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Top Alternatives to Kitchen Cabinets

Created: 17/02/2017

The home is open to a bevy of options as regards to work that can be done and changes that can be made. The kitchen is indeed no different. From new tops and counters, installing a breakfast island, to a simple lick of paint; the options are there and they can have drastic effects.

Alternatives to kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are a staple of any kitchen; we all need storage for our pots, pans and various accoutrements; these cabinets however can often look dated, bulky and sometimes just plain boring. The good news is that there are a plethora of ways to rework your kitchen storage. With a little creativity, your kitchen can have a completely new look.

With that being said, here are the top alternatives to kitchen cabinets.

Hanging storage

The simplest answer is often the correct one, and this old adage is more than applicable here. By simply placing a bar above your kitchen sink/counter, for which to hang utensils, pots and pans, you can provide the room with a fantastic, minimalist look.

Suspended shelves

A fantastic way to save space would be to go for something relatively simple but equally pleasing on the eye, such as suspended shelves. By simply having a series of shelves suspended above your cooking area – almost as if they were hanging from the sky – you at once have both the storage capacity desired and less visual weight on the eye.

Suspended shelves

Open shelves

A tried and tested method and an undeniably effective one. Allowing for ease of access by simply having a group of open shelves around your kitchen walls, you not only provide decoration where it otherwise would not have been, but save yourself much needed space on the ground.

Kerry Allen of the home improvement blog,, is also a fan of open shelves, and really able to see the benefits they provide.

“A great alternative to kitchen cabinets is to have open shelves. This could be just cheap shelves from ikea, an upcycled spare floorboard or even reclaimed scaffold boards - as we're going for in our new kitchen! It's a great way to create a feature, make the space feel bigger, participate in the online #shelfies and it'll save you heaps by not paying for expensive kitchen cabinets”.

Kerry hits the nail on the head; the open shelf route really is a great and practical alternative, and one worth pursuing, as long as you don’t mind guests and visitors peaking at your kitchen attire. 

Kitchen Hutch

Open storage boxes

Putting a slightly new spin on the traditional kitchen cabinet; this tactic can work a treat. By stacking open storage boxes or cubes around the kitchen, or organising them in rows where the equipment is most needed, you can provide yourself with the same resources as your old cabinets but with a new, modern take on storage.

Whole wall cabinets

One of the biggest knocks against traditional kitchen cabinets is their protruding nature and bulky appearance; taking away much needed space in often spatially limited rooms. Well, by going in a modern, unique direction, and having your cabinets become the wall itself, there can arise an elegant way to tackle the problem. Building your cabinets into the wall, providing an entire surface with plentiful storage space, may be a large task – and absolutely requiring the services of a local handyman – but can be completely transformative for your kitchen.


If you are more of the old fashioned sensibility, but still want to move on from bog standard kitchen cabinets, an antique hutch might be the perfect choice for you. Offering a central focal point for your cooking space, along with plenty of storage, this can also free up room above any appliances, providing a lighter look for your kitchen. These hutches can not only look great for display purposes but have great utility too.

Shelves with baskets

Shelves with baskets

A spin on the open shelve format, but with a little more privacy for your kitchen equipment. By simply lining up rows of baskets on your shelves to organise your items, can not only provide a storage solution that is easy on the eye, but can help to obscure any paraphernalia/food that you might want to keep hidden.


Repurposing is a popular technique when undertaking home improvement projects, and doing this with regards to your kitchen cabinets can be a fantastic idea. Garnering some school type lockers and turning them into a solid, industrial like storage space will provide a thoroughly unique look to your kitchen while also providing some security against the sticky fingers of hungry children.

Sliding pantry door

If you find yourself working with a nice amount of space, installing an industrial like sliding pantry door can be a great avenue to go down. This sturdy alternative to kitchen cabinets will allow you to take advantage of open shelves while also hiding away any clutter, creating a secure area for all your cooking needs. This is a unique solution and one that is bound to impress aside from being wholly practical.


Image Credit: articad images

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