Keeping Things on the Down Low

I knew that title would grab you!
Well, I'm actually talking kitchens on the down low - I'm seeing lots of high style kitchens these days with no upper cabinets.  

Yes, it's sleek, current, open, airy and quite yummy to consider.  But, my practical side pokes me every time I try to daydream about the option.  


I begin to think about how this trend will play out. Will style trump comfort and practicality?
 Or is this a true lifestyle shift we are talking about here? 

I guess, only time will tell.

But my brain simply cannot leave it at that. What's driving this trend?  Is it designers wanting things to be beautiful and sleek?  Is it a need for visual space?  What exactly is it?

Not sure we will ever really know the answers to these questions.  But, I think it's obvious that our lifestyles are changing and evolving every day.

I have lots of friends who don't really cook.

They eat cereal for breakfast and a quick sandwich (if they're even home for lunch); and they eat out for dinner.  They are constantly on the go with their kid's activities; so truly there's no time to cook.  When they have a free evening, they're not in the mood to cook.

Still yet, I have some friends (not me!) who are extremely health conscience.

 They do eat at home, but their menus are "close to the garden".  So, there is little to no cooking.  Lots of raw fruits and veggies involved.

Now, understand, I am NOT judging.  I'm simply observing.  We all know, at some point, lifestyles will dictate the form and function of a home.  This also drives the economy and what people are willing to invest their money in.  It's just that simple.  Just think, at some point in our history, before everyone owned a car, the idea of a garage would have truly been ludicrous.

So, it begs the question: would it ever be possible to find a home (outside of New York city, of course) without a kitchen?

Maybe this thought is simply a bridge too far (but what the heck!) - Will we one day overhear a conversations like: 

Susie: How's the house hunt going?! 
Judy: Well, we're still looking.  Most of the houses in the areas we like still have kitchens; and we just don't really need one - too much to keep up. 
Susie: You know, you could always renovate.  We loved the area, so we just took the kitchen out.  It made a huge difference in the flow of the whole house.  Believe you me, any updates you make will only add to your resale value. 
Judy:  You're totally right about that.  I was just hoping for something move in ready. 

You never know!  My kids constantly ask me in amazement, "You mean there were no cell phones when you were little?  Tell us again about that bag phone that Nana had?  What did it look like?"  Stranger things have happened.  M.


  1. Ha! Food for thought, Mandi!
    I love the walls of windows in some of these kitchens, but I can't imagine having enough storage down low to accomdate what normally goes in upper cabinets. Lovely pics!

  2. Love the pics. Kitchens without uppers is such a clean refreshing look - but definitely need some other storage somewhere!

  3. I think about this all the time Mandi. I just can't get past the functional side of me that would need those uppers for storage. But I do think that the minimize, minimize, organize, organize push has something to do with this. I think it's a beautiful look but only for a certain clientele.

  4. I thought, by the title, you were outing a man in my town! I was not going to put uppers in a portion of my kitchen, still in other areas. At the last minute, my contractor convinced me to put them in. It actually adds more architecture, and I use them all the time. I guess I'm glad I have them.

  5. Great post, I love the look of shelves or no cabinets, but I hate to dust. Wish i had a big enough kitchen to hold everything in cabinets below. It would be wonderful to have wall space for some beautiful art.

  6. I love the look, no shelves or open shelves. I do hate bending over for every cup, plate, or bowl though. Maybe with a bank of cabinetry on an opposite wall....perfect!

  7. What's next? No libraries. Who needs a library for an e-reader?

  8. Ha! Anonymous, I know you are right about the library! I predict most will be gone in the next five years. M.

  9. This is the BEST round-up of "down low" kitchens I've ever seen - kudos!

    Our new-ish house is actually 40 years old with the original kitchen intact. Only one wall has upper cabinets, and they are cleverly disguised. The cabinet doors are covered in the same wallpaper as the backsplash and bulkhead creating excellent camouflage. The woman who built this house had incredible foresight.

  10. I have no uppers as well, it was cheaper not to put any in. And frankly just annoying for me to reach. It was practical for us because we have a HUGE walk-in pantry. So it offers extra storage for pots and pans ect. I would not say its for everyone. I forsee a problem in the future when we try and sell I think more people prefer full cabinets. Either way I rather keep that shit on the down low.

    Word out homie

  11. AWESOME post. I love it when a blogger gets all cerebral on me. I had never once considered that a down low kitchen might be due to the demise of cooking. I assumed it was all for aesthetics. This city dweller can also see how people want the space and light that a down low kitchen provides.


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.