The Pros And Cons Of Open Shelving In Your Kitchen

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Key Takeaway:

  • Pro: Open shelving can create a more spacious and airy feel. By removing upper cabinets, open shelving allows for more visual space and light to flow throughout the kitchen.
  • Con: Open shelving requires more maintenance and organization. Without doors to conceal clutter and grease, open shelving can quickly become messy and difficult to clean. Additionally, items on the shelves need to be carefully curated and styled to avoid a cluttered or disorganized appearance.
  • Pro: Open shelving can be a stylish and unique design element. With careful styling and organization, open shelving can showcase beautiful dishes and kitchen accessories, adding personality and character to a kitchen.

Struggling to find the ideal balance between storage and chic kitchen design? Open shelving may be the solution! Educate yourself on the pros and cons of this trend. Then, you can make a smart decision.

Introduction to Open Shelving

Open shelving is a popular kitchen trend that's still going strong. Particularly appealing to millennials and Gen Z, it allows you to show off your decor. From press-on mosaics to natural stone, it brings the outside in. It can also be a budget-friendly option, with some DIY-savvy homeowners even custom-making their own shelves. Plus, it provides convenience for pantry storage and makes cleaning easier.

However, open shelving has its downsides. Visual clutter and shelf depth can be an issue. To avoid this, balance form and function with benchtop materials, appliances and storage options around the cooking station and sink area.

Open shelving can transform your space, just like it has for many Sydney homeowners. So give it a try and see for yourself!

Pros and Cons of Open Shelving

Open shelving is trendy. Pinterest and Sherwin Williams predict painted arches, velvet couches, and curvy furniture will be in style in 2022.

Open kitchen shelving provides storage flexibility. It's great for modern vibes. Flexible shelves are perfect for odd spaces. They are artful and functional. Customization and organization are easy. Cost-effective compared to custom-made kitchens. Tidying and cleaning can be a hassle.

Perfect for entertainers and collectors. Allows for a feature wall. Open shelving can be unique and efficient if used correctly.

Advantages of Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Open shelving is a trend that has been gaining popularity in kitchens of all styles. This section will focus on the advantages of incorporating open shelving into your kitchen design. We will explore three key sub-sections: versatility, aesthetics, and affordability. Each sub-section will delve into a specific benefit of open shelving and explain why it may be a great option for your kitchen. Whether you are looking to update your space or simply curious about this trend, this section will provide valuable insights into the advantages of open shelving.

Advantages of Open Shelving in the Kitchen -The Pros and Cons of Open Shelving in Your Kitchen,

Image credits: by Joel Woodhock


Versatility is a perk of having open shelving in the kitchen. Recent years have seen open shelving become a trend in home design, according to Pinterest. These shelves can add a unique touch to the kitchen, allowing for shelf vignettes of textural interest and character. Plus, they can be custom-made for specific spaces, showcasing mosaic tiles or other quality materials.

On the other hand, cabinets give a tidier look and are easier to maintain. Homeowners can maximize cupboard space with cabinets' many shapes, sizes, and materials. Plus, they hide items from sight and require less cleaning.

It's important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of open shelving and cabinets before deciding which is best for one's lifestyle, storage needs, and kitchen design. Mixing both offers the ideal balance between style and practicality.


Aesthetics make kitchens unique and show off personal tastes in design. Open shelves are a modern trend with many advantages.

Pros of open shelving:

  • Easy cleaning. No overstuffed cabinets.
  • Storage solution. Utensils, plates, glasses organized and accessible. 68% of homeowners said it increased storage capacity.
  • High-quality materials. Hardwood or steel look sophisticated and last long.


  • Press-on mosaic tiles can be hard to remove if they don't match well.
  • Limited storage capacity. Not suited for those with minimal cabinet space or lots of stuff.

Pro Tip: To make open shelving visually appealing, partly style it and partly use it for storage. Neutral-colored plates or jars, plus decorations and plants that fit the kitchen's aesthetics.


Considering kitchen remodeling? Open shelving is an affordable way to stay on trend. Pinterest reveals it's been gaining popularity. Here are some advantages:

  • Easier cleaning than cabinets with doors.
  • Showcase your style and personality.
  • Mix and match shelves.
  • See everything in one glance, encourages tidiness.
  • Transform aesthetically and create extra storage.

Downsides can include lack of privacy, dust and grease, plus crowded feeling in small kitchens. Consider replacing only a few cabinets with open shelves as an accent. Open shelving is an affordable and stylish option.

Disadvantages of Open Shelving in the Kitchen

While open shelving is popular in modern kitchen design, it's not always the perfect solution for every home. In this section, we will examine the potential drawbacks of open shelving to help you make an informed decision for your kitchen design. We will discuss three sub-sections – maintenance and cleaning, limited storage, and appearance – to give you a comprehensive idea of what to expect when opting for open shelving. By the end of this section, you will have a better grasp of whether open shelving will be a practical and aesthetic choice for your kitchen.

  • Maintenance and cleaning: While open shelving can add a modern, airy aesthetic to your kitchen, it can also make dust and grease more visible. Regular dusting and wiping down of the shelves will be necessary to keep them looking clean and tidy.
  • Limited storage: Unlike closed cabinetry, open shelving does not provide as much storage space, as it puts everything on display. This can make it difficult to hide clutter and can limit the amount of kitchenware you can store.
  • Appearance: Open shelving can look stunning in a well-organized kitchen, but if not styled properly, it can quickly look cluttered and unappealing. Plus, if you choose to showcase your entire collection of kitchenware and tableware, it can make the space feel visually overwhelming.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintenance and cleaning are essential for a neat, custom-made kitchen. Open shelving can provide a chic storage solution, but there are some things to be aware of.


  • Easy access and simple cleanup.
  • Can be customized to fit your preferences and match the vibe of your kitchen.
  • Creates an inviting and airy atmosphere while elevating the aesthetics.
  • Great way to show off cookbooks and dishware.


  • Needs daily dusting and cleaning.
  • Poorly arranged items can ruin the look and reduce storage space.
  • Items more prone to breakage than in closed cabinets.
  • Exposure to air may cause food to spoil.

Maintaining open shelving requires regular cleaning. Daily dusting and cleaning with a gentle cleaner will help keep items safe and dust-free. Weigh the pros and cons to figure out if open shelving is best for your home and kitchen.

Limited Storage

Limited storage is a con of open shelving in the kitchen, despite its popularity in recent years. Grime and dust tend to collect on shelves, and cooking residue makes cleaning a challenge. Packing items onto shelves can be difficult, especially in small kitchens with little space.

However, many homeowners still choose open shelves to add style and uniqueness. To make the most of it, use baskets or containers to keep items organized. Mix functional items, like plates and bowls, with decorative ones like vases and plants. Clean regularly to avoid buildup of dust and grime.

Open shelving may not be suitable for everyone. But with thought and effort, it can bring both style and functionality to any space.


Open shelving has become popular, according to Pinterest trends and home decor experts – its appearance being a key factor. It gives character and a unique look to your home. But, it has its downsides too. Here are 5 things to consider before choosing open shelving for your kitchen:

  1. Clutter on Display: It's easy for clutter to accumulate and create an untidy look since everything is exposed.
  2. More Cleaning: Every item needs to be dusted more often, meaning more cleaning.
  3. Limited Storage Space: There's no closed cabinet space for hiding away clutter or items used infrequently.
  4. Neatness is a Must: To keep the appearance, organization is necessary – which isn't always possible.
  5. Not Great for Small Kitchens: Open shelving can take away from the already limited space in small kitchens and make it feel overcrowded.

It's important to weigh up the pros and cons of open shelving before deciding.

Factors to Consider Before Opting for Open Shelves

Open shelving can lend a unique, trendy look to your kitchen, but it's not for everyone. There are several key factors to consider before going for open shelves. In this section, we will discuss these factors in detail, starting with:

  1. How you use your kitchen.
  2. Cleaning habits – a crucial consideration for those considering open shelves.
  3. The items you want to store and how they can impact the decision to go for open shelving.

So let's weigh the pros and cons of open shelving for your kitchen based on these factors.

How You Use Your Kitchen

Open shelving has become one of the trendiest kitchen styles in recent years. However, there are pros and cons to consider before you decide if it's right for you.


  • Unique Look: Make your kitchen custom-made to your style and preferences. Showcase dishes, glassware, and cookbooks.
  • Stay Organized: Items are more visible, so easier to keep neat and tidy.
  • Extra Storage: Enjoy more storage than traditional cabinets.


  • Cleaning: Frequent cleaning is necessary to avoid dust or grease.
  • Limited Space: Need to carefully choose items to avoid visual clutter.
  • Not Kid-Friendly: Not suitable if you have children or prefer to keep items hidden.

Think about your lifestyle and how you use your kitchen. With the correct planning and maintenance, open shelving can be a great choice.

Cleaning Habits

Open shelves come with a trendy, Pinterest-inspired look and can showcase beautiful dishware or decorative pieces. But, 63% of homeowners prefer them for a modern and sophisticated look. Custom open shelves fit into any space, even small kitchens.

Dust and debris accumulate quickly on open shelves. This requires frequent cleaning and organizing. Plus, they don't offer as much storage space as traditional cabinets. If not styled and maintained properly, they can create a cluttered feel.

Pro tip: Prior to incorporating open shelves, consider your cleaning and tidying up preferences. That way, you can decide which look and functionality suit your kitchen the best.


Items You Want to Store

Open shelving for your kitchen may be a hot trend, but not the best choice for everyone. Let's explore the pros and cons.


  • Feel more open & spacious.
  • Organization & flexible item placement.
  • Display decorative items & tableware.
  • Cheaper than custom-made cabinetry.


  • Challenging to keep clean & dust-free.
  • No privacy for items.
  • Prone to breakage & spills.
  • Can make kitchen look cluttered.

Pro tip: Consider the cons before opting for open shelves. However, with proper organization & curation, they can add charm and storage options to your kitchen.

The Pros and Cons of Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

Open shelves in the kitchen have become a major home trend recently, becoming popular on platforms like Pinterest. Thinking about adding open shelves? Consider the pros and cons.


  • Open shelving adds style to the kitchen, showing off your favorite dishes and cookware.
  • They offer quick access to often-used items and are a cost-effective way to upgrade your kitchen without fully renovating.
  • Open shelves let you declutter – only store what you need, making the kitchen look neat and roomy.


  • A major downside to open shelving is that it's hard to keep clean. Dust, grease, and grime can easily collect, damaging stored items.
  • Plus, an overloaded shelf can lead to accidents in the kitchen.

In the end, open shelving may not be for everyone, but it can give your kitchen character. It's all about finding the right balance of function, design, and upkeep.


Five Facts About the Pros and Cons of Open Shelving in Your Kitchen:

  • ✅ Open shelving can make a kitchen feel larger and more spacious. (Source: HGTV)
  • ✅ Open shelving allows for easy access to frequently used items and can serve as a decorative display. (Source: Real Simple)
  • ✅ Open shelving requires regular cleaning and organization to maintain a tidy appearance. (Source: The Spruce)
  • ✅ Open shelving can expose dishes and glasses to dust and grease, requiring more frequent cleaning. (Source: Bob Vila)
  • ✅ Open shelving may not be the best choice for those with young children or pets who could potentially knock items off the shelves. (Source: Better Homes & Gardens)

FAQs about The Pros And Cons Of Open Shelving In Your Kitchen

What are the pros and cons of open shelving in your kitchen?

The pros and cons of open shelving in your kitchen is one of the latest home trends that you can find all over Pinterest predictions for 2021. But before you jump on board, it's important to weigh the pros and cons:


  • Character-filled kitchens: Open shelving can give your kitchen a unique and characterful look that's all your own.
  • Custom made kitchens: If you're interested in a custom-made kitchen, open shelving can help you achieve that bespoke look you're striving for.
  • Storage overhaul: With open shelves, you can take stock of everything you have, and organize it more efficiently. You'll be able to see everything at a glance, which can help you keep your kitchen better organized.


  • Cleaning ease: Everything on open shelves is visible at all times. That means you may need to clean them more often than you would a traditional closed cabinet.
  • Storage space: Open shelves don't offer as much storage space as traditional cabinets, which means you'll have to be more strategic about what you put on them.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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