Would you agree to remove all upper cabinets??
giaksch
October 31, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Excuse the mess - we just moved in (finally!). We are going to update the kitchen by removing the granite which isn't my taste, adding a light color quartzite counter and a pretty light tile backsplash. The contractor suggested we remove the upper cabinets to make the space feel more open and better highlight the view which is amazing. I have plenty if cabinet and drawer space but am worried that it might look weird to have only lower cabinets. It's a pretty nice/upscale home custom built in 1991 in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area if that matters. Thoughts?
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giaksch
We are also updating the appliances
October 31, 2013 at 7:00am   
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yoboseiyo
i would say it might look a little odd, but you could always do open shelving if you want the vertical space.
October 31, 2013 at 7:02am   
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Aggie dba Aggie Designs
I think I would start with painting the upper cabinets light/ medium gray.

[houzz=Willow Creek 1468]

I would keep the granite and play with shades of gray. I would Paint the Window Frame and trim white (of the gray family),

[houzz=Calm Paint]

and the walls a gray in between..


I would keep the lower cabinets as is and the island, but add long sleek stainless hardware.

[houzz=Hickory Hardware Studio Collection 128 mm Stainless Steel Pull P3012-SS]

Beautiful home, congratulations!
October 31, 2013 at 7:06am     
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Mitchell Channon Design
From the picture you've attached the kitchen doesn't seem particularly closed in. Also, I don't see how eliminating the upper cabinets will highlight your view unless you plan to add more windows. I've designed kitchens with little or no upper cabinets so I'm not against the look. I just don't see what you accomplish by making that change. If you change the counters and back splash to a light tone as you plan that will go a long way to lightening the look of your kitchen. Don't paint the upper cabinets.
October 31, 2013 at 7:18am     
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linlac
Go through the pictures on Houzz and see if you like the look. With your large window and great views it would work. It would definitely open up the space.
October 31, 2013 at 7:20am     
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
If you do not plan on punching in more windows, then keep the cabinets.
October 31, 2013 at 7:22am     
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nrb263
can you post additional photos of the space so we can get an overall perspective? I think it would look fine if you remove the upper cabinets but open shelving is also a good option. It looks like you have the vent hood for your cook top in the right cabinet so you would have to get a free standing hood if you remove the uppers. Do you intend to keep the bottom cabinets the same color?
Here are a few photos
Shingle style home in Hanover NH

Wild Oceanside Home

Fairfield House

Contemporary kitchen
October 31, 2013 at 7:23am     
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smileyface2013
From a practicality standpoint, if you are of short stature, it might not be an issue. If you are of taller stature and/or/expect to have back issues, then the idea of having to bend over and lifting plates, dishes, etc. is not a good idea. Personally, I wouldn't eliminate upper cabinets.
October 31, 2013 at 7:27am     
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0825sam
I agree with Mitchell Channon - I don't know that I would sacrifice the storage unless you are planning to add windows. In which case I do like the look of no uppers. Actually in our own remodel of a large galley style kitchen we added three large windows in lieu of upper cabinets on the sink side of the kitchen.
October 31, 2013 at 7:31am     
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giaksch
More pics including back wall of kitchen w built in subzero fridge
October 31, 2013 at 7:35am   
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giaksch
I'm 5'5". Husband is 6'1". Kids are likely to be tall teens soon.
October 31, 2013 at 7:36am   
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michelejjs
I agree w/ Mitchell Channon. You will be spending a lot on changing the granite and updating the appliances (both good decisions). Why add the extra expense of removing cabinets and repairing walls for a marginal benefit - if any. Your contractor may be looking to expand the job.
October 31, 2013 at 7:36am     
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PRO
Circle Goods Reclaimed
As someone who does some kitchen work here and there I don't recall the last time I had a client say, "Man I wish I didn't have all this cabinet space". Unless you plan on making it a wall of glass leave the cabinets it's a beautiful kitchen.
October 31, 2013 at 7:36am     
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giaksch
We weren't planning to add more windows but it's an option.
October 31, 2013 at 7:36am   
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pfazio1
How about glass fronts on the upper cabinets?
October 31, 2013 at 7:39am     
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Kori Lee
Beautiful Kitchen already. Love the wood cabinets,
October 31, 2013 at 7:43am     
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giaksch
We need to rip out the hood because it's over a built in wok which is getting torn out, and then we will be removing many of the upper cabinets on the right side of the kitchen to add a 48" range and hood. The issue is whether to leave the upper corner cabinets on both sides of the sink or remove them while we're ripping out the ones that need to go to make room for the new hood, and if we leave the corner cabinets, we'll need to do a built in microwave or something where the current over-wok hood is.
October 31, 2013 at 8:25am   
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
Now your question is making more sense. Try and retain the corner cabinets. You may be able to fabricate some what-not-shelves out of the cabinets you are taking down, in the event the cabinet ends of the remaining cabinets are not finished, if you have a good cabinet person.
October 31, 2013 at 8:45am     
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sunnydrew
This homeowner said this granite is being removed because it is not her taste. I am struck by all the previous articles, and pro/con discussion here on Houzz I have read, about having to have granite to sell a home. Clearly this would be an example of why it is not always a good idea to install granite just to sell a house. I would guess that the previous owners who installed this did it to suit their own taste first and foremost, not for re-sale, but choosing granite is a very personal thing. I am sure the next version of this kitchen will be great.
October 31, 2013 at 8:52am   
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giaksch
The granite is 22 years old, from when the house was custom built by the original owners from whom we bought the property. It's throughout the house on every vanity and countertop surface. They did not add it to sell. It was what they liked. I am happy it's old so I don't feel guilty about changing it to light-colored quartz/quartzite. I will also be updating other rooms eventually. Had they recently updated the kitchen with lighter granite I find prettier, it would have saved me money and I probably would have kept it and been happy.
October 31, 2013 at 8:59am   
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lucyhomedecor
Adding clear glass to the corner cabinets would make the room lighter. Be sure to add lights in the cabinets & clear glass shelves then you could display your items. Another option is to add glass that isn't clear & use the cabinets to store items. I agree that there is never enough storage in a kitchen.
October 31, 2013 at 9:07am     
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linlac
I like the idea of getting rid of the uppers on the window wall. It's just a few cabinets and you have plenty of space. This would give you the option of adding the extra windows now or in the future. I would at least remove the corner cabinet to the left of the window. It's just kind of hanging out there and is not in a corner.
October 31, 2013 at 9:25am     
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KShoa
I would only remove the cabinets if they're being replaced by windows, otherwise your view won't matter either way.

Certain kitchen items are easier in upper cabinets: dishes/cups/glasses, spices, other daily items. You don't want to bend over into a lower cabinet to find a mug, for example. So if you do this, make sure to have enough space for all your daily items in the upper cabinets against the other wall.

I actually think opening up with windows will look great. You just have to plan it right. Enjoy decorating!
October 31, 2013 at 9:31am     
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Owen Homes LLC
If you removed the upper cabinets, would you still have enough storage space in your kitchen? If you think that removing the upper cabinets completely is too extreme of a change I would consider removing the cabinets next to the window. It would still open up the kitchen without taking away too much storage space and it would bring focus to the beautiful view from the windows. I suggest continuing your tile backsplash to the ceiling in those areas and adding some shelving on either side of the windows. Below is an example of a tile backsplash with shelving that we did for a wet bar to give you an idea of what I am talking about (Happy Halloween!).
October 31, 2013 at 10:14am   
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DDS Design Services, LLC by Jeff Kida
You could remove the uppers and replace them with a few open shelves and a dramatic wall treatment with down lighting. Removing the soffit and replacing it with a panel that matches the base cabinets would also help give it an integrated look.
October 31, 2013 at 10:34am   
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victorianbungalowranch
You have a lot of countertop. Perhaps the granite could be salvaged and sold, or reused by the installer for a slight discount.
October 31, 2013 at 10:36am   
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