4 Reasons to Use Open Shelving In Your Kitchen

A slight kitchen remodel is in our future (at some point) here on Pearl Street and I am trying to convince my hubby to let me do away with the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving.  He looked at me like I had two heads when I suggested it.  Using open shelving in your kitchen is on trend right now, but it is not a new concept.

Long before people could afford cabinets that hung on the wall to hide away their dishes and food stores, open shelving was the norm.  It was practical and convenient.  No one cared if the dishes all matched or that the spices were in matching bottles.  It was a simpler time.

Fast forward to today and open shelving is coming back in a BIG way.  It doesn’t matter if your style is farmhouse or modern, there is an open shelving option for everyone.

You may be saying NO WAY!  Open shelving in your kitchen may not be for you, but let me make my case and then decide.  If you are still in the NO camp at the end, we can still be friends.  It’s about creating a home you love and that tells your story, so that is all the really matters in the end.


4 reasons to say yes to open shelving in your kitchen

Reason #1 to Use Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

They are practical.  Yep, it is still a practical solution for any kitchen.  No need to dig into the back of the cabinet for your glass baking dish, it’s right there in plain sight.  All of the things you use on a daily basis are right there for easy access.  When you clean them there will be no raised lip to try to wipe the dirt out and over. Also, no more doors that won’t close or won’t stay open (this happens in our kitchen on a regular basis)

Reason #2 to Use Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

They will help you stay organized.  You can put all the things on them if you want, but it might end up looking like a bad thrift store if you do.  Open shelving will force you to edit what you have and only keep what you really use.  Does anyone really need to keep all those plastic containers their margarine came in?  Real butter in sticks my friends….but that’s a whole other blog post.

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer via hgtv.com

Reason #3 to Use Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

They will lighten and brighten your kitchen.  Cabinets can be real light blockers. It seems like kitchen designers put them EVERYWHERE (all for the sake of storage), even around the windows making us have to rely on artificial light to do anything.  I want sunshine in my kitchen so the cabinets have to go!  Sunshine promotes good feelings and good health…give me all the sunshine!

Photo by: Emily J. Followill via hgtv.com

Reason #4 to Use Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

You can decorate them….duh.  Nothing looks prettier than cookbooks all lined up in a row (you might use them if you can see them) or fresh herbs in pots (if you are into that sort of thing).  My favorite thing to display on the two small shelves I have managed to add next to our sink are cutting boards.  The wood tones really add warmth and depth to the space (and make people think that I actually cook a lot)

Open shelving in your kitchen is a great place to display cutting boards and other kitchen accessories that you use every day.
Photo by: David Livingston

Myths About Having Open Shelving In Your Kitchen

My hubby’s biggest complaint about open shelving is that he doesn’t want dust in his food.  Dishes that you use and wash every day won’t have a time to collect dust in them.  Even Joanna Gaines says so.

He also doesn’t want to see a hodge podge of stuff on them.  We have been working to edit what we have and now have a set of dishes that mostly matches (even if they didn’t I think it would be eclectic cool).  We have mostly matching coffee mugs and drinking cups because we did a big purge last month before our garage sale.

Truth be told, DECORATING AS A COUPLE can be tough and compromise is key.  We will be taking down the old laundry closet in the kitchen and he said he would be okay with open shelving on that wall.  YAY!

Open shelving in the kitchen has made a BIG comeback.  It is practical, it will help you stay organized, it will allow your kitchen to be lighter and brighter, and you can use it as another place to tell your story by decorating.

Yay or nay for open shelving in your kitchen?  Did I change your mind if you were on team “NO!”?  Please tell me in the comments below.

Until next time,


Similar Posts


  1. When we moved in, there was just one random cabinet above our coffee area, so I talked my husband into taking it down. (his biggest objection was the dust, too) We replaced the cabinet with DIY open shelving and love it so far! He’s even talking about taking down another cabinet or two

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *