open kitchen shelves vs closed cabinets


The trend for kitchen storage solutions has been to have open kitchen shelves and putting all your cookware, dinnerware and glassware on display. I do prefer this open shelf design in stead of closed cabinets but here are some disadvantages involved. The main one is that you can’t conceal clutter. You have to be organised, placing back every item in the proper position to avoid that the open shelf look messy and unorganized. Also, the shelves should be washed frequently as they become dirty from house dust and cooking grease. What do you prefer: closed cabinets or open shelves?

natural style






(image source: 1. Elisabeth Heier, 2. Chris Everard, 3. Helt Enkelt, 4. Basic Label, 5. Martha Stewart, 6. RUM, 7. Andalusia House)

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  • Open shelves are beautiful and warm, but if you live in the countryside is terrible!! I can’t keep dust away from my closed cabinets!!

  • Wow, wat een mooie foto’s! Gaaf die naturel kleuren en verschillend materiaalgebruik. Ik vind alles open wel heel mooi, maar jeetje ik zie mezelf toch niet bij elk gebruik die borden en glazen opnieuw afstoffen. Oplossing: glaswerk en servies wat je dagelijks gebruikt in een kast en leuke decoratie wat je eventueel zo nu en dan gebruikt op planken uitstallen, en dan toch maar zo nu en dan de stofdoek eroverheen. Je moet er wat voor over hebben he 🙂

  • If I lived in an apartment, open shelving is what I’d definitely do.
    Being that I live in a house surrounded by dirt roads AND I like to keep windows open almost all day long….unfortunately no! It’d be a constant pain to keep plates and utensils clean.
    But oh how I’d love my all-white plates and pans on display….

  • Open shelving looks better, but the other way is better if you don’t like to clean a lot 🙂 I got them both, one way in our summerhouse, and the other way at home.

  • I love open shelving and use it in my kitchen. I use a large restaurant rack for the bulk of my items, with serveware and wine glasses on uppermost rack and toaster and such within reach and pots and utensils hanging.
    On another wall, 2 long narrow shelves of mason jars for dry goods storage- all within sight. I love to see what I have when I’m cooking.
    My kitchen is small so I only keep what I use- means that everything is in constant use and gets washed or wiped as we use it. Even the serveware is used often, platters and nibble bowls are on the table daily for the kids to help themselves to sliced fruit or veggies and nuts.
    The exception is the wine glasses that just get put in the dishwasher periodically to take care of dust- as the only one in the house who drinks wine, the glasses are only used when we have guests.

  • I think that open shelving is beautiful, but will never have here in San Francisco. Forget the grease and clutter issues—I’m worried about an earthquake and pets/little kids being bombarded with flying dishes. It’s lovely for those not in earthquake country though…

  • Open shelves look very nice, but it’s completely impossible in Moscow. There are a lot of dust here:(
    If I had such a nice open furniture, I would clean it every second day:( I can only dreaming about:)