallick and Jennifer Kilner have demonstrated the beauty and functionality of kitchens without wall cabinets, showing that there are plenty of creative ideas to explore.

Less chaos, more organization

Without wall cabinets, it becomes crucial to maintain a sense of organization in the kitchen. This can be achieved by creating designated zones for different items and using storage solutions that make sense for the specific needs of each homeowner. By keeping things organized, a kitchen without wall cabinets can be just as functional as one with them.

Inspiration from others

If you’re still unsure about whether or not you need wall cabinets, looking at examples of kitchens without them can provide inspiration and ideas. Many interior design websites and magazines have published articles featuring kitchens without wall cabinets, showcasing the various ways in which homeowners have created functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces.

The final answer

So, do you need wall cabinets in a kitchen? The answer ultimately depends on your personal preferences, the available space, and the overall design aesthetic you want to achieve. While wall cabinets can offer additional storage, there are plenty of alternatives and creative solutions that can fulfill your storage needs while also giving your kitchen a unique and stylish appearance.

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1 Go for a simple shelf or display

One of the hottest trends in kitchen design right now is the move towards kitchens without wall cabinets. Interior designers are abandoning the traditional upper cabinets in favor of open shelves or displays. This minimalist approach to kitchen design not only gives the space a more open and spacious feel, but it also allows homeowners to showcase their favorite kitchenware and accessories.

Maximize your space

By opting for a simple shelf or display instead of bulky wall cabinets, you can maximize the use of your kitchen space. Without the extra bulk of cabinets, your kitchen will feel larger and more inviting. This can be especially beneficial in small kitchens where every inch of space counts.

Showcase your style

Open shelving or displays allow you to showcase your personal style and add a touch of character to your kitchen. You can use your shelves to display your favorite dishes, colorful cookware, or even some fresh herbs. This not only adds a pop of color to the kitchen but also adds a sense of life and freshness.

Functional and aesthetic

When it comes to kitchen design, functionality is crucial. Open shelves provide easy access to your kitchen essentials, making cooking and meal prep a breeze. Additionally, the absence of cabinets allows you to easily spot and grab the items you need without having to search through cluttered shelves. It not only makes cooking more efficient but also adds an aesthetic appeal to the kitchen.

Get creative with storage

Just because you’re ditching traditional cabinets doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice storage space. There are plenty of creative storage solutions available that can help you make the most of your kitchen space. From wire baskets to hanging racks, there are endless options to keep your kitchen organized and tidy.

Listen to the experts

Many designers are advocating for kitchens without wall cabinets. For example, interior designer Barbara Sallick, co-founder of Waterworks, believes that open shelving can make a kitchen feel more welcoming and less utilitarian. Architect Jennifer Kilner, who has also worked with the open shelf trend, says that it can create a sense of calm and reduce visual chaos in the kitchen.

If you love the idea of open shelving and want to incorporate it into your kitchen, consider consulting with a designer or architect who specializes in this trend. They can help you plan the layout and choose the right shelving that not only looks great but also meets your storage needs.

So, if you’re looking to give your kitchen a fresh and modern look, consider ditching the wall cabinets and opting for a simple shelf or display. It’s a trend that’s gaining popularity for its functionality, aesthetic appeal, and ability to maximize space. Your kitchen will thank you for it!

2 Decorate above kitchen cabinets

Another popular trend in kitchen design is to forgo wall cabinets altogether and instead choose to decorate above the kitchen cabinets. This can create a more open and spacious feel to the kitchen, as well as provide an opportunity to add some decorative elements to the space.

Many interior designers have published articles and photos demonstrating how to decorate above kitchen cabinets, providing homeowners with plenty of ideas and inspiration. Here are some reasons why this trend is gaining popularity:

  1. Maximize vertical space: By taking advantage of the empty space above the cabinets, homeowners can maximize the vertical space in their kitchen. This can be especially important in small kitchens where every inch of storage counts.
  2. Add a pop of color: When the kitchen cabinets are left without any wall cabinets above them, there is an opportunity to add a pop of color to the space. This can be done through the use of colorful artwork, decorative plates, or even plants and flowers.
  3. Show off collectibles: For those who love to collect items such as dishes, glassware, or antiques, decorating above the kitchen cabinets provides the perfect opportunity to display these items. This can add a personal touch and showcase the homeowners’ unique style.
  4. Create an open and airy aesthetic: Without the bulk of wall cabinets, the kitchen can feel more open and airy. This is especially true when the cabinets are replaced with open shelving or minimalistic designs. The lack of upper cabinets can create a sense of minimalism and simplicity in the space.
  5. Provide additional storage: Although the cabinets might be gone, that doesn’t mean all storage is lost. Homeowners can still utilize the space above the cabinets to store items that are used less frequently or for decorative purposes. This can include baskets, storage boxes, or even large serving platters.

In conclusion, the trend of ditching cabinets and decorating above kitchen cabinets has become increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. From maximizing vertical space to adding a pop of color and showcasing collectibles, this trend offers homeowners a chance to create a more open and personalized kitchen design. So, if you’re looking to embrace minimalism or simply want to give your kitchen a fresh look, consider going cabinet-free and start decorating above.

3 Keep wall space free for decorative art

In addition to being functional, kitchens can also be a space for creative expression. By keeping wall space free from cabinets, homeowners have more freedom to showcase their personal style through decorative art.

Colorful paintings, framed photographs, or even statement wall sculptures can add an extra layer of visual interest to the kitchen. These pieces can also serve as a conversation starter and can help create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Interior designers have demonstrated that kitchens without wall cabinets allow for additional wall space that can be used to display decorative art. By leaving the walls open, homeowners have the opportunity to curate a gallery-like aesthetic in their kitchen.

Barbara Sallick, a renowned architect and co-founder of Waterworks, published an article with House Beautiful where she highlighted the importance of having wall space free for art in kitchens. She shared her love for interiors that have an enhanced aesthetic and give a direct view of a landscape or a piece of art, rather than being cluttered with cabinets.

Jennifer Kilner, a designer at kitchen manufacturer Naked Kitchens, also recommends open shelving instead of wall cabinets. She believes that by doing so, homeowners can maximize their storage potential while maintaining a clean and minimalistic look. She mentioned that having open shelves not only makes the kitchen look more spacious but also gives the opportunity to display beautiful dishes, cookbooks, or even fresh herbs.

So, if you’re looking to create a kitchen that goes beyond the traditional cabinet-filled design, consider embracing the trend of keeping wall space free for decorative art. It can add a touch of personality and creativity to your culinary space, while also maximizing the aesthetic appeal and keeping your inbox free from chaos.

4 Keep the kitchen free from clutter and chaos

One of the main reasons why interior designers are opting to ditch wall cabinets in kitchens is to keep the space free from clutter and chaos. Without the overhead cabinets, the kitchen has a more open and spacious feel, making it visually appealing and less cramped.

Having open shelving instead of wall cabinets allows homeowners to display their favorite kitchenware and accessories, adding a personal and decorative touch to the space. By keeping the kitchenware out in the open, it also encourages a more minimalistic approach to organization and storage.

Interior designer Jennifer M. Sallick mentioned in an interview with Kilner Construction and Design that open shelving is a great solution for small kitchens. She explained that without the wall cabinets, the kitchen can feel much more spacious and less closed off.

“Open shelving provides a simple and functional storage solution while giving the kitchen a more open and airy feel,” said Sallick. “It also allows for easy access to frequently used items, such as herbs and spices, which can be stored in adorable jars or containers.”

Architect Barbara E. Kilner, from Kilner Architecture, agrees with Sallick’s views on open shelving. In a blog post published on the Kilner Architecture website, she emphasized the importance of maximizing storage space in small kitchens.

“With open shelving, you have more control over how you organize and store your kitchen items,” said Kilner. “It allows you to easily see what you have and keep things within reach. This makes cooking and food preparation much more efficient.”

Furthermore, having an open shelving concept can also help homeowners stay organized. By having everything in plain sight, it’s easier to keep track of what you have and where it is, reducing the chances of clutter and disarray taking over the kitchen.

If you’re someone who loves a clean and minimal aesthetic, open shelving is the answer. It can serve as a blank canvas that you can style and personalize according to your taste, whether it’s displaying colorful plates or arranging a collection of vintage glassware.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, open shelving can also be a practical choice. It allows you to make use of the vertical space on the walls, creating additional storage opportunities for items that may not fit in traditional cabinets.

Barbara E. Kilner also pointed out that open shelving can be a better option for homeowners with specific storage needs. “Everyone’s kitchen is different, and there might be conditions where wall cabinets are necessary,” she said. “But if you’re able to do without them, open shelving can give you the flexibility to adapt your storage to your specific requirements.”

So, if you’re looking to create a kitchen that is organized, functional, and free from clutter and chaos, consider ditching the wall cabinets and opting for open shelving instead. The trend of kitchens without wall cabinets is gaining popularity for good reason – it offers homeowners more control over their kitchen’s storage and allows them to give their space a more open and airy feel.

5 Maximize wall space

Another reason why interior designers are opting for kitchens without wall cabinets is to maximize wall space. Traditional kitchens with wall cabinets often have limited space on the walls, which can make it challenging to incorporate other elements like artwork or open shelving.

By eliminating wall cabinets, designers can take advantage of the entire wall surface, allowing for more opportunities to create a visually appealing and functional space.

Architect Jennifer Sallick, who has worked on numerous kitchen projects, explains that “having an open landscape on the walls gives homeowners the freedom to be much more creative and innovative with their kitchen interiors.”

Without the need for upper cabinets, homeowners can experiment with different colors, textures, and materials to make the kitchen more unique. They can also incorporate open shelving or display areas to showcase their favorite items or add a touch of personality to the space.

Barbara Kilner, an interior designer, says that “maximizing wall space is crucial in small kitchens, as it can make the room feel much larger and open.” By removing upper cabinets, homeowners can create an illusion of more space and lighten up the overall aesthetic.

Additionally, removing wall cabinets allows for better lighting conditions in the kitchen. Without cabinets blocking the natural light, the room can feel brighter and more welcoming. It also provides an opportunity to add additional lighting fixtures, such as pendant lights or under-cabinet lights, to enhance the functionality and ambiance.

In conclusion, maximizing wall space is a popular trend in modern kitchen design. By ditching wall cabinets, homeowners and designers can create open and functional kitchens that allow for more creativity, better lighting, and an overall aesthetically pleasing environment.

6 Put the focus on color instead

When it comes to kitchens without wall cabinets, one answer to the need for storage is to give more focus to color. Many interior designers and architects are opting for open shelving or minimalistic shelving solutions, which allows homeowners to showcase different colors and textures in their kitchen.

Instead of having cabinets that take up much of the wall space, open shelves can be used to display colorful dishes, bowls, and even cookware. This not only adds a pop of color to the kitchen but also creates a visually appealing focal point.

Barbara Sallick, a published designer and co-founder of Waterworks, believes that color is crucial in kitchen design. In an interview with Better Homes & Gardens, she stated, “Color sets the mood and directs the eye.” By using open shelves instead of wall cabinets, homeowners have more freedom to select vibrant colors that can make a statement in their kitchen.

Furthermore, open shelves can be used to display decorative items, such as vases, plants, or even fresh herbs. Jennifer Kilner, an architect and designer at Jennifer Sallick Interiors, has demonstrated this trend in her own kitchen. She has a simple open shelf above her stove, where she keeps Kilner jars filled with fresh herbs. This not only adds a touch of greenery to her kitchen but also provides easy access to herbs when cooking.

In addition to showcasing color, open shelves can also maximize the feeling of space in a small kitchen. By removing upper cabinets, the kitchen feels more open and spacious. This is particularly beneficial for homeowners who love the minimalist aesthetic and want to create an airy feel in their kitchen.

By focusing on color instead of cabinets, homeowners can create a kitchen that feels more vibrant, open, and functional. The trend of kitchens without wall cabinets is gaining popularity, as it allows for more creativity and flexibility in kitchen design.

7 Display jars and crockery on open shelves

One of the most direct and crucial reasons why interior designers are ditching wall cabinets in kitchens is to create a more functional and open space. Having open shelves allows homeowners to display their favorite jars and crockery, adding a personal touch to the kitchen and creating a unique aesthetic.

When it comes to organizing and decorating the kitchen, open shelves can be a better answer than cabinets. With open shelves, you can easily see and access your items, making it much more convenient when cooking. It also allows you to arrange your items in a visually pleasing way, creating a beautiful landscape that adds character to your kitchen.

Jennifer Sallick, a published designer and architect, believes that open shelves give homeowners an opportunity to showcase their creativity. She says, “Open shelving allows you to display your most loved items, whether it’s a collection of vintage Kilner jars or a set of colorful crockery. It’s a way to bring color into the kitchen and add personality without overwhelming the space.”

Some homeowners have even demonstrated their love for open shelves by using them to showcase their herbs and small plants. Barbara, an interior designer, explains that open shelves create the perfect conditions for growing and displaying herbs. She says, “Having open shelves allows the plants to get enough sunlight and air circulation, making it easier to maintain and enjoy fresh herbs in your cooking.”

Open shelves also provide additional storage options. Without the restrictions of closed cabinets, you have the freedom to place items of various sizes and shapes on the shelves, maximizing the use of the available space. This can be particularly useful in small kitchens where extra storage is needed.

Instead of having walls covered with cabinets, open shelving creates a sense of minimalism and simplicity. It allows you to declutter your kitchen and create a visually appealing space. It can also make your kitchen feel larger and more open, as there are no cabinets taking up wall space.

In conclusion, open shelves in kitchens are a popular trend in interior design and have proven to be a better alternative to traditional wall cabinets. They offer homeowners the opportunity to display their favorite jars and crockery, showcase their creativity, provide additional storage options, and create a more functional and open space. Consider incorporating open shelving into your kitchen design to embrace the latest trends and enjoy the benefits it offers.


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