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The Pros & Cons of Open Shelves

One of the latest trends in the kitchen is to ditch the wall cabinets and install open shelving instead. The open shelves can open up a small space and give a distinctive look to just about any kitchen.

Like most trends, some people adamantly oppose it. They say it looks messy or that it is not practical. Others love the look, preferring the minimalist styling and ease of use that open shelves offer over standard cabinets with doors.

If you are on the fence about adding this new trend to your kitchen, we put together a list of pros and cons to help give you some insight into open shelving in your kitchen. 

Visual Appeal

As long as you keep your shelves neat and organized, open shelves offer a charming, minimalist and sometimes European look.

This does mean that they will show off your dishes. Yes, the dishes that you got as a wedding gift 25 years ago. The dishes that have faded and chipped will be on display for everyone to see. So, you might want to buy new dishes.

Ease of Access

Open shelves make things easier to reach. You won’t have to dig through multiple cabinets this year to find that seasonal serving dish that hasn’t been used in a while.

They also make things harder to hide – that stash of chocolate you keep secret from kids? You will need to find a new spot since you won’t have a door to hide things behind. 

Show your Style

Without cabinet doors, shelves allow you to show off your most interesting dishes or cookware and create a distinctive look that really fits you.

But, since everything is on display now it might push you to get rid of or store some of the dishes you don’t use. You probably have plates and serving platters that haven’t been in use in years, and now is the time to get them out of the kitchen!

A word to the wise, this might cause some disagreements in deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Some things your spouse wants to get rid of might have sentimental value for you, and that goes both ways.

Good for Parties

If you’re fond of entertaining, you will never have to show your guests where you keep your glasses or plates again since they will be out in the open for everyone to see.

Leaving everything out in the open does have some downsides though; you’re adding another place in your home that you will have to keep clean.

Your dishes and whatever else is on your shelves with eventually be covered in dust and cooking grease. It will happen, guaranteed. Just make sure to give everything a weekly wipe down, and keep the proximity to your oven in mind when organizing your new open shelves to limit this.

One Final Thought

If the thought of exposed shelving in your kitchen sounds appealing but you don’t know about the trade-offs, a mix of wall cabinets and open shelves will allow you to have the distinctive look along with practicality and privacy. That way, you can show off your pretty dishes and cookware, and hide away the things that aren’t so nice to look at (or your chocolate stash.) 

Wherever you stand on this trend, we are here to help bring it to life for you. Your shelves will need to be sturdy and properly installed so that your glassware and dishes don’t slide off or crash to the ground. 

Give us a call to discuss your shelving options and everything that goes with them. 

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