Open Kitchen Shelving: Is it For You?

Image via Honestly WTF
Image via Honestly WTF

Considering open kitchen shelving? The look is becoming a major trend in kitchen design, but before you take the leap and forgo upper cabinets, it's important to consider the practical implications of open kitchen shelving as well. Here are a few questions to ask yourself first.

Does dust bother you?

One of the major advantages to closed cabinetry is that it prevents dust, dirt, and cooking grease from settling into dishes and appliances, a benefit that open shelving doesn't provide. While dust may not have time to accumulate in dishes you use regularly, you can anticipate having to rinse out some of your lesser-used pieces before setting them on the table.

Add color to neutral kitchen - modern kitchen design
Add color to neutral kitchen - modern kitchen design

Do you own nice dishes?

True, this is a matter of aesthetics, but it is also a practical consideration because anything you put on your open shelves will essentially be on display. Open shelving can be a benefit or a drawback to the look of your kitchen, and the determining factor will be how nice your dishes are and how well they complement your space. If you don't currently have a kitchen full of matching dishes, glasses, serving pieces, and appliances, you'll want to add that into you budget for open shelving. Otherwise, the space will quickly feel cluttered and messy.

studio mcgeee- open kitchen shelves
studio mcgeee- open kitchen shelves

Do you have ample cabinet storage?

Certain items aren't meant for open shelving. Things like you slow cooker, your frying pans, and your vitamix are not only bulky and awkward (meaning they likely won't tuck away neatly on a shelf), but they're also an eyesore. Before you get rid of closed cabinetry, make sure you have enough room for everything that won't fit on the shelves in the lower-level drawers and cabinets.

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KitchensKaitlin Madden