New kitchen floor plan… (thinking about forgoing upper cabinets.)
Seeing as how I’m going to have an L-shape kitchen, I’d like to be on record that I’m AGAINST IT.
L is arguably the most boring letter.
In both the categories of upper AND lower case.
But I guess that’s what we are doing now: boring things we hate.
DEATH TO PIZZAZZ.
In case you are thinking I forgot about upper cabinets… I didn’t. I just hate all of them.
They fill me with antipathy.
These images are blindingly hideous and I apologize for searing your eyeballs with the FUNDAMENTAL AND OBVIOUS KITCHEN-NESS.
No orphaned forest creatures.
No items of delicate antiquity and bejeweled human remains.
I AM AN UTTER FAILURE AT LIFE.
Our kitchen island is a repurposed antique grand piano… but my skills at “photoshopping” it into these mockups is literally cut and paste; so my additions of windows, mirror, piano are just eyeball, not to scale!
Here is the antique mirror, shown above.
Here is THE FINISHED PIANO!
Here are the theoretical DIY slate countertops.
Now: important details.
When looking at these 3D layouts, you have to remember that our kitchen doorway is actually on an angle– the above floorplans don’t make that obvious.
The cabinets meet the wall, not the doorway.
So when you enter the kitchen, the interior wall of cabinetry will be sort of behind you/to your left.
For the entire century of my kitchen non-remodel, I have been working in some basic parameters; including the assumption that we’d do glass-front upper cabinets.
A light/bright base— white cabinets, glass uppers, LOTS of chunky white molding.
As kitchens go, I don’t hate this… and for a long time, it’s what I had in mind.
Groundbreaking, I know.
The detail that most makes this a good “inspiration” picture for me is the window they have in the corner.
The above photo is our exact layout option: L-shape perimeter, with an island… centering either the range (or the sink) on either wall… (but not with a gas range— we’re doing an induction cooktop and wall oven.)
BUT… from our existing kitchen, we have slowly removed upper cabinet after upper cabinet after upper cabinet… until I’ve been living with nothing but open shelving for the last year and a half…and…
… BRACE YOURSELVES…
I think it’s fantastic.
AND I LIKE IT WAY BETTER THAN CABINETS.
And I don’t think I want to go back.
NOT frou-frou open shelving with pitchers and cake plates and fake succulents… REAL open shelving that I actually use.
The sight of lentils does not offend me.
This is a new development for me… so I’m not sure what the shelf-amalgamation looks like yet.
Also!! don’t worry! I fully understand that lots of people REALLY HATE open shelving… and please! feel free to foam at the mouth and leave comments about HOW OPEN SHELVING IS A VIOLATION OF HUMAN DECENCY GERMS FILTH GREMLINS!
You should also know that I will not have a window over my kitchen sink.
I understand and certify here, on this day of April, in the year of endtimes, that I am making a giant, crushing, mistake-of-hideous-proportions, and I should go and throw myself directly into the river.
I proceed otherwise at my own risk.
Hereby signed, VEB
ps- several of you endorsed microfiber drying mats as an alternative to my bulky wire dish rack with mungy-grungy plastic tray WHICH DOES NOT FIT IN THE DISHWASHER EVEN THOUGH I HAVE TRIED 500 WAYS.
You have revolutionized my countertop. MY SHREDS OF SANITY THANK YOU.
pps- some of you put the dishrack into the sink, which does make sense! Maybe if we were doing a bigger sink? Our sink is only 30″… and I already bought it, so getting a bigger/different sink is not an option for us.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:14 am
What material are you using for your countertops?
April 17, 2018 @ 10:15 am
I am completely for this. We are doing a “butler’s pantry” looking monster on one side of our kitchen and the other is just going to be lower cabinets under a verifiable WALL O WINDOWS. It will be glorious. I hate cooking with upper cabinets.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:22 am
I like it! looking forward to seeing the end result. It’s your kitchen, do what works best for you!
Marianne in Mo.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:24 am
I have not lived with open shelving, so cannot comment on personal experience, BUT – have in the past, put items of decoration on top of cabinets. The amount of yuck and the time involved in cleaning the yuck has discouraged me from ever having things exposed again. However, I also found that seldom used items in cabinets also accumulated yuck, so it seems it doesn’t matter. Yuck happens.
So I say if you love it, go for it! If you find, down the line that you hate it, you can always change it. Open shelving is prettier, I will have to say!
One question – I didn’t see a spot for the wall oven – where will you place that?
April 17, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
I put decorative stuff on top of my cabinets but YUCK! And scrubbing the cabinets is gross and nasty! Then my SIL came up with a great idea. In my new home, he spread a roll of waxed paper on top of the cabinets. I can put what I want up there and when I do my cleaning, I just get the stuff down and clean it and replace the waxed paper. DONE!
April 17, 2018 @ 10:25 am
I have open shelves and don’t hate them, although I do restrict the items on them to repeats (drinking glasses in a set, frosted glass dry goods canisters) for visual simplicity or the cutter would overwhelm me. What I *will* weigh in on is that if I had to choose between splattering an ornate mirror frame with water or grease, I’d opt for water.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:29 am
I just saw beautiful display kitchen with no uppers but a type of built in armoire at each end of sink wall. It looked great and provided great storage. Wish I knew how to send you pix! Your plan looks great.
home before dark
April 17, 2018 @ 10:35 am
I love open shelving and have had some form of it in every kitchen I have had had for over 50 years. So agree/aggrieve with you of shelves in a kitchen being “staged/decorated/filled with fake stuff”. I like things in glass jars. I like to see where things are without having to put my head into a cabinet. As for gunk build up: It’s easily dealt with. Like most things in life, I’d rather see the dirt and get rid of it than hide it and think it’s better someway since I can’t see it.
Your kitchen is going to be grandly, unique and I know you hate this: useable.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:36 am
The only thing I would say is – DRAWERS in your lowers where ever you can. That is all.
April 17, 2018 @ 11:04 am
A huge Amen to the drawers in the lower cabinets. Getting down on the floor to get the stuff in the back gets old fast. And as I am old now, getting the stuff in the back is not fast, and not fun at all.
April 17, 2018 @ 12:52 pm
Yup, I agree. All drawers, all the time. And no upper cabinets. My dream kitchen–no shadows from upper cabinets, everything as open as possible, with all the windows. Ahhhhhhh…..
April 17, 2018 @ 1:18 pm
Drawers only. They have revolutionized my life. And not those cabinets that you have to open to reach the drawers. How stupid is that?
April 17, 2018 @ 11:44 pm
Drawers. They will save your back. and your sanity.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:37 am
I couldn’t tell from your article if giving up the sink/window thing was utterly destroying you or not. You could have a 30″ sink close to your kitchen window. Angle the counter 45 degrees, or put it close to the turn. It will be off-center but so what? Wouldn’t that be fitting? And your kitchen is L-shaped only until you stick the piano in. Looking at the negative space, it then becomes U-shaped, and who doesn’t like U-shaped?
April 17, 2018 @ 10:37 am
I love open shelving! So I think you’re right on track for brilliance and beauty. But (you knew that would happen) I do like a couple of closed upper cabinets for foodie things I want close to hand and invisible. Like the coffee, the baking soda, salt and olive oil for the boiling spaghetti water, etc. But you do you, girl! I’m sure you have all that handled.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:37 am
Wonderful! So how do I find any of those amazing metal shelf supports?
April 17, 2018 @ 10:40 am
I might get tied to the stake for this but I love open shelving! I think it will look lovely in the kitchen AND allow you to have a reason to collect more fancy things to show off on the shelves. That is a big win in my book. xAllie
April 17, 2018 @ 10:41 am
Off topic, sorry, but–speaking of that beautiful Kohler Whitehaven farm sink, my advice is to skip the strange 2-piece rack they sell for the bottom. If you already bought one, sell it on Craigslist like I did! They scratch or mark the bottom of the sink, and are dreadful to clean.
Here is the much-nicer alternative I found (mine is bright blue, which makes me smile when I look down in the sink! Don’t worry that it’s called a dish drying rack, there are multiple uses: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B06XCMDC4Y/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B06XCMDC4Y&pd_rd_wg=EafSE&pd_rd_r=VH7P2CNKK20WQMW4ZXED&pd_rd_w=ikso9
Don’t see as many colors as when I got mine last year. They are easy to clean in your dishwasher, don’t develop scum as quickly, don’t scratch, simple to roll back for unobstructed use of garbage disposal, and they form a nice small roll for storage–you can rotate one into the dishwasher and plop a clean one into the sink.
April 17, 2018 @ 1:07 pm
Another opinion on the racks for my Kohler sink: I have a double sink and often wash on one side and let drain on the rack on the other side. Dishes dry out of sight! My racks have rubber feet – so no scratching – and I run the racks through the dishwasher from time to time. I love them!
April 17, 2018 @ 1:19 pm
Yes, that is exactly what we have and do. Simple and works beautifully.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:48 am
Along with the mat method of drying, I also use a small antique bottle drying rack. Works great for glasses, bottles!, and utensils that can hang on hooks or straddle the frame.
April 17, 2018 @ 10:57 am
I’ve lived in an apartment with ONLY open shelving- no upper cabinets at all in my rental- for almost two years now and I cannot imagine ever going back. I really do not understand what people are talking about when they talk about how dirty everything gets- we cook daily and it’s been fine, probably because everything we store there gets used (and thus washed) frequently. The only con is that everything is visible, so pretty containers, cookware, etc. are a must.
April 17, 2018 @ 11:00 am
I really caution you against using an induction stove. Please read about their excessive EMF output and how they are not a healthy surface to cook on.
April 17, 2018 @ 11:02 am
In theory, I love open shelving. It looks gorgeous in the pictures. In practicality, I have so much crap that the world doesn’t need to see, it would drive me nuts to loook at ALL MY STUFF ALL THE TIME. I always plan my renos with an eye on resale, and I think open shelving would be a deterrent to some people. That being said, I can’t wait to see what you do with it! You are taking the risks I would never dare to take and I am sure it will be stunning 🙂
April 17, 2018 @ 11:03 am
We love our dish mat… got an extra long one (almost 36 inches) in black. Easy to wash, easy to put away.
April 17, 2018 @ 11:04 am
My dream kitchen is all open shelves instead of uppers. This gorgeous century kitchen, specifically (sorry, I hate links, but I feel in my heart that everyone should see this):
Unfortunately for me, my better half is adamantly against this approach. Weep for me.
April 17, 2018 @ 11:06 am
I went one step further……. no top cabinets, and I hung artwork! I am inspired daily. a galley kitchen, one side has the counters, a small shelving unit at counter height, then a glorious wall of art for a 14′ wall. the other wall has open shelving and lower cabinets. 99% of the time it suits me, the other 1% of the time I say “what is all this stuff?”. Then I get over that and enjoy.
April 17, 2018 @ 12:08 pm
Hi Fern, I have a very small kitchen (12 x 12). Recently I took out the upper cabinets (which were always awkward and too narrow anyway) on my range wall. Then I added a fabulous range with gorgeous hood and sconces at either end of the space. My kitchen looks so much more spacious. LOVE IT! When finished, the range wall will look like it was once an inglenook fireplace. AND I added pull out drawers to the base cabinets and purged about half of the knickknacks and stuff I had not used in years. So beautiful and so liberating.
Best wishes, Carol