If you ask us, kitchen cabinets are the real MVPs of any culinary renovation — the unsung heroes, if you will. While marble countertops and patterned floor tiles certainly provide more than their share of eye candy, well-designed cabinets not only set the tone for the rest of the space, but also provide an immense amount of function.
So how do you make the most out of such an integral feature in your kitchen? Style and layout aren't the only things to consider — the size and shape are also key factors. Tall kitchen cabinets, for example, are an ideal solution for a cook space that needs more storage, but may be limited in actual square footage. Rather than building outwards, you can build up. Plus, from a design perspective, their grand appearance will swiftly add drama and architectural interest to an otherwise cookie cutter home.
Ahead, we've gathered all the tall kitchen cabinet inspo you need to start planning your own renovation, with a few key tips on how to rock the look.
1. Opt for glass cabinet doors.
The glass door fronts in this neutral kitchen by Studio McGee keep the space feeling light and bright, while still providing lots of necessary storage for a functional cook space. You can recreate this look with some greige paint and light wood accents for a fresh take on a classic culinary design.
2. Bring the cabinets down to the countertops.
Take tall kitchen cabinets to new heights by situating yours on top of the countertop rather than the floor. We love the way the wood cabinetry in this space designed by Amber Lewis from Amber Interiors plays up the vaulted ceiling. To bring this look into your own home, balance warm and cool tones with light stone flooring, featuring various gray tones against honey-colored cabinets and open shelving.
3. Add a ladder for character and convenience.
Leave it to Jean Stoffer to make us all wonder why we haven't been installing ladders (à la Belle in Beauty and the Beast) all along. This charm-filled detail adds both style and function to tall kitchen cabinets — the ultimate sign of good design. To recreate this look, add warm wood accents to contrast rich blue cabinetry in a traditional Shaker style.
4. Create symmetry.
Take notes from Shea McGee by flanking your range with tall kitchen cabinets, offering balance and symmetry. Showcase the dramatic look by combining green painted cabinetry with matte black hardware and sleek lighting for a modern vibe.
5. Go without hardware.
The ultra-sleek style of this Semihandmade cook space makes these tall kitchen cabinets nearly undetectable. Opt for hardware-free black cabinetry paired with a waterfall island. Complete the look with the cherry on top, herringbone wood floors, adding juxtaposition with their traditional style.
6. Enjoy the best of both worlds.
If you can't decide between solid or glass door fronts, steal this brilliant idea by Jenny Komenda and opt for both! Style your favorite pitchers and serving bowls in the glass section of the cabinets, and save pantry items or mismatched food storage containers for the concealed portion.
7. Tall cabinets look good in the kitchen nook, too.
Make your cook space feel larger than life by extending your tall kitchen cabinets into the dining nook, allowing you to store serveware, placemats, linens, or rarely used household items. Keep your built-ins a consistent color so that the entire space feels cohesive, just like this midcentury home featured in House Method.
Caitlin is the former social media manager and staff writer of TheEverygirl.com in Chicago, now working as a freelance writer from her laptop in New Zealand. She loves soulful, collected interior design that feels like a warm hug, English Breakfast tea, and trips to the theatre.