Should You Choose Open Shelving or Wall Cabinets?

When it comes to kitchens, storage is one of the most important factors. And because good storage is so important, it’s often one of the primary considerations during a kitchen renovation. In regard to kitchen cabinets and shelving, you generally have two options: wall and base cabinets or open shelving.
Open Shelving
Leaving your kitchen shelves open offers a variety of benefits. First and foremost? It’s much, much cheaper than installing custom cabinets, or even stock cabinets. You can pick up sturdy shelves at a fraction of the cost of cabinets, and they’re much more amenable to a DIY installation.
Plus, if you’re dealing with a small kitchen, open shelving can go a long way in making your kitchen seem larger, airier and more open. Of course, you’ll have to keep them organized, because open shelving means just that — they’re open and visible, with no doors behind which to hide clutter. Don’t despair if you think your dishes aren’t display-worthy. Even basic white plates and bowls and no-frills glasses look great if they’re neatly stacked. You can add pops of color with vases, dessert plates, coffee mugs or other accent pieces.

Wall Cabinets
Just as open shelving has its benefits, wall cabinets have their own set of advantages. If your kitchen is prone to clutter, or you have a lot of dishes, you may want to stick with wall cabinets, which will hide any disheveled displays.
Plus, wall cabinets are a striking way to update your kitchen’s look. If your budget allows, you can spring for new cabinets, either custom-made or stock. They come in a wide variety of colors and materials, and can easily complement new or existing decor. Plus, if you crave a change, you can repaint your cabinets or even do something as simple as switch out the hardware for an aesthetic update.
If you have a larger kitchen, wall cabinets can definitely give you the storage space you need for dishes, pots, pans, appliances and other relevant items. Combined with easy-to-reach base cabinets, and you’ve got a complete storage system that gives you much needed space and functionality.
One last benefit to wall cabinets? Open shelving looks fantastic, but if your dishes are exposed to the air, they’re more likely to collect dust–and this could mean more frequent washings. Cabinets will add an element of protection to your kitchen items, and if you’d like to spend a little less time chained to the dishwasher, this could be a make-it or break-it consideration.
What’s your take on open shelving vs. wall cabinets? Do you have one or the other in your kitchen? And would you be willing to switch? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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