Open shelving vs. cupboards

They're all the rage, and IKEA has even launched a line of open cupboards with colourful interiors, but incorporating open shelves into your kitchen requires careful consideration.Open shelving is gaining popularity by the second, and we are definitely members of its fan base. But because this isn’t our first rodeo, we’ve picked up a couple lessons about when and where to use open shelves.


DustIf the items on your open shelves aren't used regularly, they will collect dust. For storing dishes that aren't used daily we recommend cabinets with glass doors—so you can show off your favourite pieces. but they’ll still be clean when you go to pull them out. Unless of course you are happy to wash a few serving dishes before entertaining--sometimes that's a small price to pay for the look you want. If your shelving is going to be used for pantry items in jars or decorative items then collecting a little dust once in a while won't hurt either.ClutterIt's nice to display a simple collection of items on open shelving in the kitchen so the shelves don't look to cluttered. Kitchens can easily become cluttered: counters with appliances, sinks with dishes, island with keys and papers--you know the drill--so keep this is mind when considering where you want to place shelves.SpacingKnowing what the shelves are going to hold will help determine they're within optimal reach and the top shelf isn't too high.Don't get us wrong, we are huge fans of the look of open shelving, and it can not only look great--but be really functional for certain dishes (and certain homeowners). Is it right for your kitchen? Let us know what you think.If you want to weigh the pros of hidden storage, this Houzz article has some good tips and ideas.