Open Kitchen Cabinets

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of open kitchen cabinets as well as different options for creating an open cabinet look in your kitchen.
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Photo by: Olga Koronevska

Olga Koronevska

By: Amy McEvoy

Open kitchen cabinets are a new trend in kitchens that want to feel at ease and casual yet modern at the same time. Open kitchen cabinets take the doors off and expose shelves and supplies within cabinets.

Crave-Worthy Kitchen Cabinets

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Alternatively, open cabinets may employ stand-alone shelves that are mounted onto the walls of your kitchen where upper cabinetry usually exists. Open shelving in kitchens can serve many purposes in terms of both design and function.

Functionally speaking, open upper cabinets provide easier access to storage and make your cherished collections of kitchen goodies more visible. Plate slats and/or wine cubbies can be added to open cabinets in order to more easily store these frequently used kitchen items.

From a design standpoint, many homeowners choose open kitchen cabinets in order to incorporate additional and unique materials into their kitchens. One example common in a rustic kitchen is to use refurbished wood beams as upper cabinet shelves, giving your kitchen a unique, cozy-casual look. Concrete or high-gloss wood or synthetic wood alternatives are other materials that can be used to create open kitchen cabinets in a more modern style kitchen.

The range of materials that can be used to create open kitchen cabinets is one of the major advantages to this look. Another advantage is the ability you have to customize your actual storage space. Expert home chefs may design upper cabinets to store favorite cooking pots or gadgets. China collectors may choose open kitchen cabinets to carefully display prized teapots, dishes or tureens. Open kitchen cabinets also cut down on the cost of your kitchen cabinets; without cabinet doors, less material is required to create your cabinets.

One disadvantage to consider with open kitchen cabinets is their definitive openness. If you are a homeowner that tends to have a cluttered kitchen or a mismatched glassware set, you may not want your inner shelf contents to be on display. If your favorite cast iron skillets and pots and pans are well-worn, they may be best kept behind closed doors rather than on top of a very visible open cabinet shelf.

No matter what type of custom kitchen you are creating, if you are hoping for an open and airy look that gives off a casual yet modern vibe, consider open cabinets as an option. They are a cost-effective way to show off your individual style while creating a functional dream kitchen.

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