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Open Shelving vs. Upper Kitchen Cabinets

Open Shelving

Which Should You Choose?

Open shelves have become a hot trend in kitchen remodeling. Homeowners are swapping out their upper kitchen cabinets for sleek shelving that puts their dishes on display. If you’re considering this for your new kitchen, it’s important to weigh your options. Should you choose open shelving or upper cabinets? Or maybe something in between? Here’s a helpful guide from O’Hanlon Kitchens, Inc. to help you decide.

Upper Cabinets Provide More Storage

If you want to maximize storage in your kitchen, upper cabinets are the way to go. You can securely fit dishes, small appliances, pantry items, and much more in a cabinet. You won’t have as much room with open shelving. Upper cabinets can also run all the way to the ceiling, which utilizes all of the vertical space in your kitchen. Most open shelf systems stick to two or three shelves at most.

With this in mind, you need to consider the other storage you have available. If you have a walk-in pantry or a large island, you may be able to sacrifice some storage on the wall. You could limit the open shelves to one area, such as around a window or on a feature wall in the kitchen. This allows you to utilize most of the kitchen while still achieving the look you want.

Upper Kitchen Cabinets
Open Shelving

Open Shelving Makes Dishes Easy to Access

If you’re a person who likes dishes right within reach, open shelving is a great option. Depending on what you put on your shelves, you can quickly grab the dishes or food items you use on a daily basis. With cabinetry, the objects are hidden behind doors. It doesn’t take much to open a cabinet door, but it is an extra step in your day-to-day movements.

Upper Kitchen Cabinets Hide Clutter

If you don’t want your dishes or food on display, cabinets will hide all the clutter. You can have mismatched cups, bright cereal boxes, and a huge stack of paper plates without worrying about anyone seeing it. This creates a clean, seamless look that always appears tidy.

White Upper Cabinets
Open Shelving

Open Shelves Create More Room for Display Items

Open shelving provides space for display items. For example, you could have a stack of decorative dishes next to a fake plant. Then you could have cookbooks and glasses on the other side of the plant. There is plenty of room for artwork, photos, figurines, and more. If you would like more room to decorate your kitchen, this may be a good option for you.

Upper Cabinets Are Easier to Clean

When it comes to maintenance, upper kitchen cabinets are much easier to clean. The cabinet doors keep dust away from the objects inside. Thus, all you have to do is occasionally wipe down the front of the cabinets. With open shelves, dust can sit on any of the dishes or display items. It can also accumulate on the shelves themselves and potentially on their support brackets. For low maintenance, we recommend upper cabinets every time.

Upper Cabinets Glass Doors
Open Shelving

Open Shelving Showcases Your Walls/Tile

One great benefit of open shelving is that it gives you a chance to stylize the wall behind it. Want a full wall of ornate tile? You’ve got it. Want some decorative wallpaper that is easy to clean? You can get that as well. More of the wall will be on display than what you would see with upper cabinets.

Open Shelves Are Trendy, But Upper Kitchen Cabinets Are Timeless

To put it simply, open shelves are a current trend. Like most trends, they will most likely be out of style within a few years. Upper cabinets are a classic kitchen staple. They are timeless, versatile, and suited for any aesthetic. If you’re looking to sell your home in the future, upper kitchen cabinets are a safe investment. If you purely want a look that you love, choose the option that speaks to you.

Regardless of your design decision, the kitchen remodelers at O’Hanlon Kitchens, Inc. will be here to assist you. Contact us at 443-285-0558 or 717-755-5555 for a free consultation.

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