Open shelving is a popular trend in kitchen design that involves replacing upper cabinets with shelves that display dishes, utensils, and other items. Some people love the look of open shelving, as it can create a more spacious and airy feel, showcase their personality, and offer easy access to their kitchenware.
However, opening it is not for everyone, and it can come with some annoying drawbacks that might make you regret your decision. Here are some of the most annoying things about open shelving that you should consider before you jump on the bandwagon.
Dust, Dirt, and Grease
One of the biggest annoyances of open shelving is that it exposes everything to dust, dirt, and grease. Without doors to protect your items, they can quickly accumulate a layer of grime that requires frequent cleaning and wiping.
This can be especially troublesome if you live in a dusty area, have pets, or cook a lot of greasy food. Imagine having to wash your dishes before and after you use them, or finding a sticky residue on your favorite mug. Not very appetizing, right?
Clutter and Chaos
Certainly! You can’t just toss your stuff on the shelves and hope for the best. It takes some thought to arrange everything in a way that looks good and fits the vibe of your kitchen. Without that careful touch, those open shelves can quickly turn into a messy eyesore, throwing off the whole look.
Consider what you’re displaying too. Your kitchen is like a showcase, visible to everyone. So maybe think twice about showcasing those mismatched dishes, the sippy cups from your kids, or those random teacups. It’s all about curating a good look.
Here’s the challenge – resist the urge to buy more things just to fill up those shelves. It’s tempting, I know. But you don’t want your kitchen feeling cluttered and looking like a store display. And then there’s the frustration of not having enough space for the things you need. It’s a real balancing act.
Lack of Privacy and Security
A third annoyance of open shelving is that it offers no privacy or security for your items. Anyone who enters your kitchen can see what you have on your shelves and potentially judge you for it. If you have guests, family, or roommates, you may not want to be open about your guilty pleasures, your dietary preferences, or your habits.
You might also have to worry about your items being damaged, stolen, or misplaced by others who have access to your kitchen. For example, your roommate might borrow your expensive knife without asking, your kid might break your precious vase, or your guest might spill wine on your cookbook.
Tips for Open Shelving
If you decide to go for open shelving, here are some tips that can help you make the most of it and avoid some of the annoyances.
- Be selective in choosing items for your open shelves, focusing on frequently used items that match your style and are display-worthy.
- Store less-used items in lower cabinets, drawers, or baskets.
- Enhance the shelves with decorative elements like plants, art, or books to infuse color and personality.
- Group your items by color, shape, size, or function. This can create a more organized and harmonious look, and make it easier for you to find what you need.
- Group items using trays, baskets, jars, or boxes for a visually interesting display.
- Create contrast and texture by using different materials like wood, metal, glass, or stone.
- Add variety and movement with different styles—try floating, bracket, or ladder designs.
- Play with heights, widths, and depths for depth and dimension on your shelves.
- Keep shelves clean and tidy—this is crucial for an appealing look.
- Wipe shelves and items regularly, ideally once a week or more often if needed.
- Declutter and rearrange shelves periodically to keep things fresh and updated.
- Avoid overloading shelves to prevent a crowded and chaotic appearance.
- Install a range hood to prevent dust, dirt, and grease buildup on open shelves.
- Use a damp cloth or microfiber duster weekly to keep shelves and items clean.
- Clean dishes before placing them on shelves to avoid sticky residue.
While the allure of open shelving lies in its style and personality, the drawbacks may prompt you to prioritize convenience and comfort with closed cabinets. Whatever your choice, make it an informed one that harmonizes with your unique needs and tastes, transforming your kitchen into a space that not only looks good but also seamlessly aligns with your lifestyle.