TREND ALERT: Is open shelving in a kitchen design in or out?

Design is so fluid and everyone has an opinion about what is in and what is out, including myself. For me, I feel like it is very important to read design magazines and watch home design and renovations shows to keep up to date on what my clients are seeing because this is what they being told they need to do in their own homes. 

One of the trends I have been seeing a lot of lately on the renovation shows is doing open shelving for all of the uppers in a kitchen. Is this a good idea? 

 Even though this is a cute curated open shelving kitchen, is it practical or just pretty?

Even though this is a cute curated open shelving kitchen, is it practical or just pretty?

My opinion is NO, DON'T DO IT! I honestly feel like this is the worst recent trend, and I would advise my client's against it. 

I feel like the open concept shelving with the perfectly aligned cups and bowls next to fresh potted greenery on top of a curated stack of cookbooks looks fabulous on TV and magazine photos, but it is not practical nor is it realistic for everyday use. I don't know about you, but I value every square inch of my cabinet space and am very glad I can hide as much away as I can.  Another thing to remember with open shelving...more dusting (my least favorite thing to do) and they tend to get cluttered looking very quickly. 

 Cluttered open concept kitchen. 

Cluttered open concept kitchen. 

 Can you imagine dusting all of this?

Can you imagine dusting all of this?

 Charming or chaotic? 

Charming or chaotic? 

So why are so many design and remodel shows pushing this trend? Easy, it's cheaper than traditional closed cabinetry and when you are in the business of buying fixer uppers for cheap, remodeling, and selling for a profit, it is simple to see why flippers are doing this to save costs. 

I will say I am not 100% against any open shelves in the cooking area. I think open shelving can be done properly in small doses to create a nice design aesthetic. Here are some great examples of how they have been used in a tasteful way that makes sense. 

 The open shelving around the kitchen sink works great in this design. Because the sink is in the corner of the kitchen, the open shelves allow for a less boxed in feel. 

The open shelving around the kitchen sink works great in this design. Because the sink is in the corner of the kitchen, the open shelves allow for a less boxed in feel. 

 This design has used open shelving at the end of the kitchen to leave the space feeling open without sacrificing a lot cabinet space. I like the blend of closed and open shelving here. 

This design has used open shelving at the end of the kitchen to leave the space feeling open without sacrificing a lot cabinet space. I like the blend of closed and open shelving here. 

 The coffee bar/butler's pantry is a prefect place to have open shelving. It is one area that makes absolute sense for this type of design impact. 

The coffee bar/butler's pantry is a prefect place to have open shelving. It is one area that makes absolute sense for this type of design impact. 

Remember, this is just my personal opinion. If you are gung-ho about putting up a wall of open shelving around your kitchen, by all means, go for it, because the most important thing to remember when designing is you have to be comfortable and happy in your home. 

 The ultimate open kitchen! :-)

The ultimate open kitchen! :-)