The Pros & Cons of Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

Open shelving in this blue painted kitchen remodel castle Rock colorado

Find out if Open Shelving will work for you.

Open shelving has become an increasingly popular design feature among our clients because it provides a combination of an aesthetic focal point with superb functionality. The universal appeal of including open shelves in your design is a factor as well. Open shelves enable homeowners to showcase a dramatic backsplash, display dishes, pottery, sculptures, plants, herbs, and dishware and glassware, among numerous other options. Plus, open shelves provide home chefs with the functionality to access their favorite cooking tools within arm’s reach. So, what’s the downside? Open shelves limit storage and can contribute to a cluttered look and feel.

In this contemporary bathroom, placing matching towels within reach of the shower is an ideal use and by using color accents you can change the mood of the room quickly and on a budget.

open shelving in this contemporary masterbath curbless shower

Open Shelving Works When…

  1. Items that a homeowner wants to showcase are uniform in size.
  2. Homeowners want to easily access the cooking tools that they use most often without having to search in a cabinet or drawer. At a glance, homeowners know where everything is and know exactly what’s ready for use. Seeing all of your pieces encourages you to use more of your china and serving dishes because they’re never out of sight nor out of mind.
  3. Homeowners don’t want to display kitchen gadgets and tools and products that can be relegated to cabinets and drawers.
  4. Budgets are tight. Shelving tends to be less expensive than cabinetry and less costly to install.
  5. You want to showcase a backsplash, collectibles, artwork and dish and glassware.
  6. Space is at a premium. Open shelves can make a kitchen appear larger and more open.

Open Shelving Does Not Work When…

  1. You don’t have the time or the inclination to keep the shelves organized.
  2. You don’t have the time or the inclination to clean often. Open shelves tend to attract dust and grease and grime generated from cooking.
  3. You are seeking custom design on a budget. For custom kitchens, the cost savings are negligible, especially if the client wants custom shelving.
  4. Functionality is more important than aesthetics. A primary benefit of open shelves is to have the most used kitchen items at your fingertips. It takes time and effort to keep everything in its place to avoid a cluttered aesthetic.
  5. There are too many items on the shelves that contribute to a cluttered, disorganized look.
  6. When you need the storage space that cabinets provide. Upper cabinets conceal clutter and disorganized dishes that you may not have time to straighten up. Upper cabinets help keep things tucked away and off the countertops.

In this open kitchen, the homeowner has many collections they want to display in the room and their vast cookbook collection is right at their fingertips.

Open shelving in this Contemporary Kitchen with Sleek Grey Cabinets

Not sure? There are many cases when you can combine cabinets with open shelves. Are open shelves a feature that will work in your new kitchen? Call or visit either of our kitchen and bath showrooms in Metro Denver for a free consultation to talk about which style of cabinet doors would be perfect for your new kitchen or bathroom.