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Pros and Cons of Open Kitchen Shelving

Open kitchen shelving has gained a lot of traction recently. Some consider it a lovely option, as seen in many modern Pinterest kitchens. Others think open shelving is an impractical choice that gathers dust. 

Should you try this trend or go for classic cabinets? This post features the pros and cons of open kitchen shelving so you can decide if it works for your needs!

Pros of open kitchen shelving

Open kitchen shelving is a versatile choice that flatters many different kitchen styles. It’s ideal for displaying seasonal items and showing off your decorating skills.

Spacious feel

Open kitchen shelving makes the space look roomier. Having these as an alternative to cupboards makes a kitchen feel more open. Plus, open shelving lets the beautiful backsplash stand out. 


If you’re concerned about price, keep in mind that open shelving is cheaper. It takes more materials to construct cabinets, so this solution will reduce the overall cost of your kitchen. 

Fits any space

The shelving is easily customizable so that it can even fit odd kitchen layouts. Think of that awkwardly placed window or ceiling slope that makes it impossible to add cabinets. In such cases, open shelving creates visual balance in your kitchen design. 

Perfect for creating stylish displays

Open kitchen shelving isn’t only reserved for storing dishes. You can also create a stylish display of your wooden charcuterie boards, favorite cookbooks, pitchers, or any other decorative objects that strengthen your decor theme. 

Have everything within arm’s reach

Open kitchen shelving is perfect for storing your ingredients and spices to keep those countertops tidy. People who love to cook will appreciate having everything within arm’s reach. 

Photo Credits: Modern Glam

Cons of open kitchen shelving

Open shelving can look cluttered and messy if you don’t curate it. Also, you might need to get new dishware that matches your design aesthetic.

Hard to maintain

Open shelves in the kitchen take a lot of work to maintain. Also, all the dust and dirt comes into contact with your dishes, so you must clean the shelves frequently. If you don’t have the time and energy to do so, it’s probably better to go for closed cabinets. 

Everything is on display

Since everything is visible, you want to be picky about the items you show off. Remember, you need to display your best pieces for your kitchen to look stylish and tasteful. Those chipped mugs might not bring the aesthetic you’re looking for, so a new matching set might be in order.

Cluttered appearance

When you look at all those dreamy Instagram kitchens, that open shelving is a desirable aesthetic. Of course, they were styled before shooting, and every single detail is perfect. However, this will probably not work in everyday life since you might not have the time to style your kitchen every day. 

Photo Credits: Sunny Circle Studio
Photo Credits: The Home I Create
open kitchen shelving
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Photo Credits: Graceful Mommy
Photo Credits: DIY In PDX
Photo Credits: The Woodgrain Cottage
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Photo Credits: Jenna Sue Design

Kristina Shestakova

Kristina is a home decor enthusiast that loves to share practical tips. With more than 5 years in the interior design content writing niche, she has lots to share. She is obsessed with Pinterest, looking for the most creative ideas for your inspiration. Hopefully, this will motivate you to create the home you always wanted.

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