Open Shelving (should I or shouldn’t I?)


Open shelving in the kitchen 6

Another trend going on right now in the kitchen is open shelving. Open shelving can be a great way to break up the flow in your kitchen and add some additional dimension to your space. There are pros and cons to the open shelving movement, and there are a couple different ways to accomplish the open shelf look.

One way to get open shelving is to take the doors off of an existing cabinet, or to order a cabinet without doors.



The problem with taking doors off of a cabinet, is that most of the time the cabinet interior is going to be a different color than the exterior. Most cabinet interiors are going to be natural birch. You can keep this color, or you can always paint the interior, which I will get into later. If you are getting new cabinets, you can usually get a cabinet with the interior finished the same color as the exterior.

The other way to get open shelving is to just use shelves and not use cabinets at all.

open shelving contemporary-kitchen


While either way will give you open shelving, they give you a little bit of a different look. Using shelves will break up your space a little more, and add some more dimension to your space. Shelves will also open up your space a little more than a cabinet without doors.

Open shelves are definitely not for everyone. Some people love them. Some people hate them. But there are some pros and cons to having open shelves.



  • Open shelving can be a great way to open up your kitchen and make it feel bigger. As I mentioned before, it can break up your space and add an additional dimension to your kitchen.



  • Open shelving can be a nice way to add some color to your space. You can make your shelves different colors or add a different color or texture to the back of an open cabinet.

open shelf


open shelving color



  • Open shelving can be a great way to display some nice pieces. Whether you want to show your nice china, your cool mug collection or all of your cook books. Another great display piece can be glass jars with beans, rice, pasta, spices…




  • Open shelving can enable you to get some extra storage on a wall you want to accentuate and don’t want to cover up.





  • Open shelving provides easy access to the things you use the most in your kitchen. No more opening and closing the doors to get a glass for a drink, or to get spices while you’re cooking. You also will not have to deal with someone leaving the doors hanging open.




  • Open shelving means you have to keep the contents on these shelves neat and organized. You have to think about what contents you would like to be on display and would not have a problem keeping tidy.


  • Open shelving also means whatever is on the shelf is going to need to be cleaned. Cabinet doors keep dust, dirt, cob webs… off of our plates and glasses. You also need to think about the placement of your shelves. Open shelves near a stove can collect grease and other food that matter splatter while you’re cooking.


As with everything in your remodel, you need to know what you’re getting into. Do your research, whether you go with open shelving or not, you are going to have it for many years to come.

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