Lift-Up Cabinet Doors: They're A Thing, But Are They The Thing For You?

Posted on: 23 March 2018


Take a look in a lot of remodeling catalogs now, and you may see kitchens with some very long cabinets -- long on the horizontal axis. These cabinets have doors that lift up rather than swing out or slide. The lift-up doors make sense for cabinets that are very wide and that are placed high up, but you can also get them for narrower cabinets that would normally have a swinging or sliding door. But would you want to?

Height and Width

In some cases, a door that lifts up (or down, for lower cabinets) would make sense. Again, that very long, thin cabinet can't really work if the door has to swing or slide open. On the flip side, the lift-up door wouldn't work on a cabinet that was very tall, such as the typical vertical wall cabinet you see in a lot of kitchens. It would be inconvenient for reaching that very top shelf.

The height of the cabinet compared to your point of view matters, too. Something too high up for you to reach comfortably could actually benefit from having a lift-up door, as all you'd need to do to open it would be to take a spatula handle and lift the door up. You can't do that to a sliding door, and a swinging door could be a little more awkward to open up that way, though it would be possible.

Visual Lines

But many times the cabinets that have these doors are not too tall or wide to have sliding or swinging doors. Yet they have lift-up doors anyway just for looks. These are certainly creative, and with the right sets of handles, you could have a sleek kitchen that looks almost like the horizontal wood slats you find in a lot of newer fences -- a nifty way to coordinate the interior and exterior of your house.

The issue there, though, is that those horizontal lines can be visually confusing. Unless the cabinets blend together very well -- they don't have a lot of horizontal decoration that contributes to visual overload -- it can actually be disconcerting to walk into the kitchen. You see too many lines.

So if you like a cabinet door style that has a lot of decoration, engravings, and so on, getting cabinets that have typical swinging or sliding doors may be a lot better for you. But if you are planning on having plain doors with little ornamentation, then the lift-up doors could look just fine.

Cabinet companies, like Interior Expressions, will have catalogs and samples that you can view, so take a very good look at the pictures that catch your eye. Try to figure out exactly why those pictures look so good to you. Is it novelty? Ask yourself what you'd do when the novelty wears off. Is it the actual clean lines and material color that get you? In that case, those cabinets may be the ones you want.