The Double-Stacked Dispute


How double stacking cabinets can be a win AND lose scenario

You were perusing kitchen cabinet styles online when you were struck by a particular design, that of double-stacked cabinets. A photo gallery hosted the image with an assortment of others featuring darkwood-finished double-stacked cabinets, the top of which featured glass front doors and were illuminated from within. Very elegant! You had never thought to display favorite items in this manner. Clearly, in such a design the upper cabinets wouldn’t be used for storage, but rather décor. This is just one way in which double stacked cabinets are utilized.

Perhaps primarily, the double stacked cabinets are in fact used for the additional storage they provide. But there is a common drawback associated with such use. The top cabinets are not easily accessible. The height of the top cabinets creates a difficult chore out of trying to retrieve items stored within.high-cabinets-short-people-not-reachable

One would likely need some help, in the form of a step stool (hopefully not a wobbly one) or worse, by getting up onto the counter to stand and reach into the cabinet. In the case of the glass-front doors mentioned previously, one would likely set up the display in each upper cabinet once with little or no need to return to them any time soon.

Similarly, even when the doors are solid (no glass) on the top cabinets, one may use them specifically to store items they very rarely need access to. In this case, despite the inconvenience of height, the hard-to-reach areas are ideal when used as mini storage units. Seasonal cookware, often-neglected appliances and the overabundance of utensils are also ideal for the ‘never-never lands’ within.

Also to be considered is the price. Double stacked cabinets are most definitely an added expense. Naturally, the more features added to any craft for purchase will increase cost. Since you can expect to pay as much as five grand for just a standard no-frills cabinet set designed to fit medium and smaller sized rooms, you may interpret the additional charges as unreasonable. If you don’t need the storage or the display space, save a few bucks by forgoing the double stacks entirely.


But it was the display possibilities that caught your eye. Tastefully placing antiques or favorite knick knacks into the exposed top of the stack is a uniquely novel approach. The spaces are not limited to what they can showcase, and using them may free up shelf space elsewhere. Also, since the area is enclosed it requires minimal maintenance with less demand on dusting. Plus such a thematic row of windows may inspire you to experiment with a variety of other creative kitchen accents.littt

Another small advantage to the glass door displays is how the illumination sourced from within will enhance the overall lighting scheme in the kitchen. The initial spotlight effect will complement the other light sources (such as pendant and recessed lighting) all the while brightening the cooking area.

Of course the addition of cabinets equates to an increase in upkeep. This means more surfaces to dust and polish. Glass windows need their share of cleaning and the hard to reach placement may quickly become a greater headache than it’s worth. Most kitchens don’t feature upper cabinets that reach the ceiling, anyway. Typically they leave a substantial area of empty space, and they’re perfectly common in that configuration. If visual aesthetic is a concern, you may find that the gap between the uppers and the ceiling disrupts the flow of an otherwise seamless design that is facilitated by the continuity of the additional cabinets.

On the other hand, having the uppers may lend to a cramped and over-busy illusion that some will find unpleasant. Especially in smaller kitchens, accentuated by the dark-stained wood, you can end up with an impression that is downright uninviting.


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