kitchen remodelingYou should consider these six open kitchen shelving pros and cons before deciding

Open kitchen shelving is a contemporary trend in kitchen remodeling that has gained appeal among both designers and homeowners. Open kitchen shelving is a terrific way to show off your prized possessions. It also allows a beautiful backsplash tile to show through while keeping routinely used objects within reach.

However, according to many who dislike it, not everyone is a fan of open shelves. Dust and clutter are significant issues. On the other hand, others think open kitchen shelving is an excellent feature of any kitchen. It can create a great visual focal point while also complementing your design. So, who is correct?

We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of open kitchen shelving. Then, learn more about the trend and decide if it’s for you in this article.


What exactly is open kitchen shelving?

What is open kitchen shelving, and how do they vary from standard kitchen shelving? A countertop and cabinetry are common in a kitchen. However, when the cabinet doors and sides are removed, you are left with plain old shelves what we term ‘open kitchen shelves. While closed cabinets have certain advantages, they have a clunky design.

With minimalism in popularity, an open aesthetic is becoming increasingly popular.

Open Kitchen Shelving Advantages

Pro: Open kitchen shelving increases your accessibility

Depending on how high you install a wall of open shelves over a kitchen station or your sink, you’ll have full accessibility. There’s no need to reach around out-of-position items or into tight corners to find what you’re looking for. Keep your most commonly used goods on the lowest shelves. It has the potential to improve the efficiency of your kitchen design. Consider how you don’t have to constantly open and close cabinet doors to get what you need. You won’t need to keep your everyday products on your counters if you use open kitchen shelving to store them, making the kitchen look untidy.

Pro: It’s warm and inviting to guests

Visitors are welcomed into the kitchen by open kitchen shelving, and clear visibility eliminates the need to ask where anything is kept, providing a sense of familiarity and warmth.

Pro: Cleaning and organization is a breeze

Cleaning your open shelf is quick and easy because there are no doors or partitions to get around. Also, because you’re likely to use the goods on your open shelves regularly, you can wipe them down when you’re washing your dishes. Another helpful thing about open shelving is that it lets anyone who assists with cleanup know where each item belongs.

Keep like with like when it comes to open kitchen shelving organization.

Combine bowls, plates, and other dishes, as well as cups, mugs, and glasses.

This will keep your shelves appearing neat.

Pro: Stylish And Trendy

Many various materials can be used to make open kitchen shelving, each with its distinct appearance. This minimalist style gives any kitchen design a spacious feeling, making it quite fashionable, and Homebuyers are even willing to pay a premium for an up-to-date property. Also, Because the objects housed also serve as display pieces and decor, open shelving offers additional options to flaunt one’s style. The shelves are also ideal for emphasizing a lovely kitchen backsplash.

Pro: It’s simple and cost-effective

Open kitchen shelving reduces the need for whole cabinetry, saving you a significant amount of money. In addition, open kitchen shelving is one of the most straightforward kitchen design improvements you can make because of its simplicity. It can be even built within a day.

Open Kitchen Shelving Disadvantages

Con: Shelf depth

When choosing your shelves, they mustn’t be too deep that you can fit too many items behind one another. Also, opt for narrower shelves than your lower cabinets because if you can store too much on your open shelves, you risk making your kitchen look cluttered and crowded.

Con: Everything is on display

Like anything else, you should choose wisely about what you put on display. For example, keep souvenir cups and mismatched plates off exposed shelves to avoid a cluttered appearance in your kitchen.

Con: You can tell when the shelves are dirty

Unfortunately, you can’t just close the cabinet door and hide the dirt with exposed shelving. This implies that you must be diligent in keeping up with your cleanliness. This is a crucial habit to establish!

Con: Too much storage may not be a good thing

Just because you have the space doesn’t mean you should put it on display. In your kitchen, open kitchen shelving is excellent real estate. If you’re going to put up open shelves, make sure they’re only for the things you use the most and that you enjoy looking at. For a sense of uniformity, color-coordinate what you put up there.

Con: Open kitchen shelving can look cheap

The same can be said for any kitchen project done on a budget. Because open shelving stands out from the rest of your cabinets, it’s likely to attract the most attention, so choose materials that look and feel high-quality. However, this also implies that it is doubtful to be suitable for the entire kitchen. What you can do is choose one wall location that you believe will look nice with open shelves and is convenient for getting to the objects you use the most, then install open shelves as a highlight there.

Cons: aesthetics over functionality

The fact of open shelves is that aesthetics must often take precedence over functionality. That means matching dishes, adorable storage bins, and a well-organized kitchen. In principle, this is simple, but in practice, it can be difficult. There are a lot of small items in kitchens that don’t look fantastic when they’re out in the open, but they’re still necessary.

No Protection

While stacking your grandmother’s wedding plates on an exposed shelf may appear to be a good idea, they are pretty fragile. A strong breeze, someone slamming a door, a kid doing kid-like activities, or any number of catastrophes can quickly turn them into a holy mess.

Solution: You Can Build a “Hybrid Design”

If you appreciate the advantages of open kitchen shelving but are concerned about the drawbacks, there is some good news!

It is achievable to have the best of both worlds without the drawbacks. Think outside the box with your designer or design-build contractor and incorporate the features you like about both choices into your kitchen design:


  1. Skipping the upper cabinets and shelves in favor of lower cabinets could be a creative alternative.
  2. Add a single shelf to a strategic place, such as above the backsplash, to store valuables. This can serve as a captivating focal point.
  3. Add glass inserts to upper cabinet doors for a more open look without sacrificing utility.
  4. Consider using floating, shallow, or extra-high upper cabinets.

Final Thoughts On Open Shelving

Having gained an understanding of open shelving’s benefits as well as drawbacks, I hope it will be easier for you to decide if this design will work for you.

In the end, whether you go with classic upper cabinets, open kitchen shelving, or a combination of the two is a matter of personal taste. Consult us and consider your budget, needs, aesthetic, lifestyle, and kitchen layout when deciding. Examining these aspects of your redesign is critical to ensuring that you end up with storage features that complement the aesthetic attractiveness of your new kitchen while also providing the functionality you desire.

If you can think of any more, please share them with us in the comment section below.



Apollo Kitchens Team (2020 April 22) Pros and Cons of Open Kitchen Shelving Apollokitchens


Hoopulele A (2019 Nov 29)  Pros & Cons of Open Shelves in Kitchens Point2home


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