We recently took down two kitchen cabinets and installed open shelves in their place. Similar to painting the cabinets, this was another project I wish we would have implemented years ago! I’m thrilled to say it was a small change with big impact. You wouldn’t think agreeing to make a change like this would take careful review, but it did. I consider my husband a jack of all trades, but he doesn’t necessarily jump at the chance to exercise his carpentry skills. Sometimes, I need to plant the seed to an idea and patiently wait for the right time to execute. Secretly, I am also convincing myself that my idea is the right decision too.
Here’s a side by side showing before and after.
Five Reasons Why Open Shelves Make Sense:
- Open shelves can make a kitchen appear larger and more open. “It feels so much more open now!” has been a common reaction from family and friends after seeing the open shelves in person for the first time.
- They provide easy access to frequently used items, making them convenient for daily use.
- Open shelves allow you to display your favorite dishes, glasses, and cookbooks all the while adding a personal touch to your kitchen decor.
- If you like to organize items, open shelves allow you to display things in a neat and orderly fashion. This way you are able to keep track of items you already have and may need.
- They definitely encourage you to keep your kitchen tidy, as items are always on display.
Things to Consider About Open Shelves:
- Maintenance – Open shelves require more cleaning than closed cabinets, because items are exposed to the air and can accumulate dust and grease.
- Organization – Without doors to hide clutter, open shelves can quickly become an eye sore. Do you have the discipline to keep items neat and tidy?
- Storage needs – Consider whether or not you have enough storage space in other areas of the kitchen to accommodate items you prefer to keep hidden.
- Style – They can be a great way to showcase your style, but it’s important to consider whether they will complement the overall look and feel of your kitchen.
- Safety – If you have small children or pets, keep in mind that open shelves can pose a safety risk. Items can be easily knocked off or pulled down.
- Installation – It is important to ensure that your walls are strong enough to support the weight of the shelves and items you plan to display on them. It’s also important to make sure the shelves are installed securely and level.
Here is another before and after.
Honestly, the biggest hesitation on my part with this project was the concern with how the wall behind the cabinets would look upon removing the cabinets. But, because the walls were drywalled and painted with primer prior to hanging the cabinets, there was very little damage. We simply had to patch the holes left behind after removing the drywall screws, sand, and re-paint.
It Really was a Small Change with Big Impact
All in all, this kitchen update went about as smooth as we could have hoped for. Friends and family who have seen them in person have all said they look like they have been there from the beginning and that the kitchen feels more open now. If you are looking to make a small change with big impact, installing open shelves are a safe bet.
We purchased these open shelves from a small shop on Etsy called, Coffee Beans and Things, and I highly recommend them. The shelves and brackets were hand crafted and delivered safely in a timely manner.
Let me know if you have any questions regarding the shelves themselves or installation. Thanks so much for stopping by and stay tuned for my next small change with big impact coming soon.
Author and photos – Martha Knake
Chief Editor – Emily Janssen