5′- 6″ and filled with beauty!

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. ūüėȬ† 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

If we think about how our eye naturally moves across a landscape scene, we see changes in size and height; whether in a city filled with buildings, or the sprawling countryside; the beauty is in the variation. Now compare this to a layout of cabinets extending to 96‚ÄĚ high or greater. Using the demi-height cabinet creates an opening or relief, that is a natural area for the eye to rest and appreciate the composition.

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.

    RKMILES_VIEW 4rev
    This Platinum Waldorf design shows our demi-height oven cabinet, capped with a matching wood top (66″ high overall). In our example above, a panel is applied to the wall (finished on vertical edges) and to complete the English-inspired design we added a floating shelf in the middle and a wood shelf with crown molding at the top.
  • 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.

    Roma Raised Panel maple Earl Grey
    Above: Demi-height linen cabinet with mirror insert. (From Medallion’s Bath Silhouettes collection.)
  • 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. 

Bella quartersawn oak Cobblestone; Mission Flat Panel maple Chai Latte Classic; Bellagio stainless steel with Frosted glass
This trio of demi-heights is customized for proportion and provides ample customized storage.

 

Platinum Oasis Cayenne demi-height tall and oven combo.jpg
This Platinum Oasis duo of demi-heights in Cayenne is setting on a pedestal created from field applied molding with tapered feet and is capped with a wood top. The free-standing arrangement also features frosted glass and interior lighting for the pantry, which adds to the furniture feel.
  • 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!


Q&A LOGO

How have you used demi-height cabinetry in a design? Do you have other ways of creating openness and height variation in your designs? Share your stories below!

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