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Barely-There Open Kitchen Layouts

Why are white kitchen cabinets a trend? Our theory is that homeowners are drawn to white kitchens because they want a clean, light, open space. The desire for white is a response to the chaos and clutter that naturally occurs in everyday life!

But what some homeowners don’t realize is that white cabinets aren’t the only way to make a once-cramped kitchen feel more open. In fact, there are far better ways that will keep you happier with your space for years. 


3 Ways to Open Up Your Kitchen Layout

If you’re looking for ways to let your kitchen breathe a bit more, we’ve got you covered. Our designers have years of experience transforming tight, uncomfortable spaces into beautiful and functional rooms that are the perfect fit for our clients. Here are our top three ideas on how to open your kitchen layout for more enjoyable cooking, dining, and entertaining experiences.

1. Remove Upper Cabinets

When we present this suggestion, many homeowners panic about where they’ll store all of their dishware, utensils, and pantry items. But a kitchen with fewer or no upper wall cabinets can still be functional (we promise!). Some ways to recover that lost storage space include:

By using one of those solutions instead of upper cabinets, you’ll enjoy a difference in visual vertical weight, which creates an opening effect in your kitchen. You’ll also get the bonus perk of having more wall space for windows. 


2. Consider Open Shelving

In situations where wall storage is a non-negotiable (i.e. space-restricted kitchens), open shelving is an option for balancing storage and openness. Open shelves can relieve some of the visual weight that upper cabinets bring about. 

If you have limited upper wall space due to windows or other obstructions, then open shelving in front of the windows can provide storage without cutting off the daylight they provide.


Open shelves can vary in style to fit your personal tastes. If you like an industrial look, go with shelves supported by metal pipes. If you prefer clean lines and modern aesthetics, floating shelves with concealed structural supports are a lovely option. You may even choose glass shelves to open up your kitchen layout even more.

3. Use Raw Materials

Raw or natural materials have inherent simplicity. Whether you incorporate them in shelves, cabinets, or countertops, they make a statement without needing flashy, space-consuming accents. You’ll be able to open your kitchen layout by simply having less stuff. 

Another benefit of using raw materials is that, when implemented strategically, they connect your kitchen with the outdoors. This can extend the space beyond its physical restraints and subconsciously make your kitchen feel larger. 


Talk Open Kitchen Layouts with Meadowlark Design+Build

Thinking about opening up your kitchen layout? Meadowlark’s kitchen remodel experts would love to help! We’ll listen to the dreams you have for your kitchen, then help you implement creative, beautiful solutions that make those dreams become reality. Get the conversation started by calling us at (734) 332-1500 or by contacting us online


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