Tall Kitchen Cabinets

Learn about the options for tall kitchen cabinets to see how you can add storage into your kitchen design.
White Kitchen with Open Shelving

White Kitchen with Open Shelving

A small pantry area consists of tall cabinets, and a bookcase provides space for cookbooks and recipe boxes.

By: Amy McEvoy

Tall kitchen cabinets are a part of many kitchens and are often referred to as pantry or utility cabinets. They typically come in standard sizes, although they may need to be custom built to fit in your space.

12 Easy Ways to Upgrade Basic Kitchen Cabinets

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Paint

If your kitchen has good bones but simply looks tired, painting your cabinets can be just what the doctor ordered. Mix up colors on upper and lower cabinets, or on cabinets and islands as shown here, to add richness. These cabinets are painted in Windsurf from Behr Paints; the island is done in Snowy Pine and the walls are Spice Garden. Behr recommends using semi-gloss enamel for painting cabinets.

Add Task Lighting or Uplighting

Installing lighting on cabinets isn’t just a practical improvement. It can make the whole room glow, especially if you take a multi-directional approach. This kitchen features uplighting from energy-efficient LED tape on the top cabinets, and task lighting from LED under-cabinet fixtures on the bottom cabinet, both from Kichler. Kichler recommends dimmable task lighting for the kitchen so that you can make it as bright as necessary for doing prep work but dial it down for evening mood-setting.

Remove the Doors

Lighten up a heavy, closed-off kitchen by converting your ordinary cabinets to open shelving. The kitchen shown belongs to blogger Judy Meek, who first tried open shelving in 2011 and documented her steps for her readers. “I have loved the open shelf concept,” Meek says. “Besides the open shelf over the peninsula, I’ve also opened up a shelf over the dishwasher for glasses, a shelf over the coffeemaker for cups and a long cabinet over our cooktop for our everyday dinnerware. The key is filling the shelves with items you use often.” Meek started by painting her oak cabinets white, and is now changing over to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ with wax, which makes spill cleanup a snap.

Add Glass Door Inserts

According to glass insert manufacturer Bendheim, refacing your cabinets costs about 20% of what replacing them would cost. Plus, it’s a project you can do yourself over a weekend without losing the use of your kitchen. There are plenty of options besides plain clear glass: you can choose from etched (shown), fluted, crackled, colored or patterned glass, and set off your new look with interior cabinet lighting.

Photo By: Bendheim

Install Roll-Out Shelving

Custom kitchens have lots of built-in features to add functionality, but there’s no reason you can’t have the same perks on a budget. Roll-out shelves for bottom cabinets are a must — these sturdy bamboo drawers from The Container Store are easy to install with just a screwdriver or drill.

Replace Door Fronts With Chicken Wire

With some chicken wire and white chalk paint, craft blogger Amy Gregson transformed her builder-grade oak cabinets into her dream farmhouse kitchen. “It really lightened the space up and gave it a ton of personality,” she says. “It makes me smile every time I walk in there!” See how she did it here; since the original blog post was written, she has painted the lower cabinets navy blue and installed bright-white countertops (shown).

Add Crown Molding

If you have solid but unremarkable builder-grade cabinets, the simplest route to a high-end look is adding some height with crown molding. Interior designer Sarah Macklem of The Yellow Cape Cod tackled this project in her own kitchen with striking results. 

Add Lid Storage

Pots and their lids are great partners on the stove, but inside the kitchen cabinet, not so much. Get a handle on the havoc and make your cabinets more functional by storing lids on the door with a minimalist rack like this steel model from The Container Store.

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Photo By: The Container Store

Spice Up Your Doors

The backside of a kitchen cabinet door is a space with great potential that’s too often wasted. A spice rack is an ideal way to put it to use — it frees up the inside of the cabinet and keeps all those tiny bottles neat and readable at eye level. Designer Jan Goldman of Kitchen Elements had this cabinet custom-made for her client, but there are lots of prefab wall-mounted options available designed specifically for spice storage.

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Photo By: KitchenElements.com

Swap Out Boring Hardware

A fresh take on knobs and pulls is one of the quickest fixes for what ails your kitchen cabinets. Browse for new options at your local big-box store, at handcrafted glass or metal shops or from specialty retailers like Restoration Hardware, which stocks this knob in amber, green, violet, black and clear glass.

Add Adhesive Backing

Peel-and-stick adhesive backing has come a long way, baby — there’s a pattern available for every kitchen style these days, and you can even design your own at Spoonflower. This cabinet was lined with Spoonflower’s removable wallpaper by DIY blogger Jessi Wohlwend a PracticallyFunctional.com (the design shown is “quatrefoil lg yellow” by designer misstiina).

Install Under-Cabinet Shelving

Don’t forget the dead air space underneath upper shelves — it’s a smart place to stash mugs, dessert plates, baking sheets and other compact kitchen items. The Container Store offers under-cabinet shelving in vinyl-coated wire that adds usable real estate to existing cabinets without taking up any extra space in your kitchen.

Tags: 
  1. kitchens

Photo By: The Container Store

Kitchen cabinets take up important real estate in your kitchen, and they serve both functional and design purposes. Their main function in general is to serve as storage space for various food products, cookware and dishware. Basic types of cabinets include base cabinets and wall cabinets, each of which typically come in standard sizes.

In general, base kitchen cabinets are 24 inches deep and 36 inches high. They sit directly on the floor or rest upon a 4-inch toe kick riser. Their width can vary depending on what's sitting on top of them: sinks, cooktops or countertops. Wall cabinets are usually 24 inches high and 12 to 16 inches deep. The standard width for two-door wall cabinets is 30 to 36 inches.

Tall kitchen cabinets, on the other hand aren't as black-and-white in terms of sizing. While they are usually 84 inches high, they can range up to 96 inches tall as well to accommodate required pantry or utility storage.

Many tall kitchen cabinets are used for pantries since their floor-to-ceiling height allows for shelves that accommodate food and supplies efficiently. They can also be used for utility storage as again their height can accommodate tall storage items such brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners.

Aside from using floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinets as pantries, homeowners seeking more storage and a unique and elongated design in their kitchen may decide to place tall kitchen cabinets on their walls or as their base cabinets. In order for these types of cabinets to be made longer than their standard size, however, they will need to be custom made, which can be more costly a project than purchasing standard-sized stock cabinets.

Whether for added design or added storage, tall kitchen cabinets bring a fresh look and much needed functional space to any kitchen.

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