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The Pros and Cons of Open Shelving

Open shelving in kitchen remodel

Open shelving is a hot topic when it comes to kitchen renovations. You either love them, or you hate them. It's time we dive into the real pros and cons of open shelving for your kitchen.


There are so many reasons why someone would want to install open shelves in their kitchen. One of the biggest reasons is because you can easily access everything you need when you are cooking. Whether you are reaching for your spices or serving dishes, everything is right in front of you and within an easy reach. You can also see everything right in front of you, making prep work quicker.

Instead of installing chunky cabinet boxes in the kitchen, many people are opting to open the kitchen up by installing open shelves. This works particularly well if you have a small kitchen. Utilizing open shelves helps to open the space and not feel as cramped. Depending on the type of shelves you choose to install, your shelves may not even come out as far as cabinet boxes will, opening the space up even more.

We're always looking for the "new thing" when it comes to home renovations. While open shelves is not a new concept, we are finding that people still choose to install open shelves to create a "trendier" kitchen or even to match the overall aesthetics of the house. For example, if your home is on the more modern or industrial side, you may want to add the simple look of open shelves to your kitchen. Something else that people are doing is adding open shelves in addition to keeping the cabinet boxes. We love this look because it allows you to have a few open shelves, but you still have a lot of closed storage space, if you tend to be on the messy side.

Now, let's talk about the most important thing when it comes to renovation projects: money. The good news is that if you are on a money crunch and you want to install open shelves, it is usually much more cost-effective to install open cabinets, as opposed to cabinet boxes. Each project is different, of course, so consult with your designer for a more accurate estimate. To get a better idea of how much your open shelves will cost, contact one of our designers.

Live walnut floating shelves in kitchen remodel


Unfortunately, not everything is perfect and open shelves are no different. One of the biggest qualms people have with open shelves is that you have to keep everything clean and organized. You don't want people to have to look at walls of mess and clutter in your kitchen and honestly, they don't want to look at it either. If you are going to commit to open shelves, you have to commit to being cleaner and more organized in your kitchen. Of course, if you are planning to use the shelves for decorations and not for dishes, this may be an easier task for you.

On top of having to eliminate clutter, you must make it a point to dust your shelves and its contents regularly. We suggest storing everyday objects on the shelves, as they are less likely to collect dust. If you are displaying decor, you will have to clean those items more regularly.

Whether you choose to install full cabinet boxes or open shelves, there is a lot to consider. If you want the look of open shelves, are you okay with having to keep everything clean and uncluttered, or does that sound like more work than it's worth? No matter what you are trying to, let us help you bring your vision to life. Give Waukee CabinetWorks a call at (515) 310-1070 or book an appointment with one of our experienced designers.


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