Useful ideas

Open shelves in the kitchen: the pros and cons


According to the author. Open shelves instead of wall cabinets in the kitchen is one of the trends this year. The interest is also fueled by the popularity of Scandinavian style and Provence or Country style kitchens: open shelves are their frequent guest. However, it often happens that what comes off the interior podiums does not take root in the reality of home. To find out if this is the case, I conducted a study on popular forums, asking the hosts about their personal experiences.

Con: dust

First, a personal opinion. After writing an article about my own new kitchen, in which there are no wall cabinets, I received a lot of feedback that this solution is not functional: there is a lot of dust accumulated on the kitchen shelves, which is mixed with grease and washed with difficulty.

More than six months have passed since my repair, but even in the absence of a hood, the usual open shelf and the second shelf-railing did not bring me any problems. None I even conducted an experiment specifically for this article: I missed these shelves for a couple of general cleanings for a whole month. When I ran my finger along the shelf and the cans standing on it, the finger was 99% clean!

However, having studied the reviews on the forums, I came to the conclusion that I was very lucky. Since it is dust that is the main stopping factor that the hostesses told about:

"I have an open bookcase behind the fridge, there are all sorts of small kitchen necessities - scales, bottle holder, cooking books, etc. Dust sets ... I’ve gotten a bit wiped. If there was more storage space, I'd throw it away and put everything on closed shelves. "
"We collected a headset from MDF that week, we didn’t have time to settle in the kitchen yet, but you have to wipe the dust from the open shelves every 2 days because it becomes visible, even though the kitchen is white. And on white, as you know, dust is hardly visible at all. I'll take a few more weeks to use, maybe I’ll go back to the guys to make two horizontal wardrobes instead of open shelves. I regret that I didn’t listen to the advice of the designer who designed our kitchen. hurt ... "
"And I am against open shelves. Not even so much because of the mess that can be covered with the door, but because of the greasy dust, which in the kitchen will definitely settle on everything. One thing is to wipe only the top of the closed shelves, and quite another is to wash and everything that stands on these shelves. "

“The tiny open for beauty doesn't hurt: flowers, for example, to hold. And also depends on the region, in Odessa, for example, there is no dust at all, so they will have a different opinion

What will help:

  • exhaust hood;
  • a small number of objects on the open shelves (so it will be easier to wipe them);
  • place the shelves away from the plate;
  • do not open all the shelves, but only a couple;
  • categorically, but - to hire a cleaning service.

Cons: mess

Another frequently mentioned negative factor is the need to maintain perfect order. On such a shelf is really not put everything. That's what mistresses write about it:

"I have only lower cabinets in the kitchen, and there is a long shelf along the entire perimeter. For me personally, this is total torture! I always have the feeling that all these jars are nestled, crinkles and mugs crush me)) (this is despite the fact that I bought beautiful storage kits, all in the same style). "
"And I absolutely do not like the open shelves in the kitchen. It looks nice in the pictures, but not so in life. And, you see, you cannot save such a perfect and accurate arrangement of dishes, unless you think about how to fold the dishes for a whole day so that it looks as beautiful as possible and blends in with the interior. But in everyday life, you will not be quick to think whether to put this cup near a plate or near a vase in order to preserve the harmony of “dishes for public viewing”. ”

However, there are some ways out of the situation:

  • buy identical jars or plastic containers for the style of the kitchen;
  • buy new dishes that you want to admire;
  • combine open shelves with closed drawers or a sufficient number of lower cabinets and put everything that is out of style there.

Pro: ease

Why do open shelves choose, despite significant drawbacks? Because this design looks easy and helps to make the kitchen more spacious. For baby kitchens, open shelves are often the best solution.

"I have shelves. I just don’t like kitchen sets as a class. Though they are gold, though.) Well, for the sake of more space, of course. But there must be some one place for keeping ugly. In the old kitchen there were a number of shelves, all the junk was stored in the so-called winter refrigerator under the window sill. But part of the belongings inevitably moved to the window sill. We are doing repairs and the shelves will be full length of the wall.
"A very interesting idea is at once a feeling of lightness, spaciousness, air in the kitchen. You can probably think of this at home, but the main thing is that there are few items on the shelf and probably even better combination with closed cabinets. Otherwise chaos (with my husband, at least, for sure) can not be avoided. "

If you do not want open shelves, and there is little space:

  • Choose neutral in color and glossy top cabinets.
  • Discard the contrast of the color of the walls and upper cabinets.
  • Choose cabinets with glass doors.
  • Let the cabinets be up to the ceiling so that they do not hang.
  • Competent lighting will make the top cabinets less visible.

Pros: aesthetics

Open shelves are beautiful. With proper content, of course. They add decorativeness to the kitchen, allow you to creatively express your abilities during placement, to make the kitchen even more individual.

Although the beauty, of course, is for everyone:

"Oh, noooo. We have a completely" deaf "kitchen, no open shelves. One single cupboard with glass doors and that one so begs to throw it out. I love it when the kitchen is empty and nothing is visible."

For: price

Strange, but on the forums this important point was rarely taken into account: the shelves will cost at least 2-3 times cheaper than cabinets with the same area of ​​horizontal surfaces. If you are limited in budget, this solution will help you avoid unnecessary expenses.


Many people like the open shelves in the kitchen, but in practice, not all are decided on them. So far, this trend is more European, and in Russia it is found mainly in private houses or in youth kitchens, whose owners do not really bother with cooking and prefer minimalism. But if you still dream of open shelves, even after reading all the comments above, why not take a chance?