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Use Open Shelving In Kitchen Design

How to save money, create great visual impact, and get efficient kitchen storage at the same time!

Kitchen Cabinets and Shelves Mix Great

One of the hottest new trends in kitchen design is the use of open shelves in-place of traditional upper cabinets. As usual, the use of the word “new” isn’t entirely accurate. Open shelves in kitchens have been around forever. Pretty much because they rock.

10 Easy DIY Shelves {plans and tutorials}

Open Shelves Look Fantastic

When considering open shelves for your kitchen storage, we should dispense with trying to start off with practical reasons. The number one reason to use open shelves in kitchen design is because it looks absolutely amazing!

The availability of great looking stuff to put on those shelves is a big help. Colorful bowls and pretty dishes combine with ultra sharp looking mixing bowls, giant spoons, and shiny small appliances to make the whole thing look like a resort kitchen.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the whole kitchen looks about twice the size and about ten times as bright and airy. I’m just sayin.

Open Shelves Are Efficient Storage

Let’s face the facts. Upper cabinet storage has never been ideal. First of all, it’s not easy to reach way up there. Shelves don’t fix that, but what they do fix is that you can see what in the world you’re trying to reach. The framework around cabinets makes the storage area darker and it invites the storage technique known as “jamming”.

Open shelves may not be able to be crammed full, but you still have base cabinets for that! They end-up being efficient storage that you can access much easier, and don’t get all cluttered up with jamming.

Open Shelves Are Cheap

I probably should say “dirt cheap” because in reality, compared to cabinetry, there is almost no comparison. I’ll throw a contractor number out there off the top of my head. A six foot long run of upper cabinets in a nice kitchen might run about $1,000.00 with the range being from half that to double that or more.

A 6′ run of open shelving, even nicely done with quality materials, shouldn’t run you more than $500 or so and I’m being conservative. If you do it yourself, you’re looking at $50.00 in materials!

The bottom line is we’re talking cheap, cheap, cheap, compared to regular cabinets.

Is Open Shelving for You?

The biggest concern I’ve heard has been dust and dirt on the dishes. Is that something that worries you? Do these great benefits outweight that concern?

I think when we get around to our kitchen, at least part of the design will include shelving for storage.

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