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Open concept kitchen shelving: 6 things to know

Last modified: 2019-04-05 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Opening shelving in a kitchen is modern and fresh, especially if you’re fairly proud of your matching dish sets or antique glassware. This look can be easily adopted in almost any type of kitchen to seamlessly match with your home décor. However, there are some practical aspects to consider when working with an open shelving unit, and the maintenance may not be for everyone. We’re going to list some of the fundamental things to know when working with open shelving in your kitchen!

6 things to know about open kitchen shelving

1- Group things together in a practical way

open shelving
source: unsplash

Although displaying an array of all of your best dishware might seem like the right way to approach open shelving, we would suggest taking a more organized approach. A straightforward and practical way to own open shelving is to group items together in categories. If possible, keep specific kinds of dishware isolated to their own shelf or to a section of a shelf. If space doesn’t allow for this, group everyday items like plates, bowls and cups together and keep baking trays, pots and pans in their own section.

2- Try combining open and closed shelving

Now, this article is definitely in favour of open shelving but of course, we do recognize that it isn’t practical for all types of dishware. Consider using open concept shelving for dishes alone, naturally piling things to look streamlined and as mentioned, grouping them by colour or material. There are no specific stacking techniques when it comes to open concept, but things should stay tidy as they're constantly visible. This concept will work best if the dishes you’ve chosen to display can coordinate.

For bigger or unsightly items, closed concept shelving can still be employed. This is a place to put any awkward pieces of dishware that might off-set everything in your carefully designed sections. Keep closed shelving lower down or tucked away if possible. Also worth mentioning is that open concept shelving shouldn’t only include your decorative pieces, but should display items that can also be used for everyday drinking and dining.

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3- Open shelving will make your kitchen brighter and more inviting


source: unsplash

One of the key benefits of having open shelving is the way that it will transform the entire mood of a kitchen. This is especially true for guests who will be able to access anything they need by simply taking a look at your shelves. Open shelving avoids the hassle of guests and loved ones having to rummage through your cupboards looking for a cup, making more of a mess in the end. Not only is open concept shelving inviting, but it works to brighten up a space. If your kitchen is dark or cramped as a result of upper cabinets or outdated armoires, tearing these down or even simply removing the doors allows light to pour through the room, helping to open up small or dark spaces.

4- Consider ways to deal with a dusty home

One of the main issues with open concept shelving is dust. It's often argued that dust will easily collect on exposed dishes as opposed to dishes that are tucked away in your cupboard. Bear in mind that if the dishes you’ve chosen to display can be used, then it’s unlikely they’ll sit there long enough to collect a significant amount of dust. 

However, if you find dust is a persistent problem, just make sure to regularly dust the shelving as well as cleaning your dishes. This might seem like extra work in an already busy room of the home, but we promise the look and feel of open concept shelving will be well worth it.

5- Open concept shelving is inexpensive and easy to maintain

If you’ve renovated a kitchen before, it’s likely that you know kitchen renovations aren’t cheap to begin with. If you’re considering installing new cabinets, after doing a bit of research you’ll realize that these will cost much more than open concept shelving. If you’re looking for a way to modernize a dated kitchen but your budget won’t allow for a full-blown renovation, open concept shelving can breathe new life and air into a space.

Not only is this renovation project budget friendly, but it makes your dishware much easier to maintain and organize. In most cases, all of your dishware will find its way back to the spot where it belongs, especially if you’ve helped family or loved ones to understand your use of open concept shelving. 

6- Try it before you buy it


source: unsplash

Open shelving is not for everyone, but luckily it’s easy to try before you renovate your entire kitchen. Do a little test run by removing the doors of your existing cabinets and seeing how it feels in relation to your kitchen. This is an excellent way to see how it translates to your space, while keeping things within a budget.

This can offer you insight into whether or not you actually like the way that open shelving looks as well as whether you’re able to stay organized enough to maintain this style. If you ultimately decide that it isn’t for you, then you can simply reattach the doors back onto their hinges without too much of a fuss. 

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