are 8 inch wide upper cabinets going to look ridiculous

cbrfdOctober 27, 2010

GW is such a wonderful site and I have learned so much from lurking around!

I'm really uncertain how this is going to look. My kitchen layout is almost complete, but unfortunately on either side of my window I only have space for very narrow upper cabinets - approximately 8" - is this going to look silly? I really need every inch of cabinet space as possible. They will be in a creamy white shaker style. Any photos of narrow upper cabinets would be greatly appreciated.

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Are your cabinets frameless? If they aren't, the reduced size of the framed opening might be uselessly narrow. Whether they LOOK good depends on other elements of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Circus Peanut

I prefer the look of inset cabinets if you're going that narrow, so I'd approve of the aesthetics (if yours are true shaker insets), but whether it will be functionally worth it, as idrive points out, is another question. Do you have a layout picture to share? The brilliant layout minds here can give you a whirl. :-)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Also, if your cabinets are inset shaker style, you will need to do those doors as flat panels because there won't be enough room for the stiles and rails. You might have that problem even with an 8" frameless door, depending on the width of your stiles and rails---with ours, I found that even a 9" wide door looked really skinny since our rails and stiles are 2.5" wide, leaving a space of 4" in the middle---doable, but I still switched it to 12" at the last minute to make it look more normal.

What about putting shelves there instead? Then you wouldn't have the door issues to contend with.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Sorry, I should have mentioned that they are frameless. I will try to post a layout picture and as much other info as I can to help with the brainstorming......

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:47AM
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I just had a 9" tall cabinet installed between my refiigerator and the wall. I was worried that it would look silly, but I don't think it does. It will be for trays (upper) and brooms (lower). My cabinets are frameless, with a shaker style door.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:51AM
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I have a 7" full height pull-out cabinet that is a broom closet where I also store cleaning supplies along the top and it too is shaker style. The whole thing is on a rail system. So following that can you make these cabinets pull=outs instead and store spices, oils etc in them. And if they are balanced on either side of the window they won't look silly.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:07PM
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Have you considered using a pullout instead of traditional shelves? It might make them more functional...or at least more accessible. (Just something to think about.)

How thick are your cabinet's walls? If 1/2", you will have approx 7" of interior width; if 3/4", you're down to 6.5".

Here is a link that might be useful: Rev-A-Shelf Wall Accessories

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Fori is not pleased

Are the cabinets by themselves or connected to others? If they're free standing I think they will in fact look ridiculous. If they're connected to others, they'll look okay but function better if they were actually incorporated into neighboring cabinets, making THOSE 8" wider.

As always, drawings would be helpful!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:47PM
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If you have other uppers, just make them wider to take up the slack.

A single upper cabinet that is only 8" wide is going to have major stability problems. The attachment point is narrower than the depth of the cabinet, which means that it will be wobbling and pulling every time you place any sideways pressure on it ... like when you are opening a door.

How about a set of shelves there?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Thanks all for your input. Always nice to hear other points of view.

Hopefully this will shed a little more light on the situation. I'm sorry that the pictures are not that great, but it's the best that I have right now. Unfortunately, most of the measurements are in centimetres. I hope it doesn't cause you too much trouble. Most of my appliances are already bought. The only appliances I need to buy is the hood (going with a 30" vent a hood and microwave to be mounted under island). The microwave will only be about 21" wide as I really don't use a microwave that much. The fridge is a Samsung 33" french door counter depth. Microwave is Miele fully integrated. Range is Blue Star 30".

The upper corner cabinet will be on a piano hinge so it will actually look like 2 narrow cabinets. One just shy of 8 inches and the other one about 9 inches. The KD said that they cannot do one larger one as it will be too big for the piano hinge. The other narrow upper cabinet is beside the fridge - it will actually be a little bigger at 10.5 inches.

The second picture shows the cabinet door, but I am going frameless. This is also the look that I'm hoping to achieve. I hate to admit this but I'm actually quite a messy cook while preparing so as much as I absolutely love the white quartzite I think I probably will go with Quarella Blanco Luciente. It has little pieces of shiny specs in it so it looks like it has a little more depth to it. The link below doesn't seem to show the little pieces of mirror in it, but it's actually very pretty. Backsplash will be Bianco Carrara marble basketweave. Flooring will be 12 x 24 inch porcelain tile Dolmen noce. I'm trying to have the floor look as close to limestone as possible, but in porcelain, so if anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear it. I really liked a floor that I saw on GW by the name of Valentino Fashion Coffee, but I have tried to find it in Canada with no luck. I even contacted the manufacturer, and the only company in Toronto that they said carried it had never heard of it. Hopefully the Dolmen Noce will have a similar look. Well..... what started out as a question regarding cabinet size has mushroomed into a whole lot more, LOL. Would love to hear what you think about this as the flooring/backsplash have not been bought yet.

Here are a couple of links - the floor tile pattern is much more subdued than in this link

Backsplash similar to this but with white dots.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:13PM
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On side of the fridge, have you thought about a floor to ceiling (or as high as the fridge) pantry pull-out? On the other side, have you thought about a shallow bookshelf turned on it's side? Or an open corner shelf unit? Or wine cubbies?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:27PM
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What I can't tell from your drawings is how wide your sink is to figure out how much counter space you have. If you were to do what itsallaboutthefood suggested, which is a good one, you would lose the 10.5" of counter. Woops, just noticed that your dishwasher is there. So you have 24".
Putting a 10" wide cabinet by a 33" fridge might wind up looking out of proportion. I have a 15" cabinet by the fridge and I wound up making it deeper to give it more presence on the wall.
What about bringing both cabinets just to the counter and maybe a little deeper. They would both have more presence and more storage. But you would lose counter space.
You started off by saying that cabinet space is necessary and this would increase that if you can afford to lose the counter space.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Just talking about it, but maybe cut the one on the ref side in favor of a narrow depth, but wider cabinet hung on the ref side panel. If you could convince yourself to do a rack for cups or glasses you'd have room for your window trim.

On the other side, I'd go with the two foot wide corner cabinet or a blind corner on one side or do a dead corner before having a little upper cabinet. Even with 8" frameless, its only 6 1/2" wide inside. Plus a little concern again for window trim.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Fori is not pleased

Well, they won't hold a ton, but they won't look ridiculous. I'd be tempted to do open shelves or glass fronts (and sides!) for display.

The skinny cabinets wouldn't be a bad spot for cookbooks. Do you have enough things that would fit to make them worth having? A spot of counter with no uppers is always a luxury--must be why you have an island. :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 4:09PM
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The corner layout of my kitchen is very similar to yours. I have an 8'' upper to the right of my sink. I don't think it looks ridiculous at all. (I might be a little biased here!) However, as others pointed out, it's not as functional as a bigger cabinet and you need to think how you'd be using it. I built mine specifically for water glasses and mugs, and it serves that purpose well.

Sorry, I don't have a picture looking at it from the front, but you likely won't be staring at it that way either.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Here's a link to Stephcil's kitchen. She has very small uppers on either side of her sink with glass fronts. I think it looks very nice.

(Steph, hope you don't mind that I highlighted your kitchen.)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 6:30PM
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Thanks. Some great ideas. Now that I've seeen some photos I think I will probably go with my original plan. Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my question.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 8:59AM
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