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The Pros and Cons of Open Kitchen Shelves
03 November 2016

The Pros and Cons of Open Kitchen Shelves

Boise Granite | Granite Boise

More homeowners are selecting open shelving in the kitchen over cabinetry. It's gotten so popular that homeowners and designers debate on whether open shelves are better for kitchens. Luckily, homeowners will receive both sides of the open shelves debate right here.

Before highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of open shelves, understand that open shelves come in two forms. The first is cabinet form. Cabinet open shelving is like a standard cabinet without the door. It is eerily similar to a bookshelf. The second is the most common type. Imagine a cabinet without the four walls surrounding it. The freeing result from both is what attracts homeowners to open shelving from the start. What are other advantages and disadvantages of open shelves?

Advantages
1. Open shelves are spacious. It makes the kitchen feel large and airy because the cabinet door is nonexistent and everything is easy to view.
2. Item placement is easy to view. Cookware, glasses, plates and silverware are easy to find with open shelving. The grab and go method cuts down on kitchen prep time as well.
3. Open shelves are decorative. The items on shelves double as kitchen décor while remaining functional.
4. It makes small kitchens appear larger. Cabinets are bulky storage spaces that turn smaller kitchens into cramped space. Open shelving expands the space, making it appear larger.

Disadvantages
1. Shelves get crowded. Too many items on open shelves represent clutter and disorganization. You can see when items are becoming junky.
2. Open shelves require maintenance. Unlike cabinets that secure dust, open shelves are prone to dust. It will require consistent dusting to maintain open shelving's attractiveness.
3. Open shelves are hazardous. Unless you live alone, with a spouse, and/or with teenagers, open shelving is dangerous. Small children can mess with something on the shelf and injure themselves.
4. Visitors can view open shelving items. View this as positive (conversation piece) or negative (theft).

In terms of storage space, choosing open shelves is never a right or wrong answer. It weighs heavily on preference. Invest in open shelves only if you are comfortable with the advantages and disadvantages.

image via hgtv.com

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