As with any room in your house, there should be a balance of decor, storage and functionality. Kitchen cabinets are no different. Kitchen cabinets are not just for plates, glasses and china brought out once in a blue moon — upper/top cabinets are meant to distinguish your aesthetic look and feel for what your kitchen concept represents. Learning how to upgrade your upper kitchen cabinets can save a lot of money and time in the long run.

Whether you want to spruce up existing cabinets or have a remodeling company (like Element Design Build Remodel) build and install custom cabinets, knowing what you need, want or looking for is the starting point.

Before picking shelving and lighting, let’s explore upper cabinet ideas, styles, and personalities. Will the cabinets hold kitchen hardware? Is it worth adding open shelving for wine storage? Is there something you want to display? Would you prefer replacing what’s there or finding a cost-effective way to replace those old cabinets?

Now let’s answer those questions and showcase fantastic kitchen cabinet ideas Element has put in place before.

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Traditional Cabinetry

If you want something that can withstand the test of time, traditional cabinetry gives a cohesive look to a kitchen. Generally, these upper cabinets are meant to hide what’s within, but it’s not the storage that brings life; it’s the limitless possibilities that traditional decor cabinetry can bring.

Usually embodying the golden age of Europe, traditional design styles use a variety of colors, elaborate motifs, and a blend of materials to breathe new life into century-old styling. This design style maintains order and refinement through symmetry and balance in today’s hurry-up world.

Two-Tone Cabinetry

Say goodbye to the stark white kitchens of the past and hello to the mix of colors that define the kitchen trends of the present.

Generally, a kitchen space has stainless steel hardware, marble countertops, a unique backsplash and dark cabinets. Introducing two-tone colors can enhance the atmosphere of the kitchen.

According to Yelp’s home expert, interior designer Lauren Makk, “a two-toned kitchen is an effortless way to create instant interest.”

A frequent iteration of the look includes a darker color for the lower cabinets and a lighter shade for higher shelves. Think white cabinets above the sink paired with shades of blue, black, or brown below.

If you prefer to avoid paint, go for glass doors with aluminum sidings on your top cupboards and maintain the word finish on other kitchen cabinetry.

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Cabinetry with Glass Doors

When doing a kitchen remodel, accessibility should be on top of the to-do list. And what better way to make storage accessible than with glass doors?

Also known as “curio cabinets,” clear and frosted glass cabinets have unique features and are available in two options: tempered glass and annealed glass.

Clear glass upper cabinets are great for:

  • Cabinet items in your kitchen are fascinating enough to serve as decor elements
  • You want to show off a more expansive kitchen interior space
  • The kitchen items are not too much to show a cluttered view when put inside cabinets
  • You need to organize items inside cabinets for ease of access

Frosted glass is an excellent option for those who don’t want a full see-through effect on the glass. The frosted look can give a blurred view of what is on the shelves behind. This finish is best for those who enjoy the elegance of the glass look but still want the shelves generally hidden. Frosted glass upper cabinets are great for:

  • You want to add privacy and a modern vibe.
  • Kitchen items look ordinary that should be hidden
  • Your kitchen demands an ever-bright theme
  • You want stylish patterned glass for cabinet doors

Element wrote another blog on styling glass kitchen cabinetry. If you want to learn more, click here.

Ready. Set. Go. Upgrade your kitchen cabinets today

Element is your go-to team in the Cleveland area.  Call us 330-523-6919 or schedule your consultation
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Specific Use Shelving

As a bespoke option, freestanding shelving can provide a clean and classic look. Open shelving allows for adding character to the room and displays things that mean something to you and your family.

Specific-use shelving is ideal for keeping dried goods out in the open, can trim a backsplash and can help stay organized.

In more ways than one, open shelving in a kitchen is highly effective. As Tom Howley, Design Director of Tom Howley kitchens, explains, “Having items that you use every day on display is a great time saver. You go straight to the things you need.”

image of dried goods on a shelf

Spice Rack Shelving

Spice racks add easy access to herbs and spices in a kitchen. They make your spices look aesthetically pleasing thanks to uniform containers or pretty labels. Still, they’ll also make this notoriously disorganized part of a kitchen neat and easy to work with.

These cabinets can come in many different sizes and designs. Spice racks are commonly left on the counter or mounted to the wall, often only taking up one cabinet worth of space; the spice racks offer great storage. 

Spice racks can have risers, clean labels or with one quick turn of a Lazy Susan, you see everything you have without shuffling a bunch of spices around.

Creative spice rack ideas.

Wine Storage Shelves

For some, wine storage becomes important to showcase and organize their selection. The most common form of wine storage cabinetry is cubbies. From cube storage to custom-built shelving, wine cubbies are a super method for storing filled and empty wine bottles.

Wine shelves can be easy to clean depending on the size of bottle compartments.

Stem Racks

Paired with the wine storage above, a stem rack can become a focal point of the kitchen. Allowing easy wine glass storage becomes necessary for some clients.

A stem rack is an organizational tool that stores different types of glasses. It may also be referred to as a glass rack. A stem rack is used to store a variety of stemware in kitchens. It is designed to hold champagne flutes, goblets, wine glasses and other glassware with stems.

Stem racks prevent stemware from occupying precious space in kitchen cabinets and allow the glasses to drain properly while attractively storing them.

large pantry with cabinets - wine storage and glass doors

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves offer an open-concept display for dishes, plants, towels, etc. The defined lines of the floating shelves give a clean look desired in a kitchen. Because of all the clean lines, these shelves are easy to maintain with a water solution, similar to traditional cabinets. 

Floating shelves are cheaper than cabinets. The simple fact that less material is needed to build them makes them a more affordable option than upper cabinets.

Metal Shelving Units

Metal shelving units can offer another approach to floating shelves. The metal framework of the shelves can help inform different styles of design. Shelving units can also be mounted to the wall or ceiling. 

Wood and metal shelving units can be wiped with water, while glass shelves need to be cleaned with a glass cleaner. Although these shelving units give an additional answer to floating shelves, they can become a substantial portion of the budget.

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Start Your Upper Cabinet Remodel Today with Element

The kitchen, by and large, is the place where organized things implicitly tell others about your personality. The first thing that people usually see in the kitchen is the cabinets. So, choosing the right cabinet design is vital to design your kitchen.

Closed cabinets are durable but less functional and appealing than glass cabinet doors. Think twice before choosing the right type and style of glass to get a delightful kitchen ambiance. Above all, you can display beautiful crockery items, coffee mugs, teacups, wine bottles, baking utensils, etc., in an organized way for easy access.

What to upgrade your kitchen design today? The interior designers at Element Design Build Remodel provide personalized recommendations for your new kitchen cabinets. Just let us know your budget, preferences and taste and we’ll help you get the kitchen of your dreams. Give us a call at 330-523-6919 or schedule a consultation online.