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The Cabinet Center / Blog  / Open Shelving or Upper Cabinets: Which is Best for You

Open Shelving or Upper Cabinets: Which is Best for You

When it comes to designing any of the big-ticket items in a kitchen remodel – such as cabinets or counters – there can be a lot of decisions to make that feel very permanent. After all, a remodel is a big investment, and you deserve to love the final product fully and without reservation. So, when it comes to deciding on how to design your storage layout, you may be wondering whether open shelving or upper cabinets are best for you. If so, here is some helpful information to help make the decision a bit easier, so you can feel confident in designing the kitchen of your dreams.

A case for cabinets
Upper cabinets are definitely the classic and safe option to take. Open shelving looks beautiful, and it may very well be a trend that stands the test of time – but that will also be a bit of a risk. If your number one concern is timelessness, then cabinets are undoubtedly the safest bet. Plus in addition to the peace of mind they will provide you from a traditionalist perspective, they offer functional benefits as well. Cabinets are perfect for hiding clutter and creating clean lines, and they also protect your dishes and reduce accessibility for dust. In addition to that, open shelving done on the same wall as a cabinet will likely offer less storage space, as the spacing of the shelves needs to be carefully considered and done with aesthetics in mind, whereas a cabinet need only concern itself with the appearance of the doors regardless of how many shelves are inside.

A case for open shelving
Open shelving can be absolutely breathtaking, especially in kitchens that would otherwise be on the small side. Implementing open shelving in the right circumstances can have a huge impact on how your kitchen feels spatially, as well as work with and amplify any natural light. Open shelving can, when thoughtfully done, still lend itself to a minimalist aesthetic in a completely different way than cabinets do, but that is much more dependent on your dishware and glassware, and how you choose to store items on them. If you’re not trying to achieve a minimalist look, however, they can be such a beautiful way to turn the functional items you already own into decor without even trying.

When it comes to designing your wall storage in your dream kitchen, there are certainly pros to both methods. As with all good things, there is no clear winner. It may feel like a cop-out to suggest, but many kitchens tastefully incorporate both elements, which is always a great option if you feel hard-pressed to choose just one or the other. No matter what your decision ultimately is, the most important thing is that you love the final outcome just as much as you did when the inspiration first struck. You deserve to enjoy your dream kitchen in your dream home.

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