This opens up the design opportunity to accomplish three things:
- By utilizing series of vertical elements, we can conceptually break up that horizontal ranch-house aesthetic that usually occurs in kitchen architecture.
- It allows your daily line of sight to be inhabited by much more beautiful things – like a view or artwork – something much more appealing than the dumb blank stare of a wooden door.
- It gives the kitchen a “furnished” appearance and thereby makes it feels less like a sterile laboratory environment.
I also suggest seriously editing our kitchens. The furnished kitchen was always a warm, beckoning environment. It only became labored with yards of built-in storage when we started hauling our food processors and George Foreman grills into it. We don’t need every cookery gadget in the world at our ready fingertips. Keep what you daily need close at hand and delegate that “oh-so-necessary” pasta maker to a closet. After all, the less culinary clutter you have, the less storage you’ll need. The less burdened it is, the more elegant it will become.
Every good room need space to take a breath. The kitchen is no different.
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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I could not agree more! Twenty years ago we deleted all overhead cabinets at a vacation home in Vail with splendid results. All of the pictures are beautiful and fascinating.
Thank you for making the case!
Nancy: My pleasure. Happy to have a digital soapbox to preach!
Finally someone with credentials is challenging the conventional wisdom regarding kitchen storage. thank you Greg Tankersley!
Kit: We’re more than happy to rock the boat in the name of beauty!
Beautiful kitchens and they certainly appear to have plenty of storage. No overhead cabinets leaves more space for beautiful windows.
Derilyn: these kitchens all have ample storage. A ban on gluttony!
We spotted some cabinets made by Deal’s Cabinetry!
Lorrie: we love us some Deal’s cabinetry. Thanks for all your artistry over the years!
In my next kitchen, there will be no overhead cabinetry – and all lower cabinets will be drawer-style. With lighting!
Kris: Drawers are so much more efficient. I hate digging through deep lower cabinets. How inelegant a position!
Agreed wholeheartedly. I call mine the ‘unkitchen’. Furniture and the absense of upper cabinetry makes it so.
In remodeling my suburban kitchen last year, I followed my aesthetic preferences, which required removing most of my upper cabinetry and cutting my pantry storage by two-thirds (gasp!). As a result, I had to donate many of my useless kitchen gadgets, and cut back on my warehouse-club spending. I’m a more thoughtful shopper, and definitely a happier and more productive cook for my family. I wouldn’t trade my current kitchen for all the pantry space and uppers in suburbia.
Angela: Efficiency and frugality can be beautiful! Edit freely!
We are redesigning our kitchen with no upper cabinets, only base cabinets and an island with drawers. Beautiful materials and good light will create a room we want to be in where we just happen to cook. Thanks for sharing your innovative designs.
Holly: sounds like you’re on the right track in creating a lovely kitchen!
All the beautiful photos make me want to tear down the cabinets adjacent to the sole window in my kitchen. I’ll keep this in mind at renovation time!
David: rip em out! Make room for art!
Absolutely agree. I banished all but two small upper cabinets in my home. In every kitchen I have worked on since we eliminate or almost eliminate the upper cabinets. Your designs are gorgeous and functional. Love the photos. xx Gina
Gina: good work in the ongoing battle of creating beautiful kitchens!
Perfect blog post and photos
exemplify the beauty of the kitchen
without rows of uppers. Relegate~ pantry/cupboards more future. . .
Informative and exquisite future kitchen design concepts!
I love the look of no upper cabinets!! All of these kitchens are beautiful examples of how open a space can be without them without losing storage!!
I couldn’t agree more!
With the design of my last house, I had upper and lower cabinets in the kitchen, in the bar area and in the butler’s pantry. When looking for things, all you’d hear were cabinets opening and closing. It was ridiculous. You can have too many cabinets. And with more cabinets, the more kitchen gadgets I bought and stored. When I moved, I actually packed things I had never used.
I’m currently “pinteresting” pictures for the design of my next house. (Before Pinterest, I tore out pictures from magazines and put them in a binder. :-)) I want no upper cabinets. And some of my best ideas seem to come from pictures of houses your team has designed and built, hence, why I’m here reading your blog.
My goal is a modern french farmhouse style in Texas (probably not far from the Woodlands). I seem to have this mix of your Romance style meets Gleason Napa pavilion design converging in my ideas.
I have 2-3 years to figure it all out. So in the mean time, I’m having a great time pouring through all your posts.
Thanks so much for the inspiration! You and your team’s eye for scale is wonderful too.