Open kitchen shelving - to or not to do?

I am planning a remodel of my kitchen and have planned some open shelving. Then I read that open shelving is one of the top regrets people have after a remodel. I'd love to hear other people's experiences with open shelving.

Catherine Kelly


MMH August 8, 2020
I vote no. A think film of grease seems to find its way everywhere in a kitchen. Enclosed cupboards will protect the contents.
HalfPint August 7, 2020
Open shelving is high maintenance. Looks great but keeping it looking great requires consistent and constant cleaning and dusting. It comes down to how much time and effort you want to invest in this maintenance.

If you really want open shelving, keep the number of items to a minimum and don't crowd. Less things, less work in cleaning it. It will also keep a neat appearance. For small items, put them in a basket/bin or tray that you can easily pick up/pull out. It helps with cleaning, a lot.
Catherine K. August 8, 2020
Thank you! I appreciate your feedback. Yes, cleaning is the thing I was most thinking about as I lean towards the super clean side but love the warmth that open shelving provides in a kitchen.
Emma L. August 7, 2020
There's a mix of open and closed cabinets in my kitchen—and I totally love the open shelves. They're super practical for cooking and baking. They also feel like an easy way to "decorate" a space, since what's on display on the shelves (e.g., plates, bowls, mugs) instantly becomes the kitchen's distinguishing features.
Nancy August 7, 2020
I know there are arguments both for and against. Can't tell which you and your household will eventually prefer.
But you can protect yourself against buyer's regret by designing the open shelves (if you decide for them) so doors can easily be added.
Or, vice versa, leave one set of cupboards with doors unhung, in storage.
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