Would you take the upper cabinets down or just open up the wall?


I love my galley kitchen but wish it had more natural light. This is the only room we haven’t updated. My husband and I don’t agree about the upper cabinets. I have downsized a ton and don’t think we need uppers and would like to put all windows across above the sink. I think it would bring in more light in and it will make the space feel a bit bigger. I think if we take the whole wall out entering the kitchen and take the uppers down it would be a cheap update. My style is rustic, modern so I like my cabinets and we will do either concrete or a white quartz for countertops and cement subway tile. He thinks we need a designer I think we should just go for it!

q would you take the upper cabinets down or just open up the wall

Take these down and put 3 big windows. The windows face the side yard and down the way is where are bbq is so the windows would be a pass through.

q would you take the upper cabinets down or just open up the wall

Take this whole wall out to open it up to feel bigger

q would you take the upper cabinets down or just open up the wall

This is opposite of the window. We would update the backsplash and counters

  7 answers
  • Pat Pat on Feb 17, 2019

    Not sure I would take top cabinets down......Could you paint the top cabinets white with a different colored lowers? Maybe add canned light in the ceiling and under cabinet lights to shine on your work area.

  • William William on Feb 17, 2019

    If you were planning to remove the cabinets and installing shelving then I'd say go for it. But removing cabinets and removing a wall without compensating the storage they provide would be a design flaw. Not a cheap upgrade when you loose storage space that people die for. I would not advise it. Have you thought of painting the cabinets white or a lighter color to take advantage of the light there is? Under cabinet lighting would help. A bright wall color would also bounce light around.

    • AndieandJeff Rogers AndieandJeff Rogers on Feb 17, 2019

      I thought about it but we have a Buffett that holds a lot of bowls and other items. Those cabinets have our plates and cups that I was able to put in a cabinet next to the microwave. I also have a bar that holds our bar glasses. I was thinking maybe floating shelves. Thanks for your input!

  • Cindy Cindy on Feb 17, 2019

    I really like your idea about installing windows along the wall above the sink. That alone will brighten your kitchen so much. And I love subway tile. Maybe you could get white quartz tiles. Good luck.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Feb 17, 2019

    You need to brighten it up with lighter walls and cabinets. Put in light fixtures with bright LED white bulbs. Adding mirrors...glass or other reflective surfaces will double the bright areas.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 17, 2019

    Would be nice to see the other side of the kitchen. Are the uppers in the pic, the only uppers in your kitchen? I'd be reluctant to get rid of cabinets in any case. If you take down the wall, you would get the benefit of the light coming from the window in the room next to the kitchen. Or you could do a half wall.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Feb 17, 2019

    I've done a few kitchens and the biggest thing is storage. I know you said that you've downsized but you still have clutter on you counter that can go in them. And to be honest, shelves are fine if you want to wash your dishes when you're finished eating, wash them when you want to eat (grease collects on the from cooking) and wash them if you don't use them enough (because grease and dust collects on them). Open the shade all of the way to get more light in. You could even put in a taller window and take down the valance. Putting in a whole row of windows won't let you use it as a pass through because the window looks to high from the outside and you'll have to reach across 25 inches plus the depth of the exterior wall to even get to the other side of the window.

    As for taking down the wall, you first need to make sure that it isn't a load bearing wall. If you're able to remove the wall, make sure that you have extra floor tile or that you're able to match it. You'll also have to find a match to your cabinets if the sides by the wall aren't finished. If all of that is ok, I think that's the way to go to get more light in your kitchen.

    I also like the idea of undercabinet lights (I always put them in). Can lights or a bright light fixture or two with clear glass can help, too.

    • See 1 previous
    • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Feb 18, 2019

      I'd go with taking the wall down if you have extra tile or can match it and you can find a match for the upper cabinet sides if they're not finished. Leave the cabinets on the wall, it's much better when you go to sell. If you remove the wall, waterfalling the counter would look good. But I would open both sides of the kitchen, not just the sink side. The more open you have it the more light you get into the kitchen. If the can lights aren't giving you the light you want, go with two light fixtures with clear glass and clear bulbs (clear bulbs throw more light too). Maybe something like these?




      Undercabinet lights are nice and if you take the wall down, they make a nice lighting accent at night.

      I'm not a fan of white cabinets either. And your wood cabinets are beautiful! When you do the countertop, make sure to get a new sink and faucet.

      As for the eaves, do you have a lining on it to cover the ugly wood underneath? We're having it put on our house because you can see the underside also. Here is one kind just to give you an idea.


      Good luck with your reno. Post pictures when you're finished, we'd love to see what you decided to do and how it came out.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Dec 16, 2020

    Did you ever go with all windows in place of the cabinets? I would love to see a picture if you did.