When we were planning our kitchen, I searched all over the internet for open shelving reviews. I love the look but worried about the maintenance. I had a hard time finding an honest review so I thought I’d do a quick post for anyone out there who might be searching.
We ended up deciding to put open shelves in the butler’s pantry area with a window behind to bring in more natural light. This allows me to put all of our “pretty dishes” on display so I can have easy access and enjoy seeing them often.
Our verdict after a year?
WE LOVE THEM!
I worried that I would spend a lot of time dusting shelves and wiping off every dish before use but, I’ve found, that because we use most of the dishes pretty regularly, they just don’t have time to collect much dust. Some of the platters/pitchers that I use only occasionally need to be rinsed off before use, but nothing I wouldn’t do anyway.
So for anyone who is searching, here, are my pros and cons:
- I really love having easy access and visual reminders to actually use my pretty dishes.
- To me, dishes are the epitome of functional art -I want to see them on display! Open shelves are a perfect way to display dishes.
- Not only do they add to the beauty of the space, they also make our space feel much bigger.
- In most cases, shelves are cheaper than cabinets.
- I love having one less step to finding what I need, and putting it away when I’m done.
- If seeing all-of-the-things overwhelms you, this might not be the way to go. When planning, I realized that if I couldn’t hide some of the kid’s multi-colored plastic IKEA dishes and a few other not-so-pretty things, I’d go nuts. I knew the dishes I planned to put on our open shelves are all white/cream or clear glass so it wouldn’t look like visual clutter (to me).
- Where you put them matters. Open shelving by a stove top area, for example, would be, in my opinion, not the best idea. That sticky grease combo that always clings to the hood would be a pain to keep off of open shelves. Also, with younger kids (or pets) I would hesitate to get open shelving down low. When I see pretty pictures of open shelf islands with cookbook displays or ceramic bowl collections, I wonder, how long that would last in our home? I picture the carnage of beautiful books and broken ceramic all over my kitchen floor!
- Dust is a reality. Like I mentioned earlier, we use most of our dishes regularly (at least once a week for Sunday dinner), but the shelves do require a wipe-down a couple of times a year (probably more, but at this stage in life I have more pressing things to worry about!). In this, I’m thankful we just did a small area away from the stove and other, more dusty, areas.
All in all, I’m really glad we did what we did – the way that we did. 🙂 If you’d like to see more of our house (at least the part I have actually decorated) click on over.
So what is your style? Do you have any open shelves? What do you love/hate about your kitchen?