Current kitchen design trends call for accents of open shelving, which lead me to the thought of how demi-height cabinetry can be a perfect complement to this trending design element. First: “What is a demi-height cabinet,” you ask? The short of it, (pun intended) a demi-height is a 64 1/2″ high tall cabinet capped by a wood top, typically 1 1/2″ high, for an overall height of 66″. Otherwise stated: A shorter tall cabinet. 😉 Next, if you’re wondering exactly what a demi-height cabinet does for your design, I would summarize it into two points: 1) Homes with open floor plans have more visibility to the kitchen from the common living areas which drives the design of the kitchen to impart a furniture-feel and 2) this shorter version of a tall cabinet appears more like a hutch than that of floor-to-ceiling tall cabinetry. (Hutch = furniture!) Subsequently, the bonus is an area that allows the client to display their personal decor in an artful manner in a highly visible location. Whether the landing space is home to a sculpted modern vase or hand-crafted pottery or even a collection of heirloom roosters, the demi-height cabinet will lend a unique flair to the design.
Just in case you need some rooster inspiration…
Why the Demi-Height works
Tips for designing with demi-height cabinetry:
- Carry the counter backsplash treatment above your demi-height cabinets. With tile, consider changing the size or pattern by complementing the cabinet width, or using a custom laser cut insert, to draw attention to the area. There are so many beautiful tile patterns for you to make your design stand out from the competition!
- Use a finished panel on the wall above; match the top molding height throughout your design for continuity.
- Design a row of demi-heights as a focal point. This works best in large plans and can flex for many design styles based on what surrounds the cabinetry. To enhance the furniture feel, consider adding decorative mirror inserts. This look works particularly well with mitered door styles since there is no center rail.
- For a contemporary design, use a combo of demi-height pantries and oven cabinets, placing the ovens side-by-side alongside horizontal-lift-door wall cabinets and spans of floating shelves in place of traditional wall-to-wall cabinetry.
Our photos below show a couple of ideas for both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs.
- Remember to plan for lighting the area above the demi-height configuration. Keep it simple with typical can/recessed lighting or add some pizzazz with a unique mini-pendant! One of my current favs is the swing-arm style fixture – which not only makes a design statement but gives you flexibility for height and angle positioning.
The demi-height is one of my personal favorites to use in a design when I can. It adds to the open feel by reducing the appearance of typically large cabinets and appliances…and it feels a bit European!
In addition to the ideas above, the demi-height tall cabinet is perfect for adding next to an entry bench, or in the bath for linen storage. One of the reasons we included this height in our Bath Silhouettes product line is due to its smaller scale which as I mentioned earlier imparts more of a hutch feel and with the furniture details included (moldings and feet) is especially beneficial for a free-standing composition. So, whether your design is calling for a little height variation or a unique standalone piece, consider offering a demi-height configuration as an option for your next project!