Knowledge Base

10 Tips for the Right Mix of Upper and Lower Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Today’s kitchens are far from the utilitarian rooms they once were. They are now the center of many homes and many families spend more time together in the kitchen than they do in any other room of the house. This makes design just as important to the kitchen as it is in any other room of the house, bringing to light the importance of kitchen cabinets, their placement, and dimensions, to make the best aesthetic use of the space. Here are ten tips for finding the right mix of upper and lower kitchen cabinets:

1.Keep your daily kitchen uses in mind when making this decision. A certain mix of upper and lower cabinets might look great, but if it doesn’t meet the needs of you, as the kitchen’s user, then it isn’t the right mix for you. Carefully consider what you use your kitchen for and the best combination of cabinets to meet those needs.

2.Fewer upper cabinets makes the space feel more open. If you have a small kitchen, this might be the perfect way to add some airiness to that space. The fewer upper cabinets you have, the lighter the space will feel and it can also prevent the space from feeling cluttered.

3.Choose a mixture of drawers and shelves for lower cabinets. Drawers are a great way to keep smaller items like utensils organized, while cabinets with shelves are a much better option for storing heavier items like baking dishes, pans, and pots, which might be too heavy for upper cabinets, but which also might not work well in a drawer.

4.Floor level storage should be drawers. If at all possible, make all of the lowest areas in your cabinets into drawers. Not only will this prevent you from having to bend all the way to the ground in order to retrieve your largest and heaviest items, which will be stored in the upper part of the lower kitchen cabinets, it can prevent items from getting lost at the back of cabinets.

5.More lower cabinets will give the kitchen a solid feel. Just about every kitchen design has lower cabinets throughout the kitchen. This provides more room for storage and the countertops are ideal workspaces. Having far more lower cabinets than upper cabinets will increase your workspace and will prevent your kitchen from feeling too heavy.

6.Make your upper cabinets lighter. Not only might you want to provide fewer upper cabinets, you might want to choose a design for these cabinets that is lighter. Glass fronts or even open shelving can solve this problem. It also gives an interesting contrast between the lower, more solid cabinets, and the upper cabinets, with provide visual interest and is always a good thing. Incorporating glass fronts into your cabinets is an especially good way to bring more light into your kitchen.

7.Remove the doors from upper cabinets. Not only will your items be easier to access, there are plenty of ways you can arrange your items so that having open upper cabinets is actually more aesthetically pleasing than having closed cabinets. Cabinets with doors on them feel very heavy, while cabinets without doors, often called open shelving, can really add light to a space.

8.Put mirrors on your cabinets. For particularly small or dark kitchens, adding mirrors to the doors of your cabinets or choosing mirrored cabinets is the perfect way to make your kitchen feel larger and brighter. Mirrors reflect light, which makes the most of whatever light your kitchen does have, and the mirror itself with reflect the kitchen, making it feel twice as big as you are using it.

9.Add some curves. Interesting design elements are always a good idea, especially as you are trying to find the right mix of upper and lower cabinets. Unique corner cabinets, countertops with a curved detail, or cabinets with rounded edges are all great way to add a little fun into your space. If you need both upper and lower cabinets for storage, you can still brighten up your kitchen with some curvy design elements.

10.Use shelves instead of cabinets. While you can get cabinets that do not have doors or simply remove the doors yourself, shelves without the boxy aesthetic of cabinets, is a great way to give yourself more storage, without completely closing off the top of your kitchen.

Finding the right mix of upper and lower cabinets doesn’t have to be difficult. You need to choose the mix that ultimately provides you with the right amount of storage, in the right places, for how you use your kitchen. Making decision is not always easy, feel free to contact our design team to get help. Call us at 855-929-8975 or email us at

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