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The Art of Open Shelving

Kitchen Design and Style

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Struggling with your current kitchen space? Do you wish you had more storage? Right now is the age of taking back what you deserve. But whether you’re struggling with your existing layout or simply looking to get creative, look towards your walls for your solution. Today, we’ll be talking about open shelving and while this trend has been around for a while, it shows no signs of going out of style any time soon. As design is slowly evolving towards creative solutions and using the space you currently have to your advantage, incorporating open shelving into your next remodel can be the next best thing. And especially as kitchens are now so much more than a place for your next culinary creations, this simple transformation can allow you to express your personal style while offering the next realm of storage and organization. But how can you strike that ever-so delicate balance of display and organization? Let’s explore this new frontier, its benefits and challenges, and provide you with the strategies to get started today. 

As with any design choice, you might be curious about what open shelving can offer for your next project. 

  • Visual Opportunities: It’s showtime. It’s time to bring out of the deepest depths of your cabinets those less frequently used cookware items. Showcasing these items offers functionality in their newfound ease of access while showing an aesthetic and profoundly functional decision to put these items out in the open. By placing assorted cookware with purpose, you can make everyday essentials, from dishes to glassware, works of art. 
  • More Space: A big part of open shelving is it’s ability to create a sense of spaciousness in this living space. The result will be a more inviting kitchen that appears larger. In addition, the absence of cabinetry gives the room an open feel. 
  • Improved Workflow: We’ve all been there, where we’ve reached into a dark cabinet and rummaged around, making enough noise to break the sound barrier. But with open shelving, there’s no more searching for that elusive pot lid. Instead, everything is visible and easily accessible. 

And while open shelving offers many benefits to your next remodel, you might be curious if there’s any downsides. Here’s some you should consider. 

  • Dust: If you’re a homeowner constantly on the go and regular maintenance isn’t possible, open shelving might not be for you. Placing dishes and kitchenware out in the open makes them susceptible to dust and cooking residue. Regular cleaning and maintenance are vital to keeping everything looking pristine. 
  • Clutter: Open shelving leans more towards the organized soul. Without the protection of cabinetry, where you can hide everything behind closed doors, open shelving requires impeccable organization. If your shelves get cluttered, it could detract from the aesthetic appeal and instead make it come off as chaotic. 
  • Limited Concealment: Open shelving it all about putting items out to display. You could even say it’s for the extroverted homeowner because you’re most literally putting your personal style out there in the open. And it’s understandable that this might not be for everyone. 

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Now that you have the pros and cons laid out, curious how you can go about fitting open shelving into your next remodel? First, it’s important to consider the right location. Keep in mind the layout of your kitchen and what wall might be most suitable. Often, open shelving is places near the cooking area or a countertop where items are most frequently used. Next, select materials that can complement the rest of your kitchen elements, making it a purposeful, stylish choice. Options can range from rustic reclaimed wood to stainless steel or glass. And it’s also important to point out that including open shelving doesn’t mean you need to eliminate all your closed cabinetry. You can still make functional use of these cabinets by placing your less attractive items behind closed doors. Designing your kitchen with this in mind allows for the best of both worlds. Finally, when the time comes to begin placing items onto your open shelving, try and experiment, using a variety of different items. Feel free to mix and match, incorporating dishes, glassware, decorative pieces, or cookbooks to add layers of aesthetic appeal. 

Open shelving can be a great addition to your next remodel. Not only does it offer functionality but allows you to showcase items that would otherwise be hidden away. When executed right, you can turn your kitchen into an oasis of your personal style while maintaining efficiency and accessibility. But it may not also be for everyone, especially homeowners on the go that could struggle to keep up with maintenance and organization. For those interested in taking the chance, you can become a master in the art of open shelving, creating a space that’s beautiful and practical. 

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