Tag Archives: kitchen design

Up, up and away…

I have a client who’s kitchen needs to be redesigned.  It is a large space with a very nice footprint and 12′ high ceilings to boot.  Presently, it has cherry wood cabinetry – 36″h base and 42″h upper cabinets along one long stretch of wall and a refrigerator and angled penninsula opposite.   Even though it is a good size room the mass of cabinetry makes it feels as though it’s much smaller than it is. 


existing kitchen

Right now in the design stage of the project, our big question is: How do we make this room feel more spacious? Well, for starters by using 42″h or taller upper cabinets.  That’s right. 

And in my opinion, the taller the better. 

 As it turns out, the client wants to relocate the sink (currently at penninsula -you can’t see it in the photo) to the long wall and add a window. Will a window make the room feel more spacious?  The light coming in will help, but it’s not the full solution.  Even if the sink remained in it’s original place and no window was added, something needs to be done to break up the heaviness of upper cabinets.  Let’s think about one upper at a time to figure this out – each of these door panels (average) is about 24″ x 42″ of  uninterrupted wood.  Think about it -that’s 7 square feet of wood. Per door.  So, if we put a new 24″ x 42″ door up it will also be about 7 square feet of wood – so what’s the difference? 

The difference is that it will be interrupted.  Whaaa?

Look at the existing kitchen photo.  The door panels are plain Jane.  It’s boring, there’s nothing to interest your eye.  But, if you were to add something horizontal to the upper cabinets:

kitchen elev1 001

Your eye now has many places to travel: up,  across, down, to the glass in the doors, to the window at the sink, to the crown…  the flat mass of wood is gone and because of the horizontal elements, your eyes keep a movin’.  Would it blow your mind if I told you that the height of these upper cabinets were drawn at 54″h?!   Doesn’t look as massive as the ones in the photo?  Well just to give yourself something to compare it to…


Kraftmaid Cabinetry

This is a very similar solution to the kitchen project I’m working on.  I think  it helps to see it in ‘real life’ rather than in a sketch.  The glass in the top doors are another feature that enhances the openess of the cabinetry and helps make the space feel more airy.  I know, the glass is only a small part, but compare it to the wood at the range hood… it looks to me that the height of the doors (wood cabinet door with glass cabinet door above) is very close in height to the solid wood panel at the hood.  That little bit of glass and the horizontal rails of the two doors make a difference.


Final Kitchen Result:


So if you’re blessed with high ceiling and are thinking about a kitchen remodel – use some of the following as inspiration to help keep the room feeling spacious… and don’t be afriad of going up, up, up with your cabinetry.  Break up the monotony with glass and horizontal elements.


Christopher Peacock Cabinetry

Empire Kitchen & Bath
Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry

Leave a comment

Filed under Kitchen