HomeDesignPros and Cons of Open Kitchen Shelving

Pros and Cons of Open Kitchen Shelving

Open shelving has been dominating kitchen design ideas recently due to its laid-back, minimalist style. Whether you want to do away completely with cupboards, or simply like the idea of a cluster of shelves in a corner, the trend has a number of aesthetic and organisational benefits. Open shelving can create a sense of warmth and casual style within your kitchen. However, it can also have the opposite effect if not executed well. Want to know just how? We’ve listed the pros and cons of open shelving for you below. 


Pro: Open shelves increase your storage options

If you opt for a wall of open shelves above a cooking station or your sink, depending on how high you place them, you’ve essentially got full accessibility. There’s no need to worry about reaching into difficult corners or behind awkwardly-placed items to get what you’re after.


Con: Too much storage may not be a good thing

Just because you’ve got the space for something, doesn’t mean it should be on display. Open shelving is prime real estate in your kitchen. If you’re going to install open shelves, make sure they’re reserved for the items you use most frequently, and that you actually enjoy looking at. Colour coordinate what you place up there for a sense of consistency.


Pro: It’s warm and inviting to guests

Open shelving invites visitors into the kitchen, and clear visibility means no one needs to ask where something is kept, creating a sense of familiarity and comfort. 


Con: Everything is on display

As with anything, you should choose wisely what you have on display. Refrain from storing things like souvenir cups and mismatched bowls on your open shelves, as it can make your kitchen look cluttered.


Pro: Cleaning is a breeze

With no doors or partitions to get around, cleaning your open shelving is simple and easy. Because you’re likely using the items stored on your open shelves quite frequently, they’re less prone to gathering dust, and you can simply wipe your shelves down whilst your dishes are being washed.


Con: When the shelves are dirty, you can tell

With open shelving, unfortunately, you can’t simply shut the cupboard door and hide the dirt. This means you have to be vigilant about keeping up with your cleaning. An important habit to get into!


Pro: Shelves are much easier to organise

Open shelving is convenient for entertainers, as it means guests who help with the tidying up know where every item lives. A good organisation tip for open shelving: keep like with like. Place bowls, plates and other dishes together, and cups, mugs and glasses together. This keeps your shelves looking uniform and neat. 


Con: Shelf depth can be a curse

When choosing your shelves, it’s important they’re not too deep that you can fit too many items behind one another. Opt for shelves that are narrower than your lower cabinets, because if you can store too much on your open shelves, you risk making your kitchen look cluttered and crowded.


Pro: It’s cost-effective

Open shelving eliminates the need for complete cabinetry, shaving off a large chunk of your total bill. Because of its simplicity, open shelving can also be installed in a day, making it one of the simplest kitchen design updates you can opt for.


Con: Open shelving can look cheap

The same can be said for anything done on a budget in your kitchen. Because open shelving stands out against the rest of your cabinetry, it’s likely to draw the most attention, and as such it’s important to choose materials that look and feel high-quality. This also means it is probably not suitable for the entire kitchen. Choose one wall space that you think would look good with open shelves, that is convenient for accessing the items you use most frequently, and install open shelves there as a feature. 


Open kitchen shelving is a popular kitchen design trend featured in our most recent eBook. Download the exclusive kitchen design guide now.

FacebookLinkedInTwitterCopy Link