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10 Beautiful Kitchens With No Upper Cabinets

Explore kitchen designs without upper cabinets, from minimalism with hanging shelves to rustic and Mediterranean styles, creating airy and unique spaces.

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Playing by rules is not always important for a kitchen design. Users who want to flaunt their kitchen’s backsplashes or unique architectural designs often forgo their upper kitchen cabinets. In many cases, users who prefer an open and airy kitchen design it with no cabinets on the upper side. 

Designing a kitchen this way can be a good idea. However, you need to address some common challenges, like maintaining a clutter-free appearance. 

In this article, we will look into some kitchen designs with no upper cabinets

Minimalism with hanging shelves 

Go for neutral or light color base cabinets matched with a utility cabinet to store your items for daily use. For the countertop, use metal shelves parallel to a backsplash. Also, use these shelves to showcase your dining utensils, or you may even use some artwork. 

Choosing such designs adds a spark of personality and charm to your kitchen. This style allows you to store daily-use utensils on shelves, making the kitchen look spacious and airy. 

Rustic style 

This is yet another example of a classic design. Here, choose a subway tile backsplash as it provides a contemporary look to your working area. The oak-based open shelves aligned on the backsplash can serve as a storage space. For other utensils, base cabinets can provide excellent storage space. 

Rustic style Kitchens With No Upper Cabinets

A good choice for its base can be the cabinets with hob drawers, as it adds a touch of modernity, too. The standard-size kitchen base cabinets can also be used here. 

Exposed brick wall with dark lower cabinets 

These kinds of designs are still in trend. If you don’t want your kitchen to look minimalistic but with a balance of luxury, this is a good option. Use dark-colored base cabinets for storage and give it a sleek finish, while the brick wall can provide it with a good texture. 

The right contrast between these two gives it an aesthetic appeal. A benefit of this kind of design is that it can camouflage any imperfections, too. For your convenience, the utility drawers can be paired with it. 

Mediterranean style

To create a warm and inviting feel, choosing such designs can be a wise decision. A number of elements are infused together to add a unique yet functional kitchen. Warm accents of wood on the lower cabinets are ideal with Terracotta flooring.

Also, this material can be used for backsplashes to give them a more refined and monochromatic look. If you want alternatives for the base cabinet’s material, wrought iron can be used. 

Archways are an important part of these kinds of kitchens, so use them to give your space a historical look. Some minute details like fabrics can increase its overall beauty. 

Japandi style

You can also add the fusion of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian luxury to your kitchen. These kinds of designs generally have light or neutral color palettes to provide an eye-pleasing look. Match the beige or white colors with dark-colored doors to increase their warmth. Coming to details, make space for a kitchen island with retractable seats. 

Japandi style Kitchens With No Upper Cabinets

On the other hand, they install white oak base cabinets for storage. Similar to a minimalist design, you can use floating shelves for utensils. White marble can be an ideal choice for its countertops in these kinds of kitchens. According to your liking, some plants may also be used to give it urban jungle vibes. 

Yellow shaker cabinets 

Shaker cabinets can be used to solve the storage issues. These, when paired with pendant lights, can increase your kitchen’s elegance. Further, to get easy access to utensils and other items, choose a brass railing instead of overhead cabinets. 

Use this as per your countertop’s width. Try to cover at least 80% of the width of your base cabinets. Also, install the sink at the center of your countertop. This is important for both aesthetics and functionality. Match the electrical socket with the railing and sink’s color. Such designs best suit small kitchens. 

If you have a bigger kitchen, try installing a kitchen island in the center of your kitchen with a similar color scheme. 

Neutral palette kitchen with bamboo shelves 

This is a fine example of a minimalistic kitchen style. The upper cabinets can be simply replaced by bamboo sticks. It is an aesthetically pleasing storage solution for your kitchen. Given that most of your space is already vacant, you can develop 2-4 cabinets for this purpose. 

Neutral palette kitchen with bamboo shelves Kitchens With No Upper Cabinets

Alternatively, you can go for a white marble backsplash for a soothing color combination. Pair a marble countertop with a neutral color palette for a better look overall. Even for the base cabinets, you can use bamboo material. You may choose to incorporate a kitchen island if you desire.

Attic style 

When you consider building a kitchen under your stairs, there’s already less space for the cabinets. The less space can be smartly utilized by adding open shelves at equal distances. Here, you can store most of your utensils. The white oak base cabinets can be used here for storing microwaves or any other electrical appliances. 

Attic style Kitchens With No Upper Cabinets

Instead of racks in cabinets under the countertop, an open one may also be sufficient for storage. Though there are not many options for aesthetics in such a small setting, you may go for a monochrome color to give your space a more refined look. For instance, pair a grey marble countertop with the same color shelves. 

Modern design with metal shelve 

These kinds of designs are mostly preferred by people seeking modernity in their kitchens. It is ideal to choose the color that pops in warmth to your space. For this purpose, white, beige, and cream are perfect for base cabinets. 

To complement the warm tone, use black matte metal shelves and hardware. In addition to the above, install layered lights and pendant lights to increase the visual appeal. 

Pink flare style 

Those with a thing for pink would surely like such designs. Instead of the same color throughout, use tints and shades of pink to foster a soft and welcoming atmosphere. For example, a light pink backsplash, when paired with a dark pink, breaks the monotony. 

Above a pink kitchen island or a base cabinet, white pendant lights are surely something you would like to see over and over again. Additionally, go for a white marble countertop over cabinets. In case you like experimenting with this style, you may choose shades of yellow as well.

Sophisticated Galley Kitchens

The classic galley kitchen, known for its efficient use of space, shines even brighter without the heaviness of upper cabinets. By focusing on streamlined lower cabinetry and an island that doubles as both prep area and dining space, these kitchens exemplify how spatial limitations can inspire creativity.

Galley Kitchens With no Upper Cabinets

The absence of upper cabinets opens up the space, allowing for an unobstructed view of elegant backsplashes or textured walls, marrying function with design elegance.

The Artistic Accent Wall

Without the interruption of upper cabinets, one wall in the kitchen can evolve into a canvas for artistic expression. Whether it’s a bold paint color, intricate tile work, or a collection of fine art, this design choice turns the kitchen into a gallery of your personal aesthetic.

the artistic accent wall kitchen with no upper cabinets

Paired with strategic lighting, this accent wall becomes a focal point that elevates the entire room, proving that kitchens without upper cabinets offer a unique opportunity for self-expression and design innovation.

Parting thoughts 

So far, we have discussed different styles of kitchens that need no upper cabinets to shine. These styles can simply give your kitchen a unique look and also make you enjoy your cooking time. Although these designs can help you free up space for your kitchen, bad planning may add up to a cluttered kitchen. Therefore, it is suggested you be extra careful with your designs. 

While making a decision for these kinds of designs, it is important to consult an expert for a perfect look every inch. Moreover, for open upper shelves, you can use your creativity, but it is suggested that you always choose the right size for it. 

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