kitchen shelving – your opinion please

by Sharon Santoni

ideas for open kitchen shelving

In between preparing for Christmas, I also have one eye trained on my notebook of kitchen plans for next spring.

Recently you helped me with the kitchen seating issue, and a while ago you told me what you thought about rugs in front of your stove, so today I come back for more words of advice, this time about storage.  In particular about open shelving.

ideas for open kitchen shelving

I just love the look of the open shelving, but I really wonder how impractical it must be.  All of these pictures are wonderful because everything is perfectly aligned, and colour coordinated and tidy.   Could this really happen in my house?

ideas for open kitchen shelving

Am I the only one not to have 100% matching china, or the only one who doesn’t take the time to pour all the packets of cereal, sugar, dried fruit into nice clean glass jars?!

So what are these kitchens about?  Do people really cook here, or are they just super disciplined about taking everything down from each shelf once a week and running it through the dishwasher?  Or was it just for the photo shoot?!

ideas for open kitchen shelving

I can understand that the coffee mugs and the top six  plates on the pile  are washed regularly, but what about the last two dishes or those fancy glasses that you only use now and again?!

ideas for open kitchen shelving

Maybe I am just naive, and actually behind these perfect kitchens, there is actually a back pantry full of half opened cereal boxes, weird coloured spice tins and the favourite pieces of mis-matched china?

ideas for open kitchen shelving

I would really love to hear your experiences on this.  Do you have open shelving? Did you have open shelving and regretted it , or do you still love it and just have a regular dusting and cleaning routine?

Thank you for your generous contributions to this project, it is an amazing luxury for me to be able to ask a ‘live audience’ for an opinion on my ideas.

all photos with thanks to pinterest


Annie Vanderven December 4, 2014 - 12:01 pm

It does look beautiful for a photo shoot!!! but for practicality in daily life? absurd… I have put glass doors in some cabinets which gives a semblance of airiness and keeps the dust, etc, out.

Annie v.

Julie @ Creating This Life December 4, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Like Annie, I have some glass cabinets in my kitchen but I think I could stand to have a *little bit* of open shelving which contained only items we use every day. Alternatively, you could have special dishes (say holiday dishes) up very high on shelves since it’s impractical to reach up that high anyway and I tend to wash those dishes before I use them even though they were put into the cabinets clean.

To answer your question about foodstuffs, no not all of my food is put in clear containers, but some of it is and some of it is out. For instance, I keep coffee with a silver measuring spoon in a clear container on my countertop. Same for dog treats. I like having everyday stuff on display as much as possible.

Vena Moore December 5, 2014 - 10:35 pm

I have had open shelving for years but only with dishes. I bought all white. Glasses are all clear. It is so easy to reach up and get out what you need and to unload dishwasher. Cleaning is no big deal as most get used often enough, just wipe out bottom of shelf. It makes kitchen appear larger, roomier. I will never go back!

Kathy September 29, 2018 - 5:45 am

Open shelving is great makes the kitchen more open and appear larger. However I only use it for dishes and glasses I use every day. Most of my China is white but I have some pink goblets and dishes from the fifties that hit the dishwasher at least once a week.

susan December 4, 2014 - 12:15 pm

In one of my homes I had open shelving for all crockery glasses etc and everything essentially needed washing before use. It did look pretty though.

Today I would not do that. I do have some often used and some ornamental never used items on display and that works well for me as I have the feel of before without the same level of upkeep. I keep the crockery in drawers and I have a glass display cupboard for glasses and mugs etc. I also have a space that is for fruit and flowers in special bowls which is also gives the look and feel I like without too much trouble. All food items are kept in a pantry.

Best wishes.

Rebecca M. Brovont December 4, 2014 - 12:20 pm

I think it is strictly for the photo shoot. Open shelving is particularly impractical if anyone else besides the resident neatnic uses the kitchen. Having said that, I have a number of suggestions that I employ in my home kitchen and also my lake house kitchen. At home I have several upper cabinets with chicken wire in the doors instead of wood panels. Not only is it French looking but the chicken wire distracts the eye. For even more coverage I have layered fabric on small rods affixed to the door behind the wire. You then have options! At the lake house I have open shelving and I keep lovely (not everyday stained) tea towels over the items I want to shield from dust and especially if I am gone for a length of time. I can tell you from experience that because others also use that kitchen it is always a surprise as what is on the shelves and how they are arranged. RMB

linda koenig December 4, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Annie is right! Why create additional maintenance in the kitchen? Focus on function, not form.

Amy Ryberg December 4, 2014 - 12:22 pm

This is lovely for a photo shoot. In addition to all the dusting (who is going to eat and drink out of those dishes without having to wipe each off first?), I have often thought about all the grease that gets in the air in a kitchen, no matter how good your ventilation system.
I also think about dust and grease (and greasy dust) when I see ranges up on legs and tops of high cabinets (that don’t go up to the ceiling or soffits) with lovely large bowls and pots on top of them. Who is doing all this cleaning? PAS MOI

Dee December 4, 2014 - 12:26 pm

I have a vintage hutch top hang as open shelving in my kitchen, near my table. Everything needs to be dusted regularly, and washed before using. It looks pretty, but it is not completely practical.

Delaine December 4, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Yes, dust and keeping the open shelves neat and clean would be an issue with me especially with other folks using the kitchen, too! I generally try to keep things neat behind doors in the kitchen, but oh, the dust makes for high maintenance … Just my humble opinion:)) Can’t wait to see your new kitchen! Please do before and after pictures and progress along the way!! Have fun!

Jayne E December 4, 2014 - 12:36 pm

I think it depends on what’s important to you. If you don’t mind a bit of dust, and like the look of shelves, go for it. Or just have a few open shelves for, say, glass jars of dry ingredients like flour, pasta etc.
I have three open shelves in our French farmhouse kitchen but I also have cupboards. The top shelf of the three has items on it I rarely use but look nice.

Cheryl December 4, 2014 - 12:38 pm

I feel that this is a trend that’s nearly run its course, for all the reasons stated by the previous commenters. Good cabinetry is beautiful too! I have never bought into the idea that upper cabinets “close in” a space. If anything they are a cleaner look than seeing all of that jumble on the shelves, and for goodness sake, they don’t take up any more physical space. Glass doors are a good compromise, or perhaps just a couple of shorter display-only shelves just above the sink, between two upper cabinets. These could hold favorite crockery, and are handy to the sink if you want to reach up and wash a couple of them whenever you’re doing dishes.

Josephine December 4, 2014 - 12:40 pm

Since you asked for an opinion,,,,
I used to have open shelving, for everything, hooks for cooking utensils and cups, baskets for flatware, shelves for dishes, I loved it, but nobody else did, Oh! How gross, are you eating off those dishes? Are you cooking off those pans? Well, I had it with listening to the peanut galllery and got rid of the open shelving.
BTW love your blog;o)

Anne@DesignDreams December 4, 2014 - 12:45 pm

I have a mix of open shelving and cabinetry in my kitchen. I like the contrast of the two types, but I only use open shelving for things that I use all the time. Otherwise it turns into a big dusty mess that adds more work than it saves!

Vicky from Athens December 4, 2014 - 12:53 pm

I think that even though I love the look, open shelving would be so impractical in a kitchen that’s really used. All of that dust and grease that’s in the air has to settle on something! If I wanted to show off pretty dishes or crockery all of the time I’d display them behind a cabinet door with glass in it. The less I have to dust and keep clean the happier I am.

Denise December 4, 2014 - 1:03 pm

For me. My kitchen is in an Inn. So I do have cookware hanging up . My kitchen is huge for me the stove is away from the dishes on the shelf. I do like the glass jars with food in the on the counter. I do that. I use my kitchen everyday. I like open shelving for like an antique bowls, crock not necessarily things I use everyday. Just for looks.

Cecelle Ebsworth December 4, 2014 - 1:16 pm

Did my kitchen with open shelves, although I don’t put all my jars filled with cereal, sugar etc on there. Have a few antique canisters I use for that the other stuff goes into my cupboard. Its been the best ever! So easy to just grab the colander, plates, pots, pans, etc.
Love it to bits. I use far more of my kitchen things then I would normally when they are forgotten in a cupboard. Top shelf I have for some of my antique scales, or things used less often – love the picture of the white shelves! With the old fancy brackets! Just a pop of colour here and there makes it all so interesting!

Kerrie in France December 4, 2014 - 1:22 pm

I’ve had a kitchen with lots of open shelves, and I’ve had a kitchen with lots of glass doors on upper cupboards. The latter worked best. Now I have a kitchen with closed cupboards and just one open shelf made of recycled timber and cast iron brackets for a rustic look without lots of cleaning. Do you really want to spend your time cleaning these things constantly ?

Hilda Van Caenegem December 4, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Open shelves in a kitchen with a daily cooking routine are a nightmare. They will always be greasy and dusty.

Rié|Portobello Design blog December 4, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Sharon, I have just done this, and it works great! You can see everything, everything is at your finger tips and in view so you can set a table or grab the right size platter for plating easily! I have all white Pillivuyt, France dishes with some vintage Limoges. I use these on a daily basis. One person mentioned grease, I have not had this problem. As far as dust, sure some items that are not used regularly such as cake plates, but no more then if they were in an enclosed cabinet. I use a swifter on the shelves once a week, 3 minuets tops and its clean. And yes I have a pantry with half eaten boxes of cereal. 🙂 I think you would love to see your collections, it really makes me so happy to walk into my kitchen. But I would end with saying that it does matter regarding the layout of your shelves how you would best use each item for example, to the left of my stove is my dinnerware, I can just grab a dinner plate for plating, next to that glassware and mugs, tea cups with a small coffee tea, hot chocolate bar on the counter. To the right of the stove, platters, bowls, cake plates etc. All at your finger tips. Love it. And the easy of it all I am not sure I could ever go back. Take your cabinet doors off the top for a month or two and try it first. But, rearrange for best use. It also makes you really look at what you own, what you should get rid of and what you need to buy. Whatever you choose let us know. All the best, Rié

Holly Boyle December 4, 2014 - 1:38 pm

The images are beautiful but when I tried open shelving years ago, they never seemed to stay looking clean and orderly. That said, we will be moving soon and I may try opening up a cupboard again. All to create a more open and airy feel. Here’s an inspiration, make a commitment to cook/serve something in/on each dish in a rotation. Keeps them all clean and keeps you out of the same old casserole rut.

ann hodgkins December 4, 2014 - 1:53 pm

The open shelves look lovely but not practical for real life.The ideas for using the chicken wire sound interesting.Glass doors on some cabinets may work with colorful china in them.I would not want a whole kitchen of glass doors because of the cleaning/dusting issue.
Good luck with your new project.I am sure the finished product will be lovely.

Caroline Longstaffe December 4, 2014 - 1:57 pm

I also combine the 2 ideas and bough lots of sealed preserving jars to store things like flour sugar rice and pasta etc. I keep some of these with my china ( all white) in a cabinet with glass shelving, I do think being careful with colour is critical when everything is on show and white is always so perfect and clean. I then have some open shelving near where I prepare food which has smaller preserving jars with things I use all the time like nuts and dried fruit to add to cereal.
Possibly we are drawn to the idea of open shelving as it is so reminiscent of a bygone era, my entire kitchen has that look with only 40% of it ‘fitted’. The rest is made up of old furniture, an large shop counter, a butchers block, an old glass faced medicine cabinet. I bought them all with me from my house in England and then incorporated into my new kitchen in California, certainly a unique look for out here!! I have to admit sometimes I would like more practical modern options which could I could resolve by having a walk in pantry (which I don’t have). Certainly with open shelving there can be issues with dust and grease however I think it really comes down to loving a ‘look’, creating a space which you love and incorporating clever ideas you see from others, like yours Sharon! I love changing things up especially when they don’t require major expenditure, thank you for all the great thought provoking suggestions!
Caroline ~ an English girl living in California, in love with Provence!

May December 4, 2014 - 2:06 pm

Wonderful post
As for open shelving, not to excess. Imagine, for example, the shelving in the 2nd photo enclosed in a clear wavy antique glass inside a clear acrylic door frame. I see that as more beautiful as well as practical (than big area open shelves). For smaller shelves, open is okay, like the last two photos. For decorative purpose within reasonable dusting range, I think open shelves are great.
I prefer a kitchen with a pantry, no hanging cabinets or shelves on the kitchen walls. Big island with fridge drawers for food storage, produce.

Angela De Marco Manzi December 4, 2014 - 2:11 pm

It looks very pretty on day one. But on day two, get doors. The dust, accumulated grease from cooking, etc., begins to detract from the loveliness. I have open shelving in my dining room for display of my antique copper cookware and I am forever dusting and polishing. In the kitchen I would imagine it would be so much worse. Cabinets with glass French doors. That is how I would go.

Kelly December 4, 2014 - 2:18 pm

I’ve been having the same dilemma. I really like the look of all these kitchens but, like you, I’d have to go buy a whole new set of dishes that all matched to achieve the look. AND keeping the dishes and shelves dusted and clean is just not something that I want to add to my kitchen-cleaning routine. I’ve come to the conclusion that what would work best for me is if I could get rid of the my last three upper cabinets to achieve the open feel that shelves do in these kitchens. I would probably hang some nice art like I have on the other side of my kitchen. My problem is that I haven’t found the space yet to house all the dishes/glasses etc in the base cabinets. I haven’t given up thought – organizing my pantry next to see if I can create some more room in there!

jan gillespie December 4, 2014 - 2:28 pm

I found open shelving created extra work for me with dusting, constantly arranging the pieces, etc.

I now have closed shelving for everyday items and open shelving just for display items. That works best at least for me.

Cecilia December 4, 2014 - 2:29 pm

I have both open shelving and glass on the top and closed cabnets and drewers on the bottom to hid “stuff”. I actually had even more open shelving built in our shore home. I use to be very careful with colors but I am more relaxed now. I collect dishes and stuff as a result of the open shelves I now use everything more often and love it. If I have not used something in awhile I gve it a rinse but I would do that even with closed shelving. I also have my frying pans and copper pots hanging on the side of the kitchen island which is regular table height with marble and I find it convient. Everyone stand I was mad when I did my first kitchen 12 years ago but I still love it and did it at the shore and my family loves it because they know where everything is and they put it back where it belongs. I say do what “YOU” love.

Pam December 4, 2014 - 2:32 pm

I had open shelving in one of my homes and I didn’t like it. I was young and didn’t have anything worth keeping out and also didn’t understand to keep things to a minimum. If I had them now, Im sure they would look nice. I also agree with the dust comment. You would have to rinse off anytime you were going to use something. That being said… you would make them gorgeous!

Karen T. December 4, 2014 - 2:43 pm

While the look of open shelves is different and lovely, I think one would either have to be super crazy organized or have paid help to maintain the look. Otherwise, I think it would very quickly become a dusty, messy, greasy mess. If you really like this look, how about having just a few open shelves for your serve ware or display pieces?

Karen T. December 4, 2014 - 2:49 pm

Btw am I the only one with closed/covered shelving whose things still get dusty? I haven’t yet figured out why this is? So as one commenter stated, if I haven’t used a piece in a while then it gets washed before use.

Cheryl December 4, 2014 - 3:40 pm

Hi Karen, no you’re not alone! I think dust just filters in everywhere over time, depending on your environment. I’m a pretty good housekeeper, and I have to rinse or wash things that aren’t frequently used. As a matter of fact, every Thanksgiving (I always host) I hand wash all of the china, glassware and eating utensils, as well as serving pieces, so that they’re sparkling. A lot of work, but I feel good about what my guests are eating off of!

franki December 24, 2014 - 11:56 pm

Me, TOO!! franki

Judy December 4, 2014 - 3:05 pm

I have been thinking of putting in a little of it myself, however not all of it. I would only put items on the shelves that I use a lot. I like the idea of glass doors that make it look open. Bon chance with your own home.

Fine Bessot December 4, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Jusqu’à ce que j’habite dans l’apparentement actuel, j’avais organisé ma cuisine avec beaucoup d’étagères où je mettais ma vaisselle, un service blanc et un service vert, avec des pots à épices transparents et une très belle série de verres. J’avais une machine à laver la vaisselle et 2 fois par an je faisais la grande lessive des objets peu utilisés.
Je préfère la cuisine ouverte, c’est très décoratif et on a tout sous la main, on utilise pratiquement tout parce qu’on l’a sous les yeux.
Maintenant j’ai des meubles de cuisine où tout est fermé, je n’utilise pas le dixième de ma vaisselle. Mais je n’ai plus de lave-vaisselle.
Je préférais avant. J’y reviendrais dans un autre appartement.
Les photos sont très belles.
Bien cordialement. Fine.

jeri brain December 4, 2014 - 3:07 pm

i, also love open shelving… but… i have cats… i lived in a tropical area, so all my food not stored in the frig are stored in sealed, glass containers to keep bugs out and still do, living back in the north…

all my cupboards are neat and tidy and when i have time and money, will change out the doors with glass panels… maybe lighting… but no way can i have open shelving… not with the cat fur flying, or the possibility of them climbing on them, breaking all my collection of turquoise fiestaware bowls… would even have glass put where i keep my canned goods… to me, that’s about as good as i can get to open shelving… hugs2u

Virginia December 4, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Open shelving is impractical. Cooking grease covers the items on shelves. The grease collects dust. A mess. I use my kitchen cabinets only for cooking utensils, pots and pans, blenders/food processors, china and glassware, which are located directly across from the dishwasher. Heavier items are stored in bottom cabinets. China, glassware and casseroles are in top cabinets. Three drawers in the center island facing the dining table hold napkins and placemats. Aside from frequently used cleaning supplies organized under the sink and a spice rack in a drawer next to the stovetop, everything else is stored in a pantry. I like clean counters.

I love my pantry which is like a large walk in closet with a door, and it features all open shelving. To the right are shelves of cans and the spices that I don’t use regularly. The far wall, which you see first when you open the door, has pretty glass canisters of various sizes filled with rice, flour, sugar, baking soda, pasta, etc. On the top shelf are vases, pitchers, and liquor.

I am very pleased with the well organized storage in my kitchen. I am not so pleased with storage for table cloths. Some are laid out flat in chest in the dining room. But many more are in the closet off the foyer, thus eliminating any space for coats. Not good. If I could build my house over again, I would have an old-fashioned butlers pantry with storage for tablecloths and serving pieces.

Julie @ Creating This Life December 4, 2014 - 5:13 pm

A butler’s pantry would be a dream!

Miriam December 4, 2014 - 3:21 pm

We had always open shelves, even when i was a child (and that is long ago). I remember that there was a grubby touch on everything, that was not used daily or weekly.
Nevertheless we have open shelves in every home since then. Either you tidy up every week, or you accept the grubby touch. I love the look of an open shelve, even if it is not perfect.
Miriam (Germany)

Emm December 4, 2014 - 3:25 pm

You are wise to be skeptical of such open-shelf perfection. I see the busy hands of a photo stylist hard at work just before the shutter clicked.

I put in new kitchen cabinets, above and below, recently, and where the upper units turn a corner installed a “bridge” cabinet with a glass door. The diagonal gives me an “open” look without the dust and dirt accumulation problem.

As for the half-used packages of this and that, I hide them in the pantry.

Holly December 4, 2014 - 3:27 pm

All these comments hold great value and truth, but from an interior design standpoint (I am in interior designer), form and function and beauty all go hand in hand! You can’t discount the joy in a space well put together! I have one cupboard that I designed that is open, directly in my cooking area. It’s filled with layers of platters, serving bowls, plates in a plate rack, little mixing bowls, cookbooks, pitchers….everything I would need while cooking or plating food (serving), or what anyone else would need too. I use it all daily so it’s washed often, but it brings me so much joy to see the arrangement on my wall – it actually inspires me to keep my kitchen clean because I love how it looks when all together! Form and function are great, but without thoughtful beauty, a space lacks soul. I look forward to seeing what you decide! Wish I could pop over to France to see it 🙂 Canada is a little far away 🙂

Valerie December 4, 2014 - 3:51 pm

I have open shelving and could see the grease thing being an issue..but methinks thats more about your cooking style and equipment. I don’t cook with a lot of oil, we don’t deep fry, pan fry or broil…so no problem on the grease for us. If you check your existing cabinets you can probably see your personal “grease output.”

I have two jobs and rarely entertain but when I do the plates get a swipe with a clean towel. And since you mentioned fancy glasses…. mine are from Biot and though I hate to clean I love to rinse and polish those glasses before putting them on the table; it brings back great memories of a trip to France 20 years ago.

Patricia December 4, 2014 - 3:54 pm

I sure understand your feelings. I went through the exact same thing before doing my remodel although I recently sold a house that did not have upper cabinets given I had all windows. However, I had a pantry that took the load. I just remodeled and did it again…no uppers and open shelves. LOVE IT so much. I did do one very tall cabinet that comes from ceiling to counter top and drawers below. I have almost all drawers for lowers which takes the place of uppers in my thinking…dishes, glasses, microwave…all in drawers making easy access and not things hiding in the back of uppers. Yep, I turned some cabinets in the garage for storage of things seldom used to not take up my precious drawer space. YOU will adjust and LOVE it, take the risk. BTW, you could always put uppers later if you can’t live with the open shelves. I also tiled counter top to ceiling with stainless shelves…great look.

home before dark December 4, 2014 - 3:54 pm

I am just moving back into my kitchen after a gut down to the studs and joists remodel. I have always had some form of open shelving in my kitchens. This time, at 65, I wanted mostly open shelving and drawers. No upper cabinets. My husband retires next year and while he is not a cook, he would have a devil of a time finding things if they weren’t “in his face”!

I have collected kitchen tools/equipment/dishes for over 40 years. I think they are beautiful. We do not eat boxes of things (mixes, cereal etc). I put all of my flours in glass canisters and used Fido canning jars for beans, pastas, rice. I went with induction not gas, so there is less grease. I store glasses, mugs upside down. I have eliminated plastic from my kitchen. Rather than a pantry in the kitchen I have two refrigerators, one on the baking area, one in the main part of the kitchen. I put other staples in what was once a coat closet and now is my panty.

I know open shelving isn’t for everyone. I am a visual person and I love the way my kitchen looks and cooks.

Mary S December 4, 2014 - 4:07 pm

I think a mix of open shelving and cabinets with doors would work. That way, the matched items can be kept together and kept neat looking while the rest of the “stuff” will have it’s place behind closed doors. I like the look of open shelves but only a small amount of them with items you would use everyday. It would be a nightmare keeping it always looking nice. Perfect for photoshoots, but not so much for everyday use.

marci piraro December 4, 2014 - 4:19 pm

The open shelves in the photos are beautiful, but they do not look like anyone really lives there, or really cooks there. Where would you rather spend your time? Maintaining perfect shelves? Or walking the dogs, taking care of the garden, riding your horses, going to brocantes, lunches with friends. Whatever you decide will be beautiful, look forward to seeing it. Maybe you have extra energy, and wouldn’t mind the extra upkeep. :-))

La Contessa December 4, 2014 - 4:28 pm

HI SHARON……..Contessa here……….
I had the chicken wire put on my cabinets……..after a few years I realized it was not a good choice as the dishes do get dirty and NO you do not clean until you use them which is a hassle and then knees went into the chicken wire……..BOYS KNEES!!!!So, we put glass in and took out the wire.I do not have over head shelving in my kitchen.It does LOOK GREAT………I do have open shelving like you have shown here in my walk in pantry……….the dirt does find the tip top shelves……, I do not know,but no one see’s that but me when I get on a step stool to grab a pan or champagne bucket for FLOWERS!!

Dolores December 4, 2014 - 4:32 pm

If I could add my two cents worth, I agree with those that have said, go with what YOU want! You, obviously, are very design oriented, I agree with the JOY factor. I have open shelves above my stove area, I find it very functional. It isn’t a large area, but I have mixing bowls and serving bowls on the shelves. On the other side I have spices in containers that bring me happiness when I see them and use them. I have bottles of oils and some liquor. Some small things I have in a enamel bread tin.
For the little spices jars and such stuff, I keep them in a drawer below- I love this. It is easier than having them on a shelf, whether open or closed.
My plates and glasses I keep in upper cabinets with glass by my sink and dishwasher. No one has mentioned that glass doors in upper cabinets by a stove would get grease on them, if they do have a build-up of grease in their kitchen. Personally, I don’t fry that much, I don’t have that much grease build-up. but glass by a stove seems less desirable than any other surface.
I sacrificed the space in my kitchen to have a tiny pantry for my refrigerator and food storage, this is the second time I have done this in my kitchen. I love it.
I have had a previous home styled for a photo shoot and it was published- it was very enlightening- the result is not what you might expect. It was not MY home in the photos. It is not real, props are placed awkwardly with things a person would never do any other time. It is not comfortable to view, it isn’t realistic- somehow the feel is disturbed. It is the FEEL of the home that is important, not necessary how someone else thinks it should look. You make that FEEL by doing what YOU want it to look like and to feel like. And only you really know what that is, even an interior designer will design what YOU want, not what they may personally choose.
I frequently experiment by doing something temporary to see if I like something. I made simple shelves and lived with them for a awhile, then when I had made my decision, I had custom wrought iron brackets made and put wood shelves on them.
I have also learned that my home doesn’t need to look like a magazine 24/7. It isn’t comfortable for my family or for me. It is how the home feels that is important.
I, too, love your blog and remember that I have told you that you should make a book…

Mary Baynes/Indiana December 4, 2014 - 4:39 pm

My sentiments exactly! Maybe one or two small shelves of new co-ordinate things?

Laura December 4, 2014 - 5:01 pm

I like a lived-in, homey kitchen, and I love my open shelving! I keep all of my dishes there, and there are several patterns. I think that for the most part, if you put the things you love together, they usually look pretty good. The rarely used things do get dusty – I just give them a quick rinse before I use them. But since they are rarely used, it’s not a problem for me. Glasses are in a glass-fronted cabinet. I have an “unfitted” kitchen. As for being worried about dust and grease, I guess it depends on your personality. I don’t worry about it (although I might if I cooked with a lot of grease that spattered everywhere!).

Lulu boudreaux December 4, 2014 - 5:07 pm

I too love the look, but I know it’s not for me. Even with closed shelves there is dust. I have better things to do then to live a dream, rather better to live the life you want to live. I opted for seeded glass, it’s watery looking, let’s you see into the cabinets, but it’s less… my new home, I kept thinking I would use an open shelf for my cappuccino, espresso and coffe things next to my coffe area, those I use everyday. That way I could get the open look I love, but only with those items. I also thought about chicken wire glass cage like shelving, but not sure about that. I did have it in a hutch when I wanted a rustic look without the work. Good luck!

Peggy Braswell December 4, 2014 - 5:37 pm

I think a mix of open shelving and cabinets with doors would work for you + love open shelving + agree with everyone + it is not for everyone.

elliot December 4, 2014 - 6:14 pm

Lovely pictures: I have open shelving and I love it!! I love seeing all of my dishes and collections out on display. I grew tired of always opening the doors to get to my dishes. Open shelving also makes the space seem larger.
Dried food are in Parfait jars. Spices are on open shelves. The larger boxes and can food are stored underneath the cabinet with doors.
I dust the shelves maybe every couple of months.
Everyone who has seen the kitchen loves it!!!!

Ellen Faris December 4, 2014 - 6:32 pm

My two favorite kitchens (I’ve moved a lot) had a little bit of open shelving. The first had two shelves above the stove. I used them for the many little Asian plates and bowls I use for mis en place, the teapot and cups used daily, and a few other smallish items like rice bowls. The items did not match, but they looked great and got washed all the time.
The second kitchen has a few shelves above the refrigerator and at the far end of the workspace (so not greasy) and holds glassware, espresso cups, and cunning tea tins. The variety in the items is pleasing to the eye and makes the kitchen seem a little more exuberant and maybe even artistic: a real cook’s kitchen.
Glass fronts always seem like a good idea, but I’ve never had them.
The truth is that unless you are very affluent and have a thing for matching (as we Americans tend to do) you aren’t going to have a kitchen full of coordinated wares. Which may be for the best.

Christine Marek December 4, 2014 - 6:40 pm

I agree that open shelving looks nice, however I am a practical thinker as I use my kitchen to cook and entertain. I love items that I use on a regular basis in glass jars while I keep my supplies that are not used or remaining boxes and bags in cabinets and a small pantry area. I like the kitchen clean and as dust free as possible so for me I have a few smaller areas to display some colorful items I have collected over the years. If I want to use them I choose to wash them first. I have decided to have some glass door cabinets for my new kitchen we are planning in the spring. That way I can have my matching pieces showing and my mismatches I love and use behind plain doors. I have a love for old and new and like to have options so I am embracing both worlds in my home. I have two dogs and no matter how much we dust and vacuum we still have fly away hairs that I do not want to have on my kitchen dishes. I would rather be doing fun things than constantly cleaning things on open shelves. The best advice I can give you is to think how you want to have your space with how you live and cook in your home. I love my spaces and everyone who comes in my home can see that . Good luck on your decision and I look forward to seeing what you decide.

Donn December 4, 2014 - 7:00 pm

The open shelves are lovely to look at but there is always one thing that holds me back – pet hair!!! We have 2 dogs and 3 cats and no matter how much we clean, there is always pet hair. And I can only imagine how bad it would be on open shelves – I know how bad it can get within a closed cabinet. Not for me – would rather spend my time in the garden instead of cleaning pet hair off of everything on an open shelf!

Sonia December 4, 2014 - 7:01 pm

I totally agree with what you wrote! Does anyone cooks there???
I had shelves in my kitchen in a flat (before)…NEVER AGAIN!!!
I even can’t understand the reason to put plates or glasses on… That’s become so dirty very quickly if you cook near around… You need to clean every things very often, even if you hadn’t use them…No, no, no…Not for me 🙂 🙂 Nice post 🙂

Katherine December 4, 2014 - 7:22 pm

I have both closed cabinets and some open shelves. The open shelves have white pedestal cake plates, white tea pots, a framed picture of Paris, silver meat domes, and the silver creamer {that I won from you} filled with lavender. So the open shelves have pretty things that I do use and the closed cabinets have the function.
I used to have every day bistro cups and dinner plates on open shelves in my other house. The dishes were white and the bistro cups clear with leather sleeves – so it looked great with antique silver coffee pots. I used the pieces all the time so they were always clean – and I would have loved to mix the plate patterns up.

For me the idea of keeping something on the kitchen counter – like utensils, mix master, coffee maker – it’s all the same. It has to be wiped down and kept clean anyway, so why not have something attractive on a few open shelves.

Maria December 4, 2014 - 7:28 pm

Myself, I don’t like the Idea of open Shelves. Cabinets with Glass. better Idea if you want to display something you really love. Looks great on pictures only.

Dawn Johnson December 4, 2014 - 7:46 pm

When I did my kitchen I considered shelves too because I felt like upper cabinets were not authentic French. It’s very rare to see them in French kitchens. But where I live we get a lot of dust especially in the summer months as we live in a farming community. I didn’t want to have to deal with dusty dishes all the time. Besides that, I wanted a less busy look because I have other shelves with lots of little things etc. I chose cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling which I love because I don’t have very tall ceilings but these elongate the height of the ceiling visually. Also it just gives me that much more storage and I don’t have those cabinet tops that just get filled with useless things that get all covered with greasy dust. I do have one cabinet with open shelving that I keep my favorite cookbooks and special bowls so that is a nice compromise for me.

Vicki Hardie December 4, 2014 - 9:12 pm

Hi, I disagree. I have all open shelving in my kitchen and I love it, some high shelving over the sink and cooker area where I keep my glasses and cups for tea and low open shelving under my workbenches where I keep my plates and bowls. I don’t have lots and lots of dishes either, I have thinned them out over the years and now use just what I need. so the dust is never an issue. Every day is “special”! I have some dishes that I keep on top of the fridge that are for large dinner parties but I don’t have them that often so it doesn’t matter that I have to wash them before each use as its only a few times a year (I live in quite a small apartment). So I would highly recommend open shelving.

Esther George December 4, 2014 - 9:35 pm

Hi Sharon, well I love the idea of picture No. 2 it’s beautiful, but no person could keep up with making it look picture perfect all the time. I had a cabinet built into one of the walls in my lounge room what I didn’t think through was the height of the display part…A. I’m short B. I’m scared of climbing a ladder…. go figure….(what was I thinking). If you are going to live in this home forever you have to decide how easy looking after it should be. You can still have an elegant home just not so time consuming this is the lesson I have learned. Thank you for sharing beauty. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney. PS watched a British show called 12 Drinks To Christmas…a lot of fun, an actor and his brother-in-law, a lot of wine tasting in France and UK, should have seen this guys home and the kitchen…now that was perfect…must be nice to have spare cash.

Madeleine December 4, 2014 - 10:13 pm

Don’t do it!!!

I am currently living with open shelving and it looks very messy and cluttered. If one lived alone with minimal things and no children putting everything back in the wrong place it may work. Food in glass jars can look enticing, but it’s not good for food to be exposed to light.

When I eventually redo the kitchen I will have a couple of cabinets with glass doors for my prettiest china.

All that said, for those on a tight budget, putting up some open shelving is far preferable to going into debt for a flash kitchen 🙂


Sheryl December 4, 2014 - 11:06 pm

I love open shelving in the kitchen….I removed the upper cabinets in my kitchen and replaced them with open shelving…I love it…I use every thing that I put on them..I keep my dishes either white , stianless or iron stone to keep a uniform look….above the stove needs to be cleaned a little more often…a hint on keeping pot lids clean…a button hole in the middle of a vintage hanky or table scarf …and button it over the lid through the laudry every other week….works great….I am sure what ever you decide to do will be beautiful you have wonderful taste…..

Lynn December 4, 2014 - 11:09 pm

I live in a very dusty, arid area and would NEVER have open shelving. Just wiping all the counters and stove on a daily basis takes a lot of time. I would never buy a house with open shelving; it only seems to work in small cottage-type houses. Whenever I see a photo shoot of all that open shelving and perfectly displayed dishes, I know it is an outright lie!

Love your blog!

Cecelia in Massachusetts December 5, 2014 - 1:41 am

I love open shelving, but only for dishes and pots used on a daily basis. Since they are always getting used they and the shelves are always cleaned. Dry goods are stored in airtight clear canisters…beans, rice, bread crumbs, cocoa, pasta, etc…also used almost daily and wiped down. Everything else is stored behind closed doors…the best of both worlds!

iliana December 5, 2014 - 2:25 am

We had a house built 8 years ago and opted to not have any upper cabinetry installed. In its place I installed 2 tiers of shelving on either side of the exhaust fan, and a bakers rack to the right of the refrigerator. I have to say I just love the open shelving. A much lighter feel and I am able to enjoy looking at all of my dishes. Plus it is very convenient to have things within reaching distance. I admit that it took me several years to figure out how to make it look good, but I enjoyed the learning process. I have white apilco dishes, but love collecting bowls (med to small). Some are white, others blue and white, and a few brown. They all look lovely against the very pale grey wall, and don’t look sloppy or too cluttered. I don’t find it hard to keep clean. I have a pantry for all of the other stuff like food, spices, water jugs and cook books. I suggest you try it out as I think you will find you will enjoy arranging and gazing at your collection.

Amelia December 5, 2014 - 2:10 pm

Oh yes, “looking lovely against the pale grey wall” thats it! The joy of designing the placement of colours juxtaposing with walls.

One of my shelves, is a triple shelved piece with attractive side pieces painted pale blue, against a creamy, off-white ‘linen’ painted tongue and groove wall (used to be grey); next to our kitchen table, it holds cookery books and sauces, chutneys and jams, 2nd tier holds many stacked bowls in blue/white, terracota which I love to see when the light reflects off the china! Top tier is for glasses and decorative pottery. Its about creating a ‘picture’ out of your kitchen walls.

Shelves either side of cooker and worktop are in plain wood set off against deep turqouise tiles. :))

Deb December 5, 2014 - 4:23 am

The kitchens all look gorgeous but I think the all white everything in a kitchen is only for those who have plenty of spare time to dust and clean/enjoy doing so, or they have a dedicated cleaning staff. I like the pretty kitchen shown first and the fourth, fifth and sixth kitchens. For me open shelving needs to be practical with only a few items that I use every day on display. I like the containers with pasta etc. I have a high shelf with baskets that hides kitchen appliances that I don’t use every day. It looks nice but the problem is I forget what I have up there and its too high for me to simply reach and get them. I think sometimes when the need to put shelves in to store extra items its really a message that a cupboard clean out is necessary. I think most items should be put away in well designed cupboards that are kept organised and shelving should be for only a few items that are decorative and used daily. So far this is my theory but I am yet to fully commit to my theory as I am a bit of a hoarder. When I see pics of houses with loads of open shelves loaded with goodies carefully placed and colour co-ordinated etc and looking wonderful I feel somewhat relieved and I think that some hoarders must be very organised people. Or are they collectors?
In a society that seems to promote the minimalist design its refreshing to see homes that show a bit of character and having stuff out on display.

christiana December 5, 2014 - 4:34 am

Our rental home came with open shelving ( as well as closed cupboards which I keep some food stuff in like tins, jars and pasta ) and I like it! Yes, it can get dirty and a bit messy if I forget or don’t have time to put things in jars, but I like the accessability of it all.
We put cup hooks up and I keep some glasses, cookbooks, bottles of wine etc..on them.
I am used to it by now and I think if I were to build my own kitchen I would put some in ( maybe a smaller section with heaps of closed storage ) because it makes the kitchen look lived in

Amelia December 5, 2014 - 1:59 pm

Absolutely agree with you – accessability!!

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon December 5, 2014 - 9:42 am

Since you asked… Maybe a mix of both. Ones you use daily use an open shelf.

In California open shelves will be a problem when we have earthquakes. Sometimes even with doors there is a problem. 🙂

Your questions have been informative. I love reading the comments. I always learn something.

Amelia December 5, 2014 - 1:58 pm

I totally love open shelving. Some people think it can look a bit untidy, but the ease of use, to reach for a jar of foodstuff, or a saucepan, or a plate, is fantastically time saving!

Everything apart from fresh veg and fruit is stared in jars where its easilly seen what is running low.

I just love looking at wooden shelves, natural, or painted. Also as your photos show, its good to pop little decorative pieces in between useful items. Yes, every now and again you need to wipe the tops of jars, especially those close to the cooker, and the shelves; but worth it for the ease of use. (low down storage cupboards are difficult to see into, to reach into and can be very difficult for people recovering from operations).

I want everything in sight, that I regularly use. Saucepans also hang above the cooker, for ease of access.

Its a time management thing.

Being short, no kitchen cupboard would be easy for me to reach up to, even less reach to the far recesses, where foodstuffs store and deteriorate over years.

I’m slowly collecting lovely jars, mostly different; which I often find in charity shops.

Sara December 5, 2014 - 8:02 pm

It does depend on your temperament and habits–but speaking from experience, there is definitely a back cabinet stuffed with pantry boxes and unsightly cookware. I keep all those sorts of things behind closed doors in our wooden kitchen “wardrobe”. That way, I can maintain the furniture look and don’t have to have the bulky feel of built-ins.
We have open kitchen shelving for all the dishes–there are complete sets of white, nearly complete sets of antique cream, and my antique blue onion pieces. These are all combined with trays, egg cups, soup tureens that make the wall pleasing to the eye. But! Under my center island lurks all the utility stuff for cooking and baking, the flatware, etc. The juice and water glasses we keep on roll-out shelves in the built-ins under the counter-top and out of dust’s way. (Our barware and wine glasses are in the dining room). In other words, from my experience so far, having open shelving above and built-in cabinets below works really well in practice. As to dust–I hate dusting and rarely do it. The things we don’t use regularly get dusty…the dinner service never does as we use them constantly! (our philosophy is why buy/inherit beautiful dishes that you don’t actually eat on?)
But when party time rolls around and I need all the quirky pieces and big trays up on the shelves, a quick rinse does the trick, the dust is gone, and the open shelving still looks great. 😉

Elizabetty December 5, 2014 - 8:12 pm

I live in an 85-year-old house. Many years ago I removed the cabinet doors in the kitchen wanting a more open, modern feel. Since everything is out in the open we know where everything is at a glance and can easily get to it. We don’t pile things up in the cabinets like before since we can’t hide clutter now. It keeps me more organized and looks lovely. I won’t ever put those doors back on. A little dust, a little rinse – it won’t kill us.

Carlee December 5, 2014 - 8:52 pm

I agree with so much that has been written above. occasionally I kitchen remodels and I do think that in the end it is a TREND and will not last. In a small place, where one seldom cooks, open shelving may persists. But for a serious family kitchen, just don’t see it having long term use in a kitchen. My recommendation for an open look is to do glass doors on upper cabinetry.

Karene December 5, 2014 - 11:32 pm

I think the pictures are beautiful, but open shelving doesn’t seem practical with all the extra dusting. It really wouldn’t work for me, I’m afraid, as I live in earthquake territory.

Lauran December 6, 2014 - 12:33 am

I have open shelving and I find it very useful because it saves one step of having to open the cabinet in order to get something or to put it away.
The way I deal with the cleanliness issue is minimalism. I only have what I actually use on a regular basis. Everything else I got rid of. My stuff doesn’t all match, but it is good stuff that I like to see: Le Creuset cast iron pots, a few cool serving dishes, white dishes and clear glass glasses.

annette December 6, 2014 - 12:35 am

Would never choose upper cabinet doors again.I do not think open shelving is a trend.Forty years ago I had a tiny cottage with simple upper shelves and they looked charming.Now I have a galley kitchen in the upstairs flat of a 95 year old house.I removed the doors of the upper cabinets and feel I can breathe!Lower cabinets have doors for pots and pans and “stuff”. Upper cabinets for everyday white dishes with a few blue and white pieces.So easy to maintain and gives the kitchen the warm and cozy feel that I love.I never have a problem with grease,just a bit of dust on glasses that are seldom used.I had that problem with doors on!Go with what your eye and heart tell you.

Julia December 6, 2014 - 3:35 pm

I love that penultimate picture, that’s my style – natural, fresh, a tad cluttered, rather like me I think 🙂
My kitchens evolve, they begin as pristine and spotless and then life happens, baking happens, cooking happens and all of a sudden the kitchen has become just as it should be

Good luck, look forward to seeing how yours turns out!

Deidre Groundwater December 7, 2014 - 1:28 am

No open shelves for me. Lovely to look at but not the real world . Best wishes for a safe, happy, peace-filled Christmas and New Year. Kind regards, Deidre.

Karena December 7, 2014 - 1:29 pm

Sharon I do not have any open shelving; however I do love it. Perhaps just a few shelves for your matching or coordinated pieces/ collection! The rest in the pantry of behind paneled doors!

The Arts by Karena

Sheri December 7, 2014 - 3:25 pm

When we redid our kitchen last year, I added some open shelves for our everyday dishes, glasses and coffee mugs. There are three shelves that house all these dishes, the dishes are mismatched, I love the eclectic look and I get a lot of compliments about them. The top shelf does get dusty, but I have no problem washing before using these dishes, they are our special dishes. The other two shelves hold all the other dishes that basically get used every day and don’t have time to get dusty and dirty. I hope that helps.

Gina December 7, 2014 - 4:36 pm

Hi Sharon, I have open shelves, closed and some with glass. My house doesn’t really have a dust issue, but I always rinse the exposed dishes I will use anyway. I love the look of not matching, my collection is all colors of white and all kinds of different dishes almost all cheap from estate sales or auctions. I love the look it would be totally worth whatever I need to do to have it. And I love to see it on all the blogs I read, it’s probably the photo I save the most.

Mary B December 7, 2014 - 11:48 pm

I love the images. But I know that items seldom used will be exposed to cooking grease, dust, whatever. I love the image of the jars on shelves. Would be great for items used regularly. But I would think glass ware would be better in a cupboard. I like the ideas suggested above of some open shelves and some cabinets.

And I agree, it has a lot to do with how “perfect” you like your kitchen to look. Are you a bare counter person or comfortable with some clutter.

lissy parker December 9, 2014 - 10:07 pm

I love my open shelving!I store my everyday dishes and glasses on them. They are ‘everyday’ dishes—so they are always being washed. I have just purchased glass jars from the Container Store and am reorganizing my pantry. Martha Stewart would be proud!
xo, lissy

Grace Vieaux December 10, 2014 - 3:36 am

I personally love the look of open shelving. It has this delightfully deconstructed look about it. About your worries of having it constantly arranged/symmetrical, I think that disarray in the dishes and mismatching adds charm and practicality. Dust, however, could be an issue. Perhaps for glasses, turn them upside down to minimize the need to frequently wash? Just a thought.
Bonne chance!!

Lynne December 10, 2014 - 10:04 pm

I took down my overhead cupboards about 10 years ago and loved the open shelves I replaced them with. Now I’m tired of moving and dusting everything so I’m replacing the shelves with glass fronted cabinets so it should still look open but be much easier to clean.

Merry Christmas! I look forward to seeing your blog in my emails every day. I get lots of ideas and inspiration. Christmas here in Australia is usually sweltering so its hard for me to imagine Christmas in winter.

Sue December 11, 2014 - 3:51 am

Sharon: I have open shelving and I love it! All my dishes do not match which gives it character. My shelving is not near my stove so grease is not a problem. These dishes are used everyday. Therefore, dust has not been an issue.

I love the look and it makes me feel as if I am in a villa in France or Italy. An American girl can dream she is in flat in Paris! If you send me your email address, I would be happy to share my photos. Good luck with your remodel and I cant wait to see how it comes out.

bonnie December 15, 2014 - 10:15 am

I’m late on this as I just discovered your blog. I’m in France too, but at the opposite end (south). I second Sue’s comment. I have open shelving as I need the space and its very handy for things I use all the time. My everyday dishes are fine to look at, they are all old French things. Like Sue, my stove is not near the shelving so grease is not a problem. I have had open shelving that was primarily display, and the problem was that when you want to use something its dusty. With those parameters, I think you would be very happy with your open shelves.

Suzanne December 12, 2014 - 9:29 am

I loved having glass front upper cabinets in San Francisco kitchen–pretty and practical.

sherry klusman December 15, 2014 - 12:26 pm

It has taken me years to organize my various kitchens to where I can cook at a glance in the perfect pot and serve in the perfect bowl. Industrial chrome shelving placed on a long granite counter against a huge north facing window provides ease for all my creative cooking. Yes this area has been added to my weekly dusting but that’s okay. My life-long collection of cookbooks continues the look. I’ve become my on Sur la Table! Great fun!

Deborah December 18, 2014 - 12:58 am

I think open shelving is extremely limiting. It works well, as you pointed out, when everything is color coordinated and always tidy. Note, never do you see real “products” in any kitchen shot or children and husbands who often do not share the same sense of order. Anything with a label is to be shuffled off to the pantry; which is absolutely required in this kitchen plan. I frankly cannot live without a pantry where the jumble of product is hidden and managed (somewhat). My perfect kitchen would have to the side a small butler’s pantry with counters on both sides of a narrow room that at the end has a window that reaches down to the counter providing natural lighting on a pastry stone. On one side of the room the shelves would be full of serving trays, holiday dinnerware and on the other side a pantry full of baking supplies, flour, spices, etc. Alas, to dream!

Holly December 21, 2014 - 10:54 pm

We are building a new home, and we are using old reclaimed wood for open shelving. I think they look beautiful. The dusting might be painful

Sandy Jones December 28, 2014 - 12:42 am

I hang my cookwear on a wall and that works very well. Glass doors on cabinets will give you the open feel but keep things cleaner. Love your blog and reading comments. Happy New Year.

Cheryl January 8, 2015 - 11:54 pm

I wish that I could post a photo here……….. then I could show you all my jars, where I store my foodstuffs. My partner and I have a very rural maison secondaire in the Centre of France and to keep everything fresh and airtight, I use a collection of vintage jars that we have bought at the various local brocantes. They are a very practical edition to our old stone kitchen.

kiwiluccio January 13, 2015 - 3:27 pm

How safe is open shelving, in the event of an earthquake…?

bonnie January 13, 2015 - 3:31 pm

Depends on the sort of earthquake. I lived in CA most of my life so have experienced a few! A friend of mine told me of one in Big Bear, CA about 20 years ago which was so violent it threw open the kitchen cupboard doors and tossed everything inside to the wall on the other side of the room. Hmmmm…….

kiwiluccio January 13, 2015 - 3:40 pm

We’re still getting aftershocks from the Christchurch earthquakes of a few years ago; it certainly changes the way one thinks about things….

Joanna Pearson January 13, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Love an open shelf for that cafe vibe..all our gleaming pans are on one.
We use them everyday & it is so handy to see & reach up & grab one.
Preferable to clanging around in a drawer or cupboard.
Emptying them from the dishwasher is so easy too.
most have lids so dust isn’t a problem.
Whilst most of my china(all gorgeous & not all white)is within a cupboard, I have lovely tureens & mismatched china on a dresser.
Do these ultra clean freaks ever go camping?
my china is all spotless & so are my pans!

Gail January 13, 2015 - 5:05 pm

Love the look. Hate the grease and grime that inevitably accumulate on everything. Gladd doors are a good compromise.

noelle January 13, 2015 - 6:34 pm

You just listed every reason why I find this concept unappealing. I have never tried it for those reasons in addition to the fact that I think it looks unattractive. Even though proponents say it is convenient and makes the kitchen feel larger, I believe this is a fad. I love the look of quality cabinetry 🙂

Debra February 7, 2015 - 3:33 pm

I’m not someone who likes to dust so open shelves are not for this girl!
My next kitchen will not have lower cabinets but drawers for most everything! My current kitchen has one bank of drawers 30″w and 100# full extention glides. I keep silverware/misc. in the top drawer, pots and pans in the middle (saves my back) and plastic storage containers in the bottom. I have one regular bottom cabinet for the largest pots and pans. I plan to have a large walk-in pantry in my next home!
Look forward to seeing your finished kitchen!

Nina de Ruiter March 25, 2015 - 1:21 pm

I love open shelving! It looks so beautiful and sophisticated. But then, like you said, that’s only when you keep it clean and organized. And to be honest? That’s probably never gonna happen in my household, so I’m just gonna keep all my mess hidden behind cabinets.

opno April 13, 2016 - 7:49 am

I am the messiest, busiest, person in the world but I swear by open shelving—it forces me to design when I purchase, forces me to wipe down surfaces, and most stuff stays cleans through use (dishes and cooking dry goods). I always always pour anything bagged in plastic into glass containers simply for the fact that plastics touching my food isn’t a fave—glass just seems cleaner;) and prettier.

Eileen July 3, 2016 - 6:16 pm

I use my vent hood when I cook and my things definitely do NOT get covered in grease. The items on my open shelves are things I use daily and don’t have time to get dusty. Except my beautiful enamel mixing bowls. A quick wipe with a damp paper towel is all that’s needed before I use them. A small price to pay for the open airy feeling the open shelves provide. BTW – I do dust the actual shelves once every week.

Amanda September 25, 2020 - 8:45 pm

Great cuisine, thank you for your ideas and photos. I’m just planning to bring my own up to speed right now. I make a small repair and it turned out that my dryer does not work, I found an article and now I think that I will have to call the master to fix it

Olivia December 18, 2023 - 4:22 pm

Great kitchen, thanks for the photo. I want something like this for myself. Good lighting is essential in a kitchen. Include a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. I have already talked with experts from the site to create a good option with an emphasis on proper lighting


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