Do You Have What it Takes to Live with Open Kitchen Shelving?

Interiors & Decor

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

I find myself lusting after perfectly tiled, open-shelf kitchens on Pinterest and Instagram far too often. Like multiple times a day. No matter how many kitchens I design, I just can’t get enough! Why is it that the heart of a home always seems to reside in the kitchen where the food is made, heart-to-hearts are had, and the fresh coffee brewed? Before Joe and I redid our kitchen I often wondered to myself, what does it really take to be an open-shelf person? Does this type of person need to own perfectly-matching-unchipped-plates, cohesive glasses that only come in even numbers and fend off daily clutter like it’s their 9-5 job? Probably, I thought. Now that we have open shelving in our kitchen at home and in two kitchens within the studio, I thought it would be nice for me to put together what it really takes to be an open-shelving person. Here is a list of the top six things to consider before (and after) tearing out your kitchen cabinets. This list will help you get ahead of your new kitchen remodel and decide if this whole open-shelving lifestyle is really for you!

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

1. How are your dishes and glassware? Is anything chipped? Do any of your glasses or dishes come in an odd number? Purchase a couple of new sets that stack and align nicely and put those beauties on display!

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

2. Do you have set spots for appliances? I often store the larger clunkier appliances such as blenders, mixers, crockpots etc. that aren’t in everyday use in an accessible cabinet nearby.

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

3. How will you display things like your snoozy pantry items? Clear glass containers can be cute or you could do a hodgepodge of colorfully designed pottery containers too. I’m loving wicker, marble, and copper containers right now too for your kitchen.

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

4. How many shelves do you want (or need)? A few? A ton? The sky is the limit here and you can change this up depending on what each wall looks like in your kitchen. I also like the thought of wider shelves that can hold a wider array of larger or longer items.

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

5. How will you accessorize? With plants, books or trinkets? I love adding a mixture of all of these items. I often need to remind myself that less is more, though. Because keeping clutter to a minimum always looks best!

The 6 Things To Consider Before Tearing Out Your Kitchen Cabinets – Wit & Delight

6. Can you keep it neat? I find myself dusting and decluttering weekly and more often with open shelves. In a way, this is good because I’m less likely to store all my “stuff” away and let unnecessary or unwanted bowls, tupperware or glassware pile up.

Image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7





BY Kate Arends - November 2, 2017

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I dislike open shelving because of the grease and dust that could get into my cutlery. And I like the walls to be all clean. But that’s just me, I know open shelving works for a lot of people!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

November 3, 2017 12:56 am

I’m a huge fan of open shelving! I love having plates, bowls, glasses, and frequently used pantry staples accessible and in plain sight. One of my biggest pet peeves when over at friends’ houses is having to open up every single cabinet to find a glass. In the last 6 kitchens my husband and I have remodeled, every one has had open shelves.

November 3, 2017 6:02 am

[…] Do you have what it takes to live with open shelving? […]

November 3, 2017 11:06 am

I love my open shelving with one caveat that no-one seems to mention. I don’t have a problem with the dust which never collects on the more often used dishes. I don’t have a problem with visual clutter as I stick to all white. The one problem I have is when I have a party or cook a big dinner, I pull practically everything off my shelves to use. So when I’m entertaining I’ve got awkward bare shelves. I’ve even gone so far as to keep a separate set of dishes so I can keep the open shelves styled and… Read more »

September 20, 2018 2:09 pm
Reply to  Jo


[…] Photos//1/2/3/4// […]

Annabelle M
November 10, 2017 10:43 am

I have designed and redesigned many kitchens for our family. Of all the configurations, I found that the golden oldies are often the best: PANTRIES! A pantry with variable height shelving and shelves of several depths has made me a happy cook and let me entertain without angst. You just take what you need and close the door. I am short, so I tend to use few upper cabinets, preferring the feeling of openness and drawers under the counter tops. That, along with comfortable seating, is my perfect kitchen recipe.

November 15, 2017 12:03 am

Nice one. I really like open kitchen shelving. Thanks for sharing this post.

November 30, 2017 6:07 am

It’s so so. If you have the right accessories, yes, it will go well with the entire interior, however I wouldn’t leave all of those opened. Especially not those for the pans and plates because of the dust and everything.

December 19, 2017 4:19 am

Thanks for sharing the articles, it’s very important to choose the right color for the kitchen as well as it will enhance the beauty of the entire interior.

[…] Image via […]

February 3, 2021 4:31 pm

I’m having my kitchen cabinets redone by a local cabinet refinisher in a few weeks, and I’m debating on choosing open shelving. They look so good in these pictures, but I worry about it my young kids getting into the decorations or other things I display on them. Do you have any tips to keep open shelves secure and clean?

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