Open Kitchen Shelving - Cluttered or Attractive?

From on December 23, 2008 in Kitchen Remodel

Open Kitchen Shelves

Ever heard of open kitchen shelving? Well, this is one of the newest trends in kitchen design and as demonstrated in these images, it’s really beginning to catch on. Is this the minimalist’s alternative to pricey and overindulgent kitchen design, or is the look a bit too cluttered and impractical?

The concept basically entails utilizing shelves in place of or in addition to kitchen cabinets. Everything is neatly arranged on the shelves in an order of your choosing and is on display for all to see. Initially, the idea sounds a bit cluttered, and what about cleanliness? Those who have chosen this design have taken a few steps to make it more practical. You can turn glasses up-side down to reduce dust accumulation on the inside, install a grease-reducing exhaust fan over the stove, or place a small cover over the top of dishes.

There are many ways to make these shelves appear attractive. Color coordinated dishes look contemporary, and you can throw decorative accessories into the mix, including plants, pottery, or art. Organization is also the key to making this type of arrangement successful. Everything is literally out there on display, so you want the shelves as organized as possible. Try placing your most attractive dishes and stemware on the upper shelves and reserving lower shelves for more bulky items.

Definitely an intriguing concept that has its pros and cons. Having lived in a continuous state of remodeling for sometimes years at a time, when plywood shelves were all that we had, open shelves hit a little too close to home for the idea to be appealing to me. You also run the risk of hurting your resale value. A traditional kitchen may initially be more expensive, but will probably be more appealing to the average homebuyer.

Photo Credit: Purple Area