How To: Open Your Kitchen Shelving and Not Screw it Up

Email from 5.14.08

Sara and I have been talking about taking the doors off our kitchen cabinets. I am for the idea and LIKE the idea of open shelving, but worry - as many do - that it won't look as good as we think it will. While we'd like the ease of being able to reach up and in without a door, and to see our nice dishes and cups, I've been hesitant until recently...

In the last month, I've seen two kitchens that have beautiful open shelves, which I urge you to check these out:

Mat's S.S. Waverly
House Tour Boston: Jeanine's Sun-Filled House

These two homes are amazing, and their kitchen shelves are lovely and inviting. From looking at these two kitchens, I've devised to tips for successful open shelving:

1. Cups, dishes and bowls look good / food looks bad = avoid open food storage
2. It is important to edit down and organize your collection = only shelve what you love
3. Plates (heavy) go on the bottom / glasses (light) go above
4. A darker or colored background highlights the style of the whole thing

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I am now ready to move forward. We still have to figure out how to work around all the food we have stored in our cabinets, but I have a vision to follow. The food will stay behind closed doors, but move to the less central cabinets. The central ones we can open up. Stay tuned.

(BTW, if you have open shelving that you are really proud of, send me a pic and I'll post it to add to this collection - maxwell@apartmenttherapy.com.)

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