Kitchens without upper cabinets are a non-obvious solution that can delicately transform the atmosphere in the room. We share the secrets of its arrangement so that the changes will benefit the interior. Types of layouts, functional features of furniture, finishing of the vacant wall and its decor – everything is in this article in this article.
You will learn:
Why a kitchen without upper cabinets is a suitable option for most rooms; how to choose the optimal furniture layout based on the characteristics of the room; How to create extra storage space to accommodate everything from the refrigerator to spoons; ways of decorating the wall above the headset for every taste, from discreet to extravagant; how to decorate your kitchen so that the decor is functional and stylish.
The only significant disadvantage of a kitchen without upper cabinets is the lack of storage space for utensils – it is easy to transform it into a feature and neutralize it with more careful interior planning. The reward will be the many benefits of a kitchen without top cabinets:
visual enlargement of the room, which is not cluttered at the view level with hinged drawer boxes; actual savings in vertical wall area, which is important for kitchens with low ceilings; expanding the range of layouts: for example, furniture under the window; the best illumination of the kitchen: natural or artificial light penetrates into all corners of the room, is reflected from all surfaces, without encountering an obstacle in the form of an upper furniture tier; monetary savings in the manufacture of the headset; greater convenience for small housewives, for whom access to the upper kitchen shelves is problematic; wide possibilities of interior decoration: the “canvas” for creativity is the vacated walls; a departure from the traditional representation from the aesthetics of a kitchen set, which allows it to harmoniously fit into the interior of a studio apartment, kitchen-living room, kitchen-dining room.
CONVENIENT KITCHEN PLANNING WITHOUT OVERSIZED CABINETS: ACCEPT EVERYTHING
If the kitchen area is less than 10 sq. m, then the idea of abandoning the upper cabinets is better to forget. In miniature rooms, it is more rational to use every centimeter of vertical space, on the contrary, by arranging boxes up to the ceiling. Choose a minimalistic design and discreet colors, and then a small bunk kitchen will not seem cramped.
In a room of a medium or large area, a single-tier kitchen is appropriate. How to compensate for lack of storage space? A functional solution will be cabinet-columns, inside of which there is a refrigerator, microwave oven, oven, dishwasher and other large appliances. In this cabinet, which is a large tall pencil case, horizontal shelves for kitchen trifles are also placed. More often, the column-cabinet is installed in the corners of the room as double-sided limiters of the lower furniture tier.
It will come in handy in a kitchen without upper drawers and a chest of drawers standing next to the wall adjacent or opposite to the set. It stores dishes, products with an unlimited shelf life, textiles. Free-standing or included in the headset floor stands (including kitchen islands) will be useful, the functional content of which includes pull-out shelves, carousels, baskets.
Roll-out cabinets on wheels with a separate tabletop will significantly increase the functionality of a kitchen without upper cabinets. If necessary, they are pushed out of the lower row of furniture. An additional horizontal surface is formed: it is used as a mini-table or a place for cooking.
Hinged open shelves and roof rails will help to solve the problem of storing small things, but to a greater extent these interior elements are of a decorative nature.
What are the layout options for a kitchen without top drawers?
Linear is suitable for narrow spaces: the lower cabinets are placed in a row against one wall. If possible, follow the “working triangle” rule so that the kitchen is convenient to use: the cooking area, hob and sink should be as close to each other as possible, and the refrigerator should also be located nearby.
Corner layout, when furniture is placed along adjacent walls, is suitable for any kitchen configuration and is considered universal. This arrangement of furniture is convenient because the rule of “working triangle” is easily observed within its framework. The composition of the headset is determined by its functionality: it can include both floor-standing cabinets and column cabinets.
Two-row or parallel kitchen layout without top drawers: cabinet lines run along opposite walls. This arrangement is suitable for large rooms. The optimal distance between the rows of furniture is 1.5 – 2 m: then moving around the kitchen will not turn into a marathon of overcoming obstacles.
The U-shaped layout implies the arrangement of rows of furniture along three walls. Such a kitchen is ergonomic, convenient for the hostess, but requires an above average floor space.
The island layout is associated with similar requirements for the dimensions of the room. With such furniture, an island is located in the kitchen – a free-standing part of the headset, the surface of which acts as an additional or main countertop. Under it are boxes, shelves, household appliances.
When planning a kitchen without top drawers, pitfalls are inevitable. In order not to face them too late, consider important nuances.
Installing a hood is a voluntary matter, but it turns into a necessity when you often cook homemade food. A built-in hood will not work, because in standard kitchens it is hidden by the upper drawers. For an interior with a single-tier set, a domed suspended hood is suitable.
Other types of built-in appliances, if the installation of a column cabinet is not planned, will come into play. But the refrigerator will have to choose a smaller capacity: consider a low model that fits under the countertop of the lower furniture tier. A freestanding refrigerator looks disharmonious.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the drying area. It is placed in the lower tier of furniture, or they equip a shelf with a lattice bottom above the sink.
It will not be superfluous to provide additional illumination of the working area: built-in, wall or pendant lamps, LED strip on the bottom of the open shelves, if they are planned.
If the lack of storage space is felt catastrophically, then use the resources of the premises adjacent to the kitchen. So, on the loggia, they organize a pantry for rarely used kitchen utensils.
A wall free from upper cabinets will attract attention, so decide – to make it accent or, on the contrary, less noticeable? If the second option is chosen, then the wall surface (kitchen apron) is made in the color of the adjacent walls. But ordinary monolithic coloring looks boring, so we recommend playing on the difference in the shapes and textures of nearby planes. For example, lay out the apron with glossy plain tiles, the elements of which are rectangular or hexagonal. Such a minimalistic design, despite its apparent simplicity, will add depth to the interior of the kitchen. Among similar options:
Glass panels with unobtrusive photo printing: imitating natural textures / in the color of the countertop or kitchen facades / a couple of tones different from the walls; plastic panels that are selected according to a similar principle; decorative plaster: acrylic plaster is suitable for the kitchen, characterized by increased wear resistance and unpretentiousness in care; tinted art concrete that looks like cement in non-standard colors: from black to canary.
The last two options require the mandatory application of protective waxes and varnishes to the base coat.
A rare design method for those who are ready to spend money is a special wall module that turns the apron into a storage system. It is a flat box where kitchen stuff is put.
If you want to make the wall above the single-tier kitchen accent, that is, the semantic center of the interior, pay attention to other ways of decorating the walls.
A mosaic panel with a print or a storyline: not cheap, but effective and practical. In terms of functionality, the mosaic is not inferior to ceramic tiles or glass panels.
Brickwork: from real or decorative bricks, natural red-brown color or painted in a different tone with moisture resistant washable paint. To protect against dirt, natural bricks are covered with a layer of matte polishing varnish. A more practical alternative would be MDF panels or ceramic tiles that imitate brick. Glazed brick is also suitable, the surface of which is easy to clean.
Metal panel. Discreet and neutral matte, glossy, which looks like a mirror, or combined as a compromise solution – decide depending on whether you want to make the wall a star of the interior or not.
To soften the excessive expressiveness of similar types of wall decoration above the kitchen, partially repeat the decoration on other surfaces. For example, the opposite wall is laid out with a similar, but less catchy mosaic. If metal panels are selected, support them with similar utensils, facades of household appliances.
The minimum height of the backsplash above the kitchen worktop is 60 cm. If the wall is free of cabinets, then finishing can be continued up to the ceiling.
The arrangement of various niches and box structures can also be attributed to the design of the walls of the kitchen without upper drawers. For example, an architectural element that resembles the upper part of the hearth will harmoniously fit into the interior in the Provence style. Place it above the hob or stove. In this way, it will be possible to hide the hood. Niches also become additional space for shelving.
WE DECORATE A ONE STORY KITCHEN: CHOOSING THE SUITABLE DECOR
Once the finish has been chosen, it’s time to start decorating the wall space.
Open shelves act as a functional decor, partly replacing the upper cabinets. One or two long shelves are enough, otherwise the concept of a kitchen with a free upper tier is lost. If this moment does not seem important, then the shelves are used as showcases for displaying decorative plates, vases, miniature paintings and framed photos, stands for flowers in pots. In this case, be prepared to regularly clean these items from dust and kitchen fumes. The location of the shelves is not regulated, but when striving for a more orderly and neat design, it is worth placing the bottom flush with the edge of the hood. The dimensions of the shelves can be arbitrary. Structures of such length look more harmonious to continuously connect opposite walls or walls of column cabinets. A rational solution would be the increasing width of the shelves. The lower one is narrow, the upper one is wider. Above the kitchen worktop, shelves in the form of square or rectangular cells that occupy the entire wall space will look original. They can vary in size, which is determined by the dimensions of the items stored inside.
Another kind of practical decor is roof rails. They hang dishes or jars with spices: what is often used in the kitchen. The rails can also be placed under the shelves at a distance of at least 15 cm from the bottom surface. Otherwise, the removal and placement of kitchen trivia will be complicated.
Hanging lamps in a row will decorate the area above the single-tier kitchen. Lower them low enough to cover most of the empty wall without interfering with the cooking process.
Large clocks in a washable case, posters in a frame under glass, metal signs, and mirrors are used as a wall decor above the kitchen without upper drawers.