Open shelving in the kitchen: Yay or nay?


This trend has been around for some time now. Some love it and others hate it but open shelving in the kitchen still appears in photo after beautifully styled photo.

The concept is simple – bring out your beautiful and loved crockery to be displayed on easily accessible shelving. The downside is an increased need for dusting and carefully arranged shelves.

Says Apartment Therapy: “It is a good look but you have to be cool with putting it all “out there” and also have the confidence that you have enough “pretty” stuff to put on show along with enough closed storage to hide the rest of it.”

Elle Decor agrees people are divided about their feelings for this design choice.

“There are few design decisions that draw as much controversy as open shelving. The critics are up in arms about the extra work needed to keep it clean—the enthusiasts love the incentive to stay tidy. One side hates having their pieces out for the world to see, the other appreciates a great display. One thing’s certain: It inspires a great debate.”



An idea which many people are making use of is to combine open shelving with closed cabinetry to ensure you can hide mismatched crockery and seldom used kitchen appliances.

A survey on Apartment Therapy found most people dislike open shelving because it can collect dust.

“Others really love it, and most fall in between, in the ‘open shelving is beautiful, but I’d really love a few cabinets to hide the ugly dishes in’ camp. So we’ve gathered some inspiration for all your happy medium-ers: a whole bunch of beautiful kitchens that combine open shelving and closed upper cabinets, beautifully.”


Something to think about

Aside from the usual concerns about open shelving, there is another reason to consider avoiding it. Apparently it isn’t good Feng Shui for your home.

Open Space Feng Shui says: “The knife-edges of open shelves create ‘sha chi’, or poison arrows, aimed right at you. Open shelves invite dust and clutter, violating the #1 rule of good Feng Shui, to keep your space clean and clutter-free.”

Despite this, these shelves continue to pop up everywhere and don’t seem to be going anywhere soon.

Image: Apartment Therapy


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