Open shelves are nice for some decorative items and things that you constantly use, but they are not very practical for storing everything else. First, it looks messier (even if they are wll organized) and it's harder to clean (especially in a kitchen).
When John and Sherry Petersik, the dynamic DIY duo behind YoungHouseLove.com, sat down to plan their kitchen renovation (pictured here), they knew that opening things up was at the top of their priority list. “Our kitchen has almost no natural light, so anything we could do to make things lighter and brighter was a go,” Sherry Petersik explains. “We’re no strangers to taking doors off closets or opening up a floorplan, so open shelving was an obvious choice.” But while sleek open shelves stocked with perfectly styled cake stands and fruit bowls look gorgeous when you’re adding them to your Pinterest boards, how practical will they be in your real-life kitchen, when your real-life (read: messy!) family is looking for a place to stash that half-empty box of Lucky Charms? Learn here the pros and cons for open shelving and cabinetry—and then choose the best configuration for your kitchen.
The advantage of closed cabinets is the shelves can be adjustable and very close together to fit bowls, plates or mugs, each shelf with the right amount of height for the items on them. I have a custom kitchen (to my design) that incorporates both closed and open cabinets. Each cabinet has the bottom 14 inches as an open box. In that open space (in three cabinets) I store my everyday plates, all my daily glassware, and my fancier dishes that I like to use on a whim. All my extra everyday dishes, good china, serving pieces, etc are in the closed cabinet above the open box because they don't get used as often. In the photo above there is too much space between the shelves. This is lovely and artistic but not functional. Put function first in a small kitchen.