I get a lot of questions about whether I like our open shelves in the kitchen.
I wanted to try open shelves in this house to see how I liked them. Since we planned to move in a few years, it was very low commitment.
Would they always look messy? Would they get dusty? Would I miss the upper cabinet space?
No. Sometimes. And no.
Against all odds, I do love these darn open shelves. I love seeing our bright colored dishes everyday. I love them so much that I even moved our everyday dishes to the open shelves so I can see them and have them right next to the sink and above the dishwasher. Super duper convenient.
I use most of the dishes fairly regularly. Sometimes the display dishes on the top two shelves get a little dusty, but it’s nothing major and they got dusty on display in the dining room before so I’m sort of used to it.
It’s totally worth a little dust.
But there are a few things that I would consider before going with open shelves:
- Do you have pretty things to display? If I needed a place for our plastic barbecue restaurant cups, then I’d probably go with closed uppers. (And I do have closed uppers for them, thank you very much.) But, if you have a collection of dishes/entertaining items/etc., then open shelves may be perfect. I am borderline obsessed with my Fiestaware dishes and have a lot of items, so it was a no brainer. And this area really brightens up our kitchen.
- Does clutter annoy you? I am talking to my perfectionist friends out there. I think seeing all your stuff everyday could easily become annoying to a person who hates clutter. It doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I kind of love it. Also – I’m not a perfectionist. You should know that by now.
- Do you have space for your other kitchen things? This kitchen was a pretty big upgrade in cabinet space from our last kitchen. So, I have plenty of room for everything I need in the kitchen without an upper in the area around the open cabinets. However, it’s worth mentioning that you probably won’t be able to store the amount of “stuff” on open shelves as you can in your closed upper cabinets. You will fill closed uppers until they are much more full because they don’t have to be perfectly styled. (I use that phrase very liberally because I don’t consider anything I do perfectly styled.) So, I personally wouldn’t take out uppers that are filled to the brim in order to replace with open shelves. I think filling them until they are overflowing would bug almost anyone.
All in all, I’d definitely like to work open shelves into our next kitchen. They are a lovely way to show off some of my favorite pieces and are actually really convenient for everyday dishes. They are a win.