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Kitchen Cabinets vs. Open Shelving – Which Is Best?

Choosing the right kitchen storage solutions can improve the room’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Recently, the debate between traditional kitchen cabinets and trendy open shelving has been heating up.

With both options offering unique benefits, it might be hard to choose just one. Explore the specifics of both to help you find a solution that suits your needs.

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Are Open Kitchen Shelves Still in Style?

Open kitchen shelving has been in and out of style for decades. In 2023, they remain a favorite among homeowners for their charming, contemporary look. Here’s why open kitchen shelves remain popular:

  • Aesthetics: Open shelving allows you to display collector’s items, potted plants, and decorative dishware, adding a personal touch to your kitchen. This way, your favorite pieces become part of the decor rather than hiding behind closed doors.
  • Functionality: Open shelving makes cooking more streamlined and enjoyable by granting easy access to frequently used items. No more digging through cabinets to find that specific spice jar.
  • Spacious feel: With less visual weight than solid cabinet doors, open shelves create the illusion of more space. This helps small kitchens look more expansive and airy, enhancing the overall ambiance.
  • Customization: Various styles and finishes allow you to personalize your open shelves. Include metal brackets for an industrial look, or paint the shelves white to align with a minimalist aesthetic.
  • Affordability: Since they’re generally less expensive than cabinets, open shelves are a cost-effective kitchen storage option.

When You Should Install Cabinets Instead of Open Shelves

While open shelving has its allure, this storage method isn’t suitable for every kitchen. Here are some scenarios where traditional cabinets may be the better choice:

  • Design style: Cabinets align well with more traditional or formal kitchen designs. Choosing this option preserves the classic look you may prefer.
  • Easier cleaning: Unlike open shelves, cabinets protect your items from dust and grease splatters, reducing the need for cleaning. This is especially important in kitchens that see a lot of cooking and activity.
  • Increased storage: With deeper shelves and no need to arrange items neatly, enclosed storage helps you organize your kitchen efficiently. Cabinets can also hold heavier items and support creative storage solutions like pull-out trays.
  • Hide clutter: Mismatched plates or kids’ plastic dishes can be easily hidden in cabinets, maintaining a uniform look throughout the kitchen. If your household isn’t one for meticulous organization, cabinets can save the day.
  • Security: In households with young children or pets, cabinets are more secure for storing breakable items, matches, or cleaning chemicals. A locked cabinet door keeps these items out of reach, ensuring safety.

Combine Cabinets & Open Shelving for the Best of Both Worlds

Blending the aesthetics of open shelving with the practicality of cabinets creates harmony and functionality in your kitchen. You might add a nook or other area of exposed shelves to create visual interest while installing cabinets elsewhere for necessary concealed storage.

Cabinets with glass doors are another option. These offer a visual appeal similar to open shelving without sacrificing protection. Combining these elements prevents you from compromising on style or practicality. Consider glass-front cabinet doors along with traditional cabinets and open shelving to cater to your design preferences and practical needs.

Choose Foremost Builders for Your Kitchen Remodel in New Hampshire or Vermont

Foremost Builders is here to make your remodeling dreams come true. We’ve served the Lake Sunapee/Upper Valley areas of New Hampshire as an award-winning kitchen renovation expert since 1996.

We’re renowned for our transparent, guaranteed pricing and commitment to delivering the highest standard of quality and craftsmanship. Our team also offers a streamlined process to ensure your satisfaction from start to finish.

Ready to transform your kitchen in New Hampshire or Vermont? Call 603-763-1344 today to speak with a remodeling expert about starting your project.

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