Kitchen designs incorporate open shelves for use and beauty

There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to open shelving in the kitchen. You either love the aesthetic of it or you can’t imagine having the contents of your kitchen cabinets exposed for everyone to see.

But there’s another group of people in the kitchen organization game: those who rethink open shelving and make it work by reclaiming that space for design inspiration that can also be functional.

Several builders we spoke with said they don’t build open shelving into kitchens because it is a matter of personal preference and that many buyers prefer cabinetry instead. But several designers and homeowners we interviewed have embraced open shelving and love the results.

This homeowner opted to reveal all the contents of the kitchen cabinetry with a combination of glass doors and open shelving. Storage below offers hidden spaces for items that don’t need to be displayed, while the upper cabinetry and shelving offers a nice space for decorative items.

Evan Millard, principal designer with Modern Remains in Nashville, said he is a big fan of open shelving.

“I think there are some great positives to open shelving,” he said. “It’s more economical than cabinetry, it takes the guesswork out of ‘where are my items?’ and it gives you a way to display some beautiful things.”

Homeowner Andy Davidson has a culinary background and although he doesn’t work full time as a chef anymore, he still cooks a lot at home. When building their home in Columbia, he and wife Brittany wanted to make their kitchen highly functional and utilized a lot of open shelving.