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Factors That Impact Kitchen Cabinet Placement

Kitchen cabinet placement is one of many steps in the design process. For many kitchens, it’s obvious where the cabinets should go. For others, there are certain factors that make placement tricky. If you’ve found yourself wondering “Where should my kitchen cabinets stop?”, this helpful guide will make the decision easy for you.

Factors That Impact Kitchen Cabinet Placement

Every kitchen is unique. The ‘rules’ for cabinet placement are often broken because there are so many considerations to keep in mind. Here are some of the basic factors that determine where kitchen cabinets stop.

  • Door Swings: Any doors that open into the kitchen should be able to completely swing open without hitting any cabinets
  • Appliance Placement: The doors for all appliances should be able to open smoothly.
  • Countertop Layout: The lower cabinets directly relate to the layout of the countertop. There should be sufficient cabinets to support the countertops, including bar areas and other overhangs.
  • Windows: The cabinets should not block any portion of the windows when closed.
  • Ceiling Height: The cabinets can run to the ceiling, but they should not extend so high that they overwhelm the kitchen. It’s important to find a balance.
  • Accessible Storage: When planning where your kitchen cabinets stop, think about which storage areas will be accessible or difficult to access. Will you use the storage in double-stacked cabinets? Will the cabinetry turn into wasted space?
  • Wall Space: Your cabinets should fill most of the available wall space in your kitchen, while still keeping the other factors in mind. Maximize the space you have available with sensible storage solutions.

Should My Cabinets Go to the Ceiling?

Running your upper cabinets to the ceiling can increase your storage and make your kitchen feel larger. This is not a good fit for every kitchen though. On the show Good Bones on HGTV, they often use double-stacked cabinets in their open layouts. They put two sets of upper cabinets on top of each other. This looks good on camera, but in person, it can make the kitchen feel heavy and daunting. It also creates storage that is hard to access, making it impractical in the long run.

If you have an awkward gap between your upper cabinets and the ceiling, you might benefit from running them all the way up. If you have tons of room above the cabinets though, one row of standard-height cabinets may be sufficient.

Should I Have Cabinets above My Peninsula?

In most kitchens with a peninsula, the peninsula faces an eating area or living room. Upper cabinets above the peninsula would block the sight line between the kitchen and connecting space. If your storage options are limited, you may need those extra cabinets for the kitchen to function. We always recommend function over form for proper kitchen design.

Finding a Balance between Storage and Appearance

When determining where kitchen cabinets should stop, think about both storage and appearance. Will it look odd to open a door and see upper cabinets right away? Could that small wall on the side of the kitchen be utilized for more storage? Would extending the height of the cabinets greatly improve the flow of the kitchen? It’s all about finding the right balance for your home and lifestyle.

The kitchen design experts here at O’Hanlon Kitchens would love to guide you through the process. If you’re satisfied with your current kitchen cabinet placement, we can do a direct replacement of your cabinets and countertops. If you think there’s room for improvement, we can re-arrange the cabinets to create a much better layout. Throughout the process, you’ll receive positive support from our knowledgeable kitchen designers. Contact O’Hanlon Kitchens at 443-285-0558 to schedule a consultation.



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