Pros and Cons of Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Posted by Polar Shades on Mar 29, 2019 11:47:00 PM

Open shelving is a hot trend in kitchen design right now, but before you take the plunge and rip out your cabinets, it’s important to consider if this style is right for your lifestyle and home. Just like anything else, open shelving design has its pros and cons, which should be weighed before making any drastic changes. 

Determining the Advantages and Downsides of Installing Open Shelving

Think About These Factors Before Deciding on Open Shelving for Your Kitchen


Materials and labor for cabinets can be quite costly; easy installation and fewer materials make open shelving an economical option when building a home or remodeling your kitchen. If you’re handy and want to DIY, don’t skimp on quality and buy cheap shelving to save a few bucks. It’s vital to make sure you use sturdy materials and firmly anchor shelves to the wall. 

One of the main reasons people choose open shelving is to show off their kitchenware, dishes and glasses. However, the goal of open shelving is to enhance your kitchen’s aesthetic and functionality, so it’s important to choose and style your shelves wisely. Mismatched dishes and beat up pots and pans simply won’t look good on open shelves. However, there is room for compromise — consider installing both cabinets and open shelving. Put away mismatched dishes and other items that aren’t as visually appealing and arrange the pretty, decorative items on shelves. 


Keeping things tidy and dust-free is key if you do open shelving in your kitchen. You’ll need to dust frequently, and items on shelves near the stove or oven will not only collect dirt and dust, they can also develop a sticky film. This means you’ll probably be washing plates, bowls and glasses a lot more often. 

If you do opt for open shelving, consider putting small items in decorative baskets and food items like flour, sugar, rice, beans, etc. in glass canisters for a sleek look. You could also think about installing glass-front cabinets to break up the monotony of traditional cabinets. This will allow you to cut down on cleaning time but still give you an opportunity to add style and display decorative dishes. 

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? These articles offer creative ideas and practical tips:

Design Guide

Topics: Kitchen

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