(Well, not necessarily front doors.)
Some things are so ubiquitous they are just accepted as they are, without a question. The status quo may continue for many years. Then, it seems like suddenly, the ubiquitous feels like old school. Tired.
Such is the current landscape of cabinetry doors in the United States- especially upper cabinet doors. It appears as if a collective consciousness has noticed upper cabinets in kitchens have turned their doors around – from a pair of vertical doors to a single wide flipper door. However in reality, the timeline from initial design to actual adaptation for residential use spanned many years to gain favor. This design concept is over 45 years old. What took so long? (Europeans have enjoyed this space-savings and clean, modern approach to outfitting the kitchen for decades.
On July 2, 1971 Westinghouse Electric Corporation filed for a U. S. patent for ” An over the cabinet door assembly”. The claim states, “This invention relates to wall-mounted cabinets of the type employed in offices, medical examinations rooms and the like, and is particularly adapted for modern modular office partitions schemes of the so-called: office landscape type”.
This claim was published on January 10, 1972 and awarded a patent, #216415 on 11/13/73.
How many people have clipped their heads on upper cabinet doors since the early 1970s – until the past few years when flipper doors for upper cabinets have been gaining more favor for remodeled and new kitchen build-outs? Why does it take us so long to adapt concepts for improvements inside homes versus in workplace design – while at the same time it is hard for some to wait even one day for the next smart phone model as soon as it is available?
With doors hinged on their side and opening outward, they not only gets in the way from traversing the countertop with items taken from the upper cabinets, but it blocks views around the doors. The function and aesthetics leave a lot of room for improvement.
Really? Why has this type of door prevailed for so long? Good design should be about common sense, right? The good news is, with so many better choices for cabinet doors, these these relics will continue to disappear from our homes.
In bathrooms, medicine and storage cabinets don’t need to reach to the ceiling – so why have a door open and get in the way? A lift up door is logical and allows for side lighting with pendants which hang down in front of the mirror- not possible with a standard hinged cabinets door.
With the lift-up door along comes the possibility of wider cabinets, since the mirrored door is now supported on both sides. The appearance is much more beautiful, along with better function and a larger space available for storage. Seeing this for the first time, one might wonder aloud, “Duh, what took so long?”
The concept to “Think Differently”as promoted by one of our famous neighbors extends to all touch points – even inside of our homes – because doors should open differently, kitchens should be more efficient and bathrooms should be more supportive of our activities in that space. In practice “Think Differently” is very liberating – especially when it is the genesis of problem-solving.
Robern Uplift vanity cabinets