Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Open Shelving Decision

One of my hidden talents is taking a simple idea and running a million miles away with it until it's nearly unrecognizable. Case in point: after we chatted about adding a shelf below my squatty too-short upper cabinet, I naturally began considering my options...

While browsing online, I found a couple examples of what I was talking about with a single shelf hanging below cabinet uppers:

The problem was, I liked how the single shelf was carried around a longer length of the kitchen in both the example photos, and I knew I only had that one small length of wall above the butcher block counter in my kitchen.

A commenter on my original post suggested adding open cubbies, like this:

It was okay, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. So I kept going through photos of open shelving that made me happy... (we call these web and Pinterest sessions "research" when we talk to our husbands about what we were doing the last two hours)

 (source: BHG)

 (Source: Cultivate)

  (Source: Cultivate)

I realized I was being repeatedly drawn to small walls of open shelving among traditional cabinetry. Why fight it? I think I'm just going to remove that short cabinet over the butcher block counter entirely and put open shelving in its place; three floating shelves, probably.

Next, since we're on a roll (and why stop now?) let's remove the other weird short cabinet over the oven and replace it with an over-the-range microwave. Last, close off that open sided nook where the microwave currently resides, add some wine storage and who knows what else. Make it cute, dang it. Make it cute.

Long story short, I've decided to mess with my kitchen even more. That's how a person such as myself moves from simply adding a shelf below a cabinet to removing half a wall of uppers. I think it takes a certain amount of bravery (foolishness?) to start pulling out kitchen cabinets, but I've seen enough people who are wonderfully happy with their decision to add some open shelving, and it seems like a genuinely good solution to my out-of-proportion cabinet problem, so I've decided to just go for it.

And the best part? I have a couple fewer cabinets to paint now!


  1. scope creep. I painted my kitchen. Now I need a new countertop and let's just go ahead and move the stairs. I mean, why not? :)

    1. Ha :) I'm telling myself that because it's just a relatively minor, esthetic change that it's not really changing the scope of my makeover. I DID want to move the stairs a couple years ago, though... I'm doing so much better now ;)

  2. I love your idea to remove the cabinets. And you may even find that you can utilize the space better without them. Painting my cabinets has been on the list for weeks now. Sadly, it's looking like a vacation project. SO NOT what I wanted to do on my vacation, but whatever.

  3. Ha! I love it -- that is just how I work. I just said to my husband last night "The busier I am, the more ideas I get for more things to do." His response: "I've noticed that." :)

  4. I like the idea of closing off the cabinet to give it a more built-in look, but I would veto the idea of wine storage in the kitchen. The kitchen is the absolutely the worse place in the home to store wine, too much light and too much heat, especially in such close proximity to the stove.

    Maybe you could add a shelf to this space for cookbooks or nice baskets to store towels, pot holders, extra rolls of paper towels, etc?

  5. Designing of kitchen and making different parts of kitchen like cabinets, shelving, decorating etc is always a challenging work. You have to see space your kitchen as well. For shelving also check supermarket shelves.


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