Open shelving in a kitchen is still very much in demand although it's not for everyone. Like any part of kitchen design, open shelving is a matter of taste; some people prefer to have traditional kitchen cabinets on the wall. However, there are benefits to be had from using open shelving; as long as you plan carefully and make sure you get the design and use of the shelving just right.
Open shelving – is it still in high demand?
It's also a good idea to start slowly if you decide to give open shelving a try. It's a big change, if you are used to having wall cabinets in the kitchen. Starting with a small amount of shelving means you can get used to the change before you go headlong into tearing out all of the cabinets and filling your kitchen walls with shelving.
Why is demand for open shelving so high?There is little doubt that one of the biggest attractions of open shelving is that it's a more affordable way of giving a whole new look to a kitchen than investing in a new kitchen cabinets. Open shelving also helps with easy locating of dishes and utensils. They are out in the open, so you can see exactly what is there, instead of trying to remember which cabinet you put your kids' favourite cups in. Of course, this open view can be a disadvantage if you are naturally untidy. You may have to change your ways, if you decide that open shelving is the right choice for your kitchen.
The benefits of open shelvingWe have briefly looked at why open shelves are still so much in demand. In fact, there are many benefits that make this type of kitchen storage popular.
- Getting rid of cabinets adds a feeling of space and light to a kitchen.
- Open shelves can be used as a means of decorating a kitchen, by using them to house colourful dishes, or by placing photographs or plants on them.
- Open shelving helps turn a kitchen into a more social space by enabling visitors to find glasses, plates and cups without having to ask where they are.
Where should open shelving be placedIf you want to join in with the in-demand open shelving trend, you need to plan where you want the shelves to be. You cannot just randomly put shelves up on the wall and hope that they will be okay. There are several things you need to think about when deciding where to put open shelves in a kitchen.
- Do not place shelves too close to the hob as they can become coated with grease very easily. You may want to buy a hood for the hob to help reduce the build-up of grease.
- Do not place shelves any higher than you can easily reach, even if they look better slightly higher up.
- Make sure that doors and windows can be fully opened without being restricted by shelving. It's easy to forget about this if they are not open when shelves are being put up.
- Make sure that younger children are not able to reach any dangerous items that are placed on shelves.
The downside of open shelvingAs with most things, not every aspect of open shelving is positive. The major problem is that shelving can become dusty and greasy quite easily. This can also apply to the items which are stored on the shelves. You should be prepared to wipe down the shelves on a regular basis, and to wash the stored items regularly as well. You will not need to worry about this washing if you make sure that you use open shelves to store items that are in regular use and that you wash all the time anyway.
We mentioned earlier that you need to be tidy if you use open shelving. Cluttered and untidy open shelving looks messy and is not a welcoming sight in any kitchen. If you do not think being tidy is for you, you may want to think again about using open shelves in your kitchen.
The demand for open shelving does not seem likely to dip anytime soon. This type of storage can be an eye-catching addition to a kitchen. Most people who use open shelves opt for a combination of wall shelving and floor based cabinets where bulky and less attractive utensils can be stored. This is often the perfect combination.