There are many virtues to open shelving; function, design and budget. Open shelving, while providing more expansive storage, also enhances the décor bringing a more personal, warm and homely feel to the kitchen.

If vintage, whimsical kitchens are your thing then open shelving showcasing granny’s china and your collection of brass kitchenware, together with teetering stacks of your everyday bowls and glasses, lends an old-fashioned note – speaking to an era when most kitchens featured open shelving rather than banks of cabinetry.

The pros of open shelving include:

Better storage options: While cabinets offer fixed space – much of which is hard to reach, inaccessible, and oddly shaped, with open shelving everything is handy. Open shelving is also easier to organize and to keep neat as everything is in plain view, and things that are used together, are grouped together.

It helps the space look bright and open: Open shelving lets in more light which helps make the space feel bigger.

It’s warm and welcoming to guests: Open shelves invite visitors to feel at home and help themselves to whatever they need. Because it’s all in plain view, guests don’t have to ask where things are, or go rummaging through drawers and cupboards.

Limited space: If you have limited space in your kitchen, think vertical open shelving. Shelves suspended from the ceiling have a beautiful floating quality that make a space feel more expansive.
It’s inexpensive: New cabinetry is very expensive. Open shelving is a more budget friendly way to update your kitchen and give it a clean fresh look. It can also be done more quickly, and does not require as much skill.

Good to know: To add interest to open shelving, create an eclectic effect by using a mix of materials such as glass, wood and steel. You can also paint the back of open shelving in a contrasting paint colour, or cover it in wallpaper. To make an emphatic statement, choose a colour that contrasts strongly with the cabinet finish or go with a gentler more complimentary hue if you’d like a subtler effect. Your choice of paint colour should take into consideration what you plan to place on the shelves.

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