Open Shelving VS Closed Cabinets: Making the Right Choice for Kitchen Storage

When it comes to kitchen storage, the age-old debate between open shelving and closed cabinets continues to stir conversations among homeowners and interior design enthusiasts. Both options have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of open shelving and closed cabinets for kitchen storage, helping you make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle, design preferences, and organizational needs.

Open Shelving:


  1. Visual Appeal: Open shelves can create an airy and spacious feel in your kitchen, making it appear larger and more inviting. They provide an opportunity to showcase your stylish dinnerware, glassware, and decorative items, adding a personalized touch to your kitchen decor.
  2. Easy Access: With open shelving, everything is within arm’s reach. You can quickly grab the items you need without the hassle of opening cabinet doors. This accessibility can be especially convenient for frequently used items.
  3. Design Flexibility: Open shelves offer a platform for creative styling. You can play with color coordination, stack dishes, display plants, and experiment with various arrangements to achieve a visually pleasing and Instagram-worthy look.


  1. Exposure to Dust and Grease: Open shelves are more prone to collecting dust and kitchen grease. This can result in regular cleaning and maintenance to keep your display items looking their best.
  2. Limited Concealment: If your kitchen tends to be cluttered, open shelves may expose the mess rather than hide it. You’ll need to maintain a well-organized and minimalist arrangement to keep your kitchen looking neat.
  3. Less Concealed Storage: Open shelves lack the concealed storage that cabinets offer. This might not be ideal for items that you prefer to keep hidden from view.

Closed Cabinets:


  1. Concealed Storage: Closed cabinets offer ample concealed storage, keeping your kitchen organized and clutter-free. You can store pots, pans, utensils, and kitchen appliances behind closed doors, maintaining a clean and streamlined look.
  2. Protection: Closed cabinets provide protection against dust, grease, and other contaminants that can affect the condition of your kitchenware and utensils. This can reduce the frequency of cleaning and maintenance.
  3. Uniform Appearance: Closed cabinets contribute to a consistent and uniform appearance, making your kitchen look more polished and cohesive. They can be especially beneficial if you prefer a minimalist and clutter-free aesthetic.


  1. Bulkier Appearance: Closed cabinets can visually weigh down your kitchen space, making it feel smaller and more enclosed.
  2. Limited Personalization: Unlike open shelving, closed cabinets offer fewer opportunities for personalization and decorative displays.
  3. Access Concerns: Items stored in the back of deep cabinets may be harder to reach, requiring you to bend or stretch to access them.
AspectOpen ShelvingClosed Cabinets
Visual Appeal✓ Creates an airy, inviting feel✗ Can make the kitchen appear smaller
Easy Access✓ Convenient for frequently used items✗ Requires opening cabinet doors
Design Flexibility✓ Opportunity for creative styling✗ Offers fewer opportunities for customization
Exposure to Dust and Grease✓ More prone to dust and grease✗ Provides protection against kitchen elements
Limited Concealment✓ Requires a well-organized arrangement✗ Conceals clutter and maintains a clean look
Minimal Privacy✓ Items are on display✗ Offers ample concealed storage
Protection✗ Less protection from kitchen elements✓ Shields items from dust and grease
Uniform Appearance✗ Can have a cluttered look✓ Contributes to a polished, cohesive appearance
Bulkier Appearance✗ Makes the kitchen feel more enclosed✓ Provides a streamlined look
Access Concerns✗ All items are within reach✓ Deep cabinets may require bending or stretching
ConclusionSuitable for those who prefer style and accessibilityIdeal for those who want concealed storage and a uniform appearance

The choice between open shelving and closed cabinets for your kitchen storage ultimately depends on your lifestyle, organizational habits, and design preferences. Open shelving adds visual interest and easy access to items but requires regular upkeep. Closed cabinets offer concealed storage, a polished appearance, and protection against kitchen elements, but can sometimes feel bulkier. Consider your priorities and strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics to create a kitchen storage solution that perfectly suits your needs.

You may also want to check out one of our popular articles: Built-in VS Loose Furniture

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