Living With An Open Shelvingby Kate Arends
It seems like with every newly renovated home that comes across our desk, there’s a kitchen designed with open shelving. We love the look, but is it really practical? Like, for anyone who doesn’t obsess over organisation and accessorising on a daily basis? We tapped designer Kate Arends of Wit & Delight to write the litmus test for being an open-shelving person.
I find myself lusting after perfectly tiled, open-shelf kitchens on Pinterest and Instagram far too often. Like multiple times a day. No matter how many kitchens I design, I just can’t get enough! Why is it that the heart of a home always seems to reside in the kitchen where the food is made, heart-to-hearts are had, and the fresh coffee brewed? Before Joe and I redid our kitchen, I often wondered to myself, What does it really take to be an open-shelf person? Does this type of person need to own perfectly matching unchipped plates and cohesive glasses that only come in even numbers, and fend off daily clutter like it’s their 9 to 5 job? Probably, I thought.
Now that we have open shelving in our kitchen at home and in two kitchens within the studio, I thought it would be nice for me to put together what it really takes to be an open-shelving person. Here is a list of the top six things to consider before (and after) tearing out your kitchen cabinets. This list will help you get ahead of your new kitchen remodel and decide if this whole open-shelving lifestyle is really for you!
1. How are your dishes and glassware? Is anything chipped? Do any of your glasses or dishes come in an odd number? Purchase a couple of new sets that stack and align nicely and put those beauties on display!
2. Do you have set spots for appliances? I often store the larger clunkier appliances such as blenders, mixers, crockpots, etc., that aren’t in everyday use in an accessible cabinet nearby.
3. How will you display things like your snoozy pantry items? Clear glass containers can be cute or you could do a hodgepodge of colourfully designed pottery containers, too. I’m loving wicker, marble, and copper containers right now.
4. How many shelves do you want (or need)? A few? A ton? The sky is the limit here and you can change this up depending on what each wall looks like in your kitchen. I also like the thought of wider shelves that can hold a wider array of larger or longer items.
5. How will you accessorise? With plants, books, or trinkets? I love adding a mixture of all of these items. I often need to remind myself that less is more, though. Because keeping clutter to a minimum always looks best!
6. Can you keep it neat? I find myself dusting and decluttering weekly and more often with open shelves. In a way, this is good because I’m less likely to store all my “stuff” away and let unnecessary or unwanted bowls, Tupperware, or glassware pile up.