5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen

With the trend veering towards more casual-style kitchens that are uber-functional & strategically layed-out, I see that homeowners are ditching the doors and instead opting for a more open, airy look.

When thinking about renovating, remodeling, or simply making a few minor modifications, you must consider open shelves.  Open shelves not only create for a larger-feeling space, but  also allow you to add in tons of color.  I feel an open shelf or shelves are a must for the “hub” of the home.

Come check out my 5 reasons to choose open shelves in the kitchen…

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelves

1. Color

With a long line of base and upper cabinets taking up most of a kitchen space, there is often little or no way to introduce color.  Smartly, homeowners often choose neutral colors for their kitchen cabinets so they can “live” longer without being dated or tired.  BUT, and here’s a big ole’ but, by removing the cabinet door(s) and/or having open shelves, a pop of color can be introduced giving depth and intrigue to a space.

For example, Brittany chose to remove the doors on the cabinets that flank the sink and added fabric backing.  With white cabinets + white tile, there was little option for color, but this inexpensive upgrade really jazzed up her home’s hub in no time.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesClick to read full tutorial on how-to add fabric backing

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelves

No matter the size or configuration of your cabinets, you can absolutely add depth and an unexpected detail to them by adding in color & pattern.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesvia wood + wool

It’s always been questioned if black is a color, but either way I have to say I think adding a chalkboard surface to the back of an open cabinet is certainly interesting, different, and fun!  It truly makes the elements that are layered in front, stand out.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelves

A pop of color at the back of cabinets (similar to bookcases) makes for an eye-popping and fun composition.  Look how those gorgeous white plates stand out against the turquoise back!

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesturquoise backed shelves via Coastal Living

2. Color (no that’s not a mistake – I know I already said color, but this is color in a different way)

Not only can color be introduced by what you put on the back of a cabinet or shelf, but open shelving allows the items on them to “speak”.  So much color can be added into a space by the dishes, glasses, bowls, and other elements that are displayed.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvescustom wall shelf in canary yellow

Hello color!  A neutral cabinet is the perfect compliment to this colorful and bold collection.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesvia Life in Grace

3. Easy Access

Who wouldn’t like a few less steps throughout the day?  ME!  And who would love to stop bugging their kids (or hubbies) about not closing the cabinet doors? ME!  Open shelves make life a little easier.  Why?  Because of the ease of access.  One turn and grab, and you have a dish in hand.

Think about taking doors off your existing cabinets.  It’s amazing how easily accessible your dishware can be!  Display what you have…

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesvia BHG

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesfeatured on Apartment Therapy

4. Height

Choosing or modifying an existing kitchen with open shelves really heightens the space. With the things that are displayed on the shelf, the eye is drawn up to the ceiling.  No need to have the eye stop at a typical soffit that runs across the top of the cabinets.  By going as high as you can with open shelving, you not only have more storage space, but the room will feel alot larger.

By continuing the backsplash tile from the countertop to the ceiling, the entire space feels larger with the use of one material.  The eye is not only drawn up to the ceiling with the tile, but the open shelves make this space feel more open and airy.

0222_shelves01 via YHL

In this space, 3 rows of shelves filled with beautiful dishes draw the eye up which heightens the room.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelvesvia BHG

5. Display Collections

Kitchens are a great place to surround yourself with meaningful things.  Whether a collection of spoons, tea pots, cups + saucers, or cookbooks, since the kitchen is probably one of the spaces you spend most of your day, why not fill it with what you love.  Instead of doors hiding all the things you treasure most, display them on an open shelf to continually admire throughout the day.

A collection of cook books is most apprepos in a kitchen.  They not only are functional, but the bindings add such great color into the space.  This kitchen has dark cabinets, so the openness of the shelves makes the space feel larger and taller.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelveskitchen space with open shelves for cookbooks

Ceramics or teapots are another favorite to display in the kitchen.  I love how shelves were added in front of the sink window of this kitchen and an array of soft-colored ceramic dishes, bowls, vases, and pots are stylish displayed.  What a fantastic idea and certainly something that can be added to any existing kitchen layout.

5 Reasons to Choose Open Shelves in the Kitchen: Showcasing examples + ideas for open shelves

Kitchens should not be thought of as a utilitarian space.  With the growth of open concept floor plans, the style and integration of the kitchen is important.  Instead of thinking about kitchen cabinets as a place solely for food storage, think of them more as a bookcase.  What should be closed behind doors and what can be open to display.  FYI: Open cabinets are also great way to stay organized and neat…




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. Michelle says

    Love this post! I would like to do this in my kitchen. Lots of great examples you’ve highlighted. Thanks. :)

  2. says

    Hey Jenna!

    I just came across your blog, I am loving the advice and tips! Love this post, but I have a query; I am confused. Won’t open shelving create visual clutter? I love the concept of openness, but will it really be achieved. What can I do to avoid the clutter effect?

    Hope to get your feedback on this!
    Cheers,
    Eva

    • Jenna says

      Just the opposite. With open shelving you force yourself to keep things neat and at a minimal with the most needed items – like the example photos. I find that closed shelves or closets sometimes allow for things that really aren’t needed. Yes, of course you want some closed shelving for items that you don’t want to see, but a nice balance of open and closed is ideal!

  3. says

    I am really pleased to read such an informative post on kitchen interior decoration. I agree open shelves in a kitchen have several benefits. I am planning to re-decor my kitchen this Christmas so I will definitely discuss this with my home decorator.

  4. says

    Open concept shelving is a look that can be translated across many decor styles. You’ve given so many terrific ideas for making it work both aesthetically and functionally. Thanks!

  5. Kevin Carney says

    I love the idea of incorporation color into the kitchen by having bright colors on the back wall of open cabinets. The example you show in blue is really striking. I’m glad I stumbled across your blog.