The Dos and Don’ts of Open Kitchen Shelving

READ THIS BEFORE YOU DESIGN YOUR KITCHEN!! We’ve put together all the pros and cons of open kitchen shelving.

If you follow design trends at all, or scroll through pinterest for inspiration in your home, then you’ve noticed the current kitchen design trend of having neat open shelving…here are a few things to consider before redesigning all that cabinetry.

Let’s start with the good news. An amazing benefit of having open shelving in your kitchen is that it creates the illusion of a much bigger space. In the case of a small kitchen, removing bulky cabinetry will make a world of difference in opening up the space and giving you a visually larger kitchen.

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Having perfectly styled shelving will leave you looking like you have your life together. I mean, isn’t that why we love them so much? With gorgeous tidy dishes on display, any guest in your home will be majorly impressed at your neat, super cute shelves and dishes.

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Another advantage of opening up your kitchen shelves is that you will gain easy access to the necessities that you cook with all the time. Instead of having to open every cabinet to figure where the heck someone put your favorite coffee mug, you can see it all right there. This helps our kitchen keep up with our fast paced lifestyle where you can grab a dish and be on your way.


The most fun aspect of having open shelves is that you’ll totally be on trend. All your friends will be super jealous of your perfect kitchen with a modern flare. Open everything is an obsession right now – open floor plans and open kitchen shelves alike. So keep up with the trends, get to styling, and every guest in your kitchen will be wow’d!


Now we’re gonna cover the not-so-good, yet also not life shattering, but worth considering side of having open kitchen shelving.

Are you a neat person?…honestly if the answer is no, these probably aren’t for you. Everyone is going to see your stuff all the time, remember that. That is the one good thing about having closed cabinets, you can hide stuff away if you don’t feel like making it picture perfect. These open shelves have a tendency of getting cluttered, and if you don’t have CCD (compulsive cleaning disorder) or a maid, be prepared to see some clutter in the kitchen (just imagine your kitchen cabinets currently, without doors.) Unsightly? 


Cook with lots of grease? This is serious! Grease gets everywhere…and if you aren’t conscience of cleaning after every meal, you’re going to be doing the dishes and cleaning your spices often! Many people style their open shelving with a cute plant or two, and getting grease in your succulents would be devastating. Be cautious of what you’re cooking and be sure to watch the splatter and the spills when you’ve got gorgeous dishes and plants on display. 


Another important thing to consider before tearing down your cabinetry…do your dishes match? Or at least look cute or fun? Are they in good condition? (not chipped)

If your answer is no, then you better plan to buy some, open shelves only look “Pinterest” worthy if you style them. Typically with open shelves you should stay away from plastic, as it can end up looking cheap and childlike. I know, now you’re thinking that I’m crushing your dreams, but if you have kiddos or just generally think plastic dishes are practical, consider having a combination of open and closed shelving. Up top, style your heart out with your best dishes; and below you can hide away the necessary yet not-so-cutesy plastic cups and paper plates.


If you are ready to style your kitchen now yet don’t know where to start, have no fear. We’ve picked out our top kitchenware must-haves. Check them out below.

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