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  • Writer's pictureChris Arnett

Open Cabinet Shelving, The Ups and Downs

Open Shelving vs. Traditional Cabinets: Which is Right for Your Kitchen?

The modern kitchen has seen a variety of trends come and go, but one debate remains consistent: open shelving versus traditional cabinets. Both have their proponents and their critics, with each offering a distinct aesthetic and functionality. If you're in the midst of a kitchen redesign or merely contemplating a future remodel, understanding the pros and cons of each can help guide your decision.

Open Shelving: The Pros

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Open shelves give kitchens a modern, airy feel. They can make a space look larger and provide an opportunity to showcase beautiful dishware, glassware, or decorative items.

  2. Easy Access: For those who love to cook, having dishes and ingredients in plain sight and within arm's reach can streamline the cooking process.

  3. Flexibility: Open shelves offer flexibility in arrangement. You can easily change up the decor or items on display with the seasons or your mood.

Open Shelving: The Cons

  1. Dust and Grime: Open shelves can collect dust more quickly than closed cabinets. If not used regularly, dishes might need a rinse before use.

  2. Visual Clutter: Without the organization, open shelves can look cluttered. It requires a more meticulous approach to ensure they look tidy.

  3. Less Storage: Generally, open shelves might not hold as much as cabinets, especially those with bulkier items or those you wish to hide away.

Traditional Cabinets: The Pros

  1. Ample Storage: Traditional cabinets usually provide more storage space and allow you to tuck away appliances, dishes, and other items for a streamlined look.

  2. Protection from Dust: With doors to shield contents, cabinets protect your items from dust and grime, reducing the need for frequent cleaning.

  3. Consistent Aesthetic: Cabinets offer a uniform appearance, which many homeowners prefer for its classic and organized feel.

Traditional Cabinets: The Cons

  1. Can Feel Bulky: In smaller kitchens, too many cabinets can make the space feel cramped or dark.

  2. Harder to Access: It's easy to forget or lose items in the back of deep cabinets.

  3. Cost: Quality cabinetry can be a significant expense, especially if opting for custom designs. Having an open shelving concept, even on just a few cabinet boxes can save time when refacing your kitchen cabinets.

The choice between open shelving and traditional cabinets often boils down to personal preference. Consider your kitchen's size, your storage needs, and the aesthetic you hope to achieve. Some homeowners even choose a combination of both, enjoying the best of both worlds. Whether you lean towards the openness of shelves or the classic appeal of cabinets, ensure it aligns with your lifestyle and the functionality you desire for your kitchen. Contact us today and we can discuss how to modify your kitchen cabinets to incorporate this trend.

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