Open Shelving In The Kitchen
I was recently helping one of my clients brainstorm for her upcoming kitchen remodel. One of the features that we both agreed should remain was her glass cabinet fronts– they provide a nice decorative touch in an otherwise neutral room by way of colorful dinnerware and cookbooks.
This got me to thinking about serving instruments doubling as decorative displays, which got me to thinking about the storage method where this is most concept is most notably prevalent- open shelving, all of which got me thinking about where open shelving vs. closed cabinets fall on the optimal storage scale.
As opposed to cabinets, which conceal the contents stored within, open shelving comes with that requirement that everything be, well, out in the open– this is potentially a desirable or unfortunate fact, depending upon the pride one feels in one’s dinnerware.
If you’ve gone to the effort of investing in attractive and beloved dining accoutrements, hiding them behind cabinetry might feel a crime– robbing them of the spotlight they deserve and such. In that case, open shelving may be the best way to both utilize and admire your dish pieces. If your kitchen is a mish-mash of old family handi-down’s, IKEA clearance items, and repurposed cottage cheese tubs, I’d advise you stick to the cabinets.
There’s also the matter of whether or not you’re really up the challenge that open shelving presents; it won’t be enough to just have the nice dishes, you’ll have to be capable of stacking them neatly, too.
A vast open shelf lacking any spatial divisions may be some people’s downfall, and giving them this option is inflicting inevitable clutter. Then, too, there will be others who would revel in the opportunity to create a unique dish display, arranged just so and yadah yadah. In this regard, I advise purposeful consideration of which type of person you are before proceeding.
But finally, a compromise:
If you’re partial to the look of open shelving but not sure you want to go all out, you can always opt for a small dose. A couple of shelves, modest in length, can provide you with just the space you need to display a few of your most attractive bowls and cups and whatnot, while you may continue to store the brunt of your dinnerware cabinet-side.
One other compromise? Open shelving + Drapery. Open when you feel like showing them saucers off, and closed when it’s all just too much.
Now it’s your turn to speak on the matter– open shelves, yay/nay/happyday?Image credits: 1 (left to right) IKEA via Sacramento Street, Lonny, Country Living, 2 (counter-clockwise from left) Martha Stewart, High Gloss, Safarinow, 3 (left to right) Style At Home, Chris Barrett Designs, 4 House and Home
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