Open Shelving VS Closed Cabinetry: How To Decide

A modern industrial kitchen with black walls and flooring, white cabinetry, and wooden benches. There are floor to ceiling windows and plenty of plants to make the space more green and open.

So, chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve either got a kitchen renovation coming up or you’re dreaming of one. You’re likely thinking about your dream colour scheme, researching benchtop materials, and scrolling endlessly through Pinterest’s wide range of kitchen designs.

When it comes to designing your dream kitchen, it’s important to figure out which storage solutions are best suited to your needs. There’s a lot to take into account when it comes to kitchen cabinets. Do you want closed cabinets, upper cabinets, or shelving units? Matte finish, glass doors, or would you prefer something more open?

If you’re caught up in this debate, we are about to guide you through the pros and cons of open shelving vs. closed cabinetry.

Pros of Open Kitchen Shelving

Open-concept shelving is a modern trend that lots of homeowners are turning to when updating their kitchen space. It allows homeowners to artistically display their wares and gives them a way to show off their coolest kitchen items like small appliances and unique vases.

Using open shelves as an alternative to closed upper cabinets opens the space up and can make smaller kitchens feel bigger. It is a less bulky solution while still providing just as much space as closed cabinetry would.

It also provides easier access to kitchenware and enables items to be found more quickly.

Cons of Open Kitchen Shelving

If open shelving isn’t kept maintained, it can look unclean and cluttered. It might look cool, but it is harder work to keep open shelves tidy.

Another downfall of open shelving is that your wares are less protected. If the shelf is knocked or a particularly strong breeze rolls through, your items are left vulnerable. Kitchens tend to be a busy zone so accidents are very likely to happen.

An open white and wood kitchen that is very modern in style.

Pros of Closed Kitchen Cabinetry

Closed kitchen cupboards may be the more traditional choice, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be modernised by sleek doors and drawers, matte finish handles, and convenient technology like soft close hinges.

They provide a barrier for dust and help to hide the evidence if you can’t consistently stay on top of decluttering. High-quality kitchen cupboards also seal nicely to stop ants and other pests from getting inside.

Custom closed cupboards can also be built to keep the kitchen layout feeling open with glass that creates a nice smooth finish, and take the pressure off the design and installation process of flat pack cabinetry.

Cons of Closed Kitchen Cabinetry

The main con of enclosed cupboards is the lack of space. While there are ways to make a space feel more open with closed cabinetry, it’s still taking up more room than open shelving would.

Closed cabinets also cost more and take longer to build and install than open shelves. However, custom cabinetry can always be made in alignment with your budget and timeframe needs. 

A white and blue kitchen with rustic open shelving.

Still Unsure?

With a bit of luck, we’ve been able to provide you with some clarity on your big kitchen reno decision. If not, perhaps you could opt-in to use a combination of open shelves and closed cabinets. 

Some couples use open shelving on one wall with closed cabinets on the other to create a contrast, while some choose to combine the two for a more artistic or modern look.

If you’re considering a kitchen renovation soon and seeking your next custom cabinetry project manager, look no further than Madera Cabinetry. To schedule a free in-home consultation, you can contact us by calling 0422 784 430 or filling out our contact form.

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