Overhead kitchen cabinets have been a design staple for decades. But this year, it seems interior decorators are ditching this trend in favour of a few more interesting and unique alternatives.

There are several reasons for this shift, the first of which is the slow move toward minimalism. Over the past few years, more and more people have advocated for less consumption and more appreciation of what you have. Once we all Marie Kondo’ed our kitchen cabinets, many enjoyed the lightness and freeing nature of having less stuff. And while maximalism in design has become big, the trend behind closed doors remains firmly anti-clutter.

Along with less need, there is also less want for bulky overhead cupboards. Removing them instantly makes a kitchen feel fresher and more open. This makes even more of an impact in darker kitchens with few windows, as heavy overhead cabinets can really weigh a dark kitchen down.

Once overhead cabinets are removed, it’s easy to see how quickly design possibilities can expand. Instead of a static space where layout and style can become stagnant, you can use the wall space to create a kitchen completely unique to you.

There are plenty of cupboard alternatives to choose from. The most obvious is open shelving, but used for decorative purposes rather than storage that can quickly look messy. Add cookbooks, plants and art to these open shelves for dedicated decor space that also suits the kitchen plan. If you do want your open shelving to be more practical, you can use it for easy-access items that would typically go on the countertop instead, like salt and pepper shakers or olive oil.

You can also keep the walls open to use as a feature instead. Add one of your favourite large art pieces (as long as they are away from the stove), or use paint for a pop of colour. Open walls are also great spaces for large mirrors that can make a small kitchen look larger than life.

For many of us – especially those with smaller kitchens – ditching overhead cabinets seems like a scary thought. But, once you’ve done it, you’ll probably end up forgetting what you used them for in the first place.

Featured image: Sosey Interiors via Unsplash