Tower Cabinets: What Are They and How Can You Use Them in Your Kitchen?

Kevin Dean | Kitchen Designer | Dean Cabinetry

By: Jenny Cazares

What are kitchen cabinet towers or countertop cabinets?

Kitchen cabinet towers are cabinets that rest on the countertop, rather than being installed on the wall above the countertop. They are countertop cabinets.

Two tier cabinet tower with glass-Pinterest

Why are we seeing more countertop cabinets in kitchen remodels recently? 

Some homeowners are choosing not to use a formal dining room anymore. Many homes nowadays have large, open concept designs. Families with younger children need practical, more useful spaces.

By eliminating the use of a formal dining room, and adding towers to your kitchen design will dress up your space; it will help incorporate the dining room and kitchen all in one.

Dean Cabinetry Custom Inset Shaker Cabinets with towers– NY Times Magazine

What are some reasons why I may want a tower cabinet?

Well, not only for their incredible beauty, they are very practical.

What are the pros and cons to having countertop cabinetry?


  • Display
    • Glass doors to display china, dishes and decorative items
    • Towers to the ceiling with crown molding have a custom built-in look
    • Open shelves with vertical dish racks & hooks for tea cups and mugs
  • Storage
    • To house extra appliances
    • Pull out drawers and inserts
    • 2nd tier cabinets for additional storage
    • Cabinet garage to house microwave, toaster, bread door etc.
  • Convenience
    • Easy to reach
    • More visibility with glass doors
    • Store items that you don’t use frequently
  • Beauty and design
    • Look like a hutch or piece of furniture built-in
    • Add more decorative hardware
    • Cabinet lighting to highlight your glass doors
    • Paint or stain your towers to match or choose a different color
    • Many glass options (clear, stained, leaded, mullions)
    • Add wood shelves or inserts such as maple or hickory


  • More costly
    • Your towers may be semi-custom and custom cabinets ($250-$350+ per linear ft), stock cabinetry would be limited.
  • Time
    • You will have a longer waiting period for delivery and installation due to these may be semi-custom or custom (10+ weeks delivery).
  • Takes away counter space
    • They will limit your counter space; a great option for a larger kitchen with plenty of counter space or a large island.

Towers with glass doors showcasing warm, creamy colors like Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore have become more common. The second tier of cabinetry with glass doors that extends to the ceiling, adds a beautiful space for decorative items. Lighting inside the cabinets would showcase your fine things.

A rich shade variation of cream, taupe, gray, blue and green are very popular and we can see why; whether you have a large or small kitchen, these trending colors will draw attention to your towers beautifully.

Glass 2 tier tower painted in Swiss Coffee color-Pinterest

Are towers typically for a rustic farmhouse or vintage kitchen?

Absolutely not, you can design any style kitchen and include countertop cabinets. They aren’t just for farmhouse kitchens. 

You can create a modern or traditional kitchen with stylish towers and incorporate pull out shelves to use for pantry items or for a wet bar.

Sleek cabinet towers for a wet bar-Pinterest

 Can I add countertop cabinets in other rooms?

Sure, you can add beautiful towers wherever you have counter space; bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, wet bars, and living room built-in shelving.

Master bathroom towers-Pinterest

Can I customize my countertop cabinets?

Yes you can customize your towers, many semi-custom and custom cabinet providers will have options to create just the style you’re looking for. You can add glass doors, inserts and pull-out drawers. You can also customize your color, if you choose custom built cabinetry.

If you desire something really unique, like a custom color or wood inserts, you would want to find a custom cabinet partner.

Where do I begin designing my kitchen countertop cabinets?

Talk to your cabinet professional or designer about a design layout for your kitchen and where you can incorporate your towers.

Whether you choose an elegant countertop cabinetry with glass doors for china or a pantry tower, your kitchen cabinet partner is there to help you create a beautiful, functional kitchen!