Kitchen design has seen a significant shift in recent years, with open shelving emerging as a popular choice. The appeal of open shelving lies in its unique ability to instantly transform the look and feel of your kitchen. However, before you embark on this design journey, it’s crucial to understand the pros, cons, and some captivating design ideas that will make your kitchen look fantastic and ensure it functions efficiently. Read on to learn more.

Exploring Open Shelving Design


Aesthetic Impact

Open shelving makes an immediate visual impact on your kitchen. It creates an open and airy atmosphere, even in smaller kitchens. It’s like having a window to your culinary world, allowing you to showcase your favorite dishes, glassware, and decorative pieces.

Convenient Access

It ensures that everything is within easy reach. Say goodbye to rummaging through cabinets to find that one plate or cup you need. With open shelving, everything is right there in plain sight, making your daily kitchen tasks a breeze.


Open shelving offers endless customization possibilities. You can select the size, style, and arrangement of your shelves to align with your kitchen’s decor and your personal taste. This flexibility lets you create a look that’s uniquely your own, whether you favor a sleek, minimalist design or a rustic, farmhouse-inspired ambiance.


If you’re mindful of your budget, open shelving is a cost-effective choice. It often costs less than traditional closed cabinets since it requires fewer materials and less labor. This means you can allocate your budget to other aspects of your kitchen, such as high-quality appliances or exquisite countertops—without compromising on style!

Showcasing Personality

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and this design serves as a canvas to display your personality. It’s a platform to showcase your unique style and individuality. Whether you have a collection of vintage teacups, a set of handcrafted pottery, or a penchant for colorful dishes, open shelving lets you express your identity through your culinary aesthetic.

The Cons


Open shelves are more exposed to dust, grease, and splatters compared to closed cabinets. This means keeping them clean and organized requires a bit more effort. Regular wiping and occasional dusting are necessary to maintain their allure.

Clutter Potential

While it is a great way to display your favorite items, it can quickly become cluttered if not organized properly. Balancing form and function is essential. Excessive clutter can detract from the visual impact and create a chaotic atmosphere, so vigilance is key.


Over time, they may show wear and tear more visibly than closed cabinets. Items placed on them may accumulate scratches or discolor due to exposure to light. Using shelf liners or opting for materials less prone to showing signs of wear can help maintain their appearance.

Cookware Display

If you have mismatched cookware that may not be the most visually appealing, open shelving can make your kitchen appear less cohesive. To achieve a perfectly coordinated aesthetic, consider investing in an attractive set of dishes if you plan to use open shelving. This can create a uniform look that enhances your kitchen’s display.

Stylish Design Ideas for Open Shelving

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves offer a clean and minimalist look. They seem to “float” on the wall without visible brackets, adding a touch of modernity to your kitchen. These sleek shelves seamlessly blend with contemporary kitchen designs, creating an uncluttered and visually pleasing space.

Mix and Match

A popular approach to open shelving is to combine it with closed cabinets for a balanced design. Reserve open shelving for showcasing your best pieces while keeping everyday items hidden behind closed doors. This approach offers the best of both worlds: the opportunity to display your favorite items and the practicality of concealed storage.

Reclaimed Wood

Using reclaimed or rustic wood for open shelves can add a warm and inviting feel to your kitchen. This is an excellent choice if you’re aiming for a farmhouse or country-style kitchen. The natural, weathered appearance of reclaimed wood imparts a sense of history and comfort to your space.

Color Coordination

Choose a shelf color that complements your kitchen’s color scheme. This creates a harmonious and coordinated look. For instance, if you have a predominantly white kitchen, white open shelves maintain a seamless and airy appearance.

Open Pantry

Use open shelving as a pantry replacement. This is a fantastic option for storing dry goods, spices, and even small kitchen appliances within easy reach. By dedicating open shelves to your pantry items, you can achieve well-organized and accessible storage that contributes to your kitchen’s overall design.

Use Baskets and Bins

To combat clutter, incorporate baskets or bins on your open shelves. This not only adds a decorative element but also keeps your items organized. For example, woven baskets can be used to store fruits and vegetables, creating a charming and functional display.

Artistic Arrangement

Instead of haphazardly stacking plates and cups, consider arranging items artistically. You can stack plates by size, group items by color, or create visually pleasing vignettes by mixing dishes with decorative pieces. This adds a curated and sophisticated touch to your kitchen.

Glass Shelves

Glass shelves can add a touch of elegance to your kitchen. They reflect light and make your space appear even more open. They are perfect for showcasing delicate glassware and adding a sense of refinement to your kitchen’s aesthetic. Their transparent nature keeps your kitchen looking spacious and bright.

Personal Touch

Lastly, don’t forget to add a personal touch. Display family heirlooms, vintage cookware, or items you’ve collected over the years. These personal touches make your kitchen uniquely yours and invite conversation when guests visit. They create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that transcends the concept of a mere kitchen. Your kitchen becomes a space
where your life story is on display.

Ready to bring your dream kitchen to life? Excelsior Lumber Company is your trusted partner for all your kitchen design needs. Our expert team specializes in open shelving solutions, offering personalized advice and top-quality materials. Contact us now to create a kitchen that’s uniquely yours.

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