In our first post on kitchens, for this series, I named 3 Must-Haves for my next kitchen, wherever that kitchen might be.


Now in this 2nd kitchen post of this series, we will be talking about those boxes with doors that hang on kitchen walls, called upper cabinets.


We are all craving more light these days in our homes and especially our kitchens. Trends validate this theory with most of the photos we see have lots of light whether natural with more windows or in lighting fixtures. You can see in depth kitchen lighting principles in my video, “3 Types of Lighting Every Kitchen Needs.”


I just love this gorgeous kitchen by architect Pi Smith illustrating the beautiful effect of adding more windows to our kitchens. Imagine the huge difference in this kitchen if those side windows were upper cabinets.


Simple but charming kitchen


Today, very rarely do we see posted online or in magazines upper cabinetry that covers most of the kitchen walls with one small standard window above the kitchen sink.


These are the before photos for one of my favorite kitchen projects. This is still the look many have today in their kitchens but for us Boomers and Beyond, we want light and lots of it.


Isaac kitchen before1-marked


Isaac kitchen before2-marked


Talk about so yesterday!


Below is the example of the after of this favorite kitchens that I was fortunate to design with a wonderful cook and hostess as my client. Out-of-the-box thinking for 5 or 6 years ago, were these open shelves and tile used in a most unexpected way in those years.


Isaacs kitchen-marked


You know years back when I was designing a kitchen, I would spec a 20” backsplash. Why? Because I have always felt those upper cabinets were being too limiting on using our counters in unlimited ways. Plus, the heaviness of the 18” backsplash with lots of upper cabinets felt like the children’s book, Chicken Little, the sky is falling in on me”.


I can hear so many of you saying okay, then, what happens to all my items that would be in those  kitchen upper cabinets? Enter, finally, the answer! It is in smart and calculated storage that is quickly replacing those standard kitchen designs of yesterday. Thank goodness!


Validating this trending design concept of fewer upper cabinetry is the love of pantries. The  kitchen cabinet makers are responded with an array of unique storage solutions.


This design by Davonport is more than the normal pantry and perfect for calculated storage.




Why else is the pantry such a wanted feature in todays kitchens?


Because pantries give us INTENTIONAL, ERGONOMIC, FLEXIBLE AND SAFE means for our storage needs! Basically, the pantry allows for more useable space. Even upper cabinets with adjustable shelves still have limited function.


And don’t get me started on telling me that one can use a stool to reach that upper shelving! I will not bore you with statistics, but falls can change our life. Every time we are on a step stool, we are vulnerable, even if we are young. This is a fact that cannot be disputed my dear Boomers and Beyond.


Great example of an easy-to-access pantry by Lewis Alderson & Co.


huge pantry


Here’s a great pantry location idea from Closets Redefined — take out the typical hall closet and use it for kitchen storage!


pantry from hall closet


Here are some storage ideas that will emphasize and illustrate how it can be done WITHOUT lots of upper cabinets.


Wall storage is the now in thing replacing the need for as many upper cabinets. This  Swing-Out Tall Kitchen Cabinet Chef’s Pantry from Rev-A-Shelf is another wonderful example of the storage we seek today in our kitchens.


rev a shelf 2


Any baker or cook lusts after this feature of a Full Height Base Cabinet Heavy Duty Mixer Lift from Rev-A-Shelf.


Rev a Shelf 1


This utensil drawer is a great example of kitchen storage that’s BoomerSmart! Featured by Hearthstone Interior Design, photo by Jeff Freeman Photography.


utencil drawer


Intentional storage is just that simple. It is intentional like thinking ahead of for those pots and pans and utensils and etc., like this drawer designed by Feia Construction.


Susie Feia cabinet


Big sigh here thinking how I have only touched the surface again on kitchen design for Boomers and Beyond.


Therefore, expect to see more posts on storage because as we consider downsizing in this stage of life, “less is more” is almost our battle cry as we define aging differently and way better than any other generation before us.


Thank you for being on this journey with me.


And congratulations to Suzanne Moody, the winner of our At Home giveaway from July! We hope she enjoys her $50 gift card and are thrilled with everyone who signed up to join the BoomerSmart journey. If you haven’t joined already, I invite you to do so on my home page.


Living and loving life together,