lift-up vs traditional cabinet door advice

jckgmkMay 29, 2013

I am looking for advice about upper cabinets on each side of a range. We originally were going to have a one-door cabinet on each side--opening out with easy reach inside from the range. However, we expanded the cabinet size just enough to require two doors. Visually, it is fine, but it seems like it would awkward to use--like you will have a door in your face while reaching around it to get what you need. I have an idea to use a lift-up style, but my KD is not a fan. Anyone out there have advice on how to design cabinets next to ranges for easy access?

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Sophie Wheeler

There's no problem with using double door cabinets at all. The lift up are awkward to use and a style miscue in all but the most modern of designs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:01PM
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jckgmk

Thank you--I appreciate your insight. I am looking at this remodel as my one and only opportunity to get it right so I am questioning every little detail.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:18PM
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ali80ca

jck67, we have some lift up doors in our office and I really like them there, but don't think I'd want them in my kitchen. In our office they are below regular cabinets and are perfect for holding papers supplies and stuff like that. The lift mechanism takes up a fair bit of room in comparison to regular hinges.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:32PM
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jckgmk

Thanks--I had not thought of that. The one thing I am trying to do is maximize space--going with frameless cabinets and all, so sounds like this is not a good plan.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:57PM
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sena01

I had doubts before we installed the up lifting doors, but now I simply love them. Yes, they are bigger than regular hinges, but they are on the sides, and I don't really feel they decrease my storage space.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:02PM
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jckgmk

sena01- Is your kitchen style modern? Do you have lift style doors on all of your upper cabinets? I was thinking of using a 15" tall lift door cabinet below a 21" tall two-door cabinets on each side of the range but they would be the only ones like it in the entire kitchen. I think the kitchen style will be considered transitional since my preferred slab front modern look fell by the wayside because I want solid wood doors.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:31PM
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sas95

We put in lifting doors flanking the range. We keep our spices, olive oils and other things we use a lot while we are cooking in these cabinets. Love them! We can keep the doors lifted if we need to while cooking without having double doors coming out in our faces. There is no decrease in storage space. The hinges are on the sides and take up little room. Our kitchen is transitional, not modern, but I don't believe the lift ups are a style miscue if done in a way that works for the room.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:42PM
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sena01

Yes, my kitchen is modern style and all my uppers, except a narrow one next to wall, are up lifting. On one wall they are 35" and on the other 23.5" tall, width 35", 27.5". I have horizontal bar handles everywhere including the base cabs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:53PM
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jckgmk

sas95--thank you for the photo. It helps to have a real visual to compare with what I am envisioning. I will have a similar look in unpainted cherry--mitered doors with the slab drawers. I, too, plan to store oils, vinegars, spices, popcorn, beans, etc. in these lower cabinets and want easy access. I expect what ever way I go, I will get use to it, but have the opportunity to plan from scratch (within a limited space) so am exploring as many options as possible (my KD's nightmare, I am afraid).

sena01--It sounds like your kitchen was the look I was going for but as much as I tried, it did not fit with this small, somewhat non-descript 1959 ranch . I really like longer horizontal pulls on both upper and lower doors and drawers and plan to use them-- hopefully, to bring in an element of modern.

Thanks to everyone--

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:23PM
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Fori is not pleased

You can do faux double doors that lift up as one--they don't have to look any different than traditional doors. I have some lift up cabinets in my laundry room from Ikea. The storage isn't limited much by the hinges.

I like 'em. If you have an Ikea locally go play with them and see if you like the way they work.

They're this in a different discontinued size:

Here is a link that might be useful: ikea doors

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:10PM
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melissat99

I am in the same position and debating lift up doors. The other option I am considering is simply adding a piece to the center of the frameless cabinet that will allow me to have both doors open towards the range (assuming we go with site built cabinets where I would have the option to modify in this way.)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 10:52PM
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jckgmk

Unfortunately, my ceiling is barely 7'8" so I am not sure how the double lift ones would look. A center piece is an interesting idea. I contemplated actually putting in two cabinets but not sure if losing an additional three inches is a direction I want to go.

hollysprings--if you are still following--why are lift up doors awkward to use? Do they get stuck or get in the way?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:34AM
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GreenDesigns

There are differences in lift up doors and flip up doors, so be sure you're being clear as to what you are asking about.

I love how they look, but the primary reason I don't care for lift up doors are that they block the cabinet above when open. (And I could just reorganize my stuff better, for sure.) If you store small stuff in the lower cabinet, and lesser used (but you still need to get to it) stuff in the upper shelf of a standard cabinet, you can still get to everything when you open the door. I put my large spice containers on the top shelf, and my small ones on the lower shelves. So, I have the large thing of peppercorns and granulated garlic above. But, I use the granulated garlic enough that I don't download it into a smaller container, I use it straight from the big container.

Bi-fold flip/lift up, which is more accessible

Regular lift up, which blocks the cabinet above.

Flip up, which will block the upper cabinet.

And yes, you will never see horizontal wall cabinets like those in a traditional kitchen. And very few of them in a transitional kitchen. Stressing the horizontal plane is a hallmark of modern design. You will see a lot of single short horizontal or stacked horizontal cabinets in modern design. I do LOVE how they look in that type of kitchen, but it may require a bit of a reorganizing the contents for efficiency sale.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:54AM
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jckgmk

Thank you for the photos. The horizontal lines of these cabinets look clean and modern. Do you think my plan to mix a regular 2-door cabinet above the lift-up/flip-up style cabinet would look strange in a transitional kitchen--(not taking the access to the cabinet above into consideration)?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:28AM
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GreenDesigns

Yes, the aesthetic would be off, and the functionality would too. If you do a flip up cabinet below, you don't do a regular opening cabinet above.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:57AM
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GreenDesigns

Yes, the aesthetic would be off, and the functionality would too. If you do a flip up cabinet below, you don't do a regular opening cabinet above.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:58AM
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jckgmk

Okay then--thanks for setting me straight. I guess this idea is not going to fly--back to the drawing board.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:20PM
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sjerin

I have one over my fridge which works great; the rest are regular doors. I did this to improve access to that cave-y area and I think it does the trick.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:17PM
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sjerin

I have one over my fridge which works great; the rest are regular doors. I did this to improve access to that cave-y area and I think it does the trick.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:27PM
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jckgmk

Still struggling to come up with a solution for the cabinets next to my range/hood. Not only do they seem awkward, but realized from reading on GW, they will most likely bump into my hood. I saw a post about bi-fold doors--could this be a solution? The cabinets are 24" wide so each door would 12"--does not seem too wide or unwieldy. Does anyone have any experience with bi-fold? Do they operate like the corner cabinet doors with knuckle hinges (potential to scratch if not opened correctly)? What is the downside?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 9:12PM
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