Why I Love My Open Shelves

Every day I must say to myself how much I love my new open shelves. For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know about my budget kitchen makeover, and how I removed the cabinet doors off my existing 1960s cabinets. Some people thought I was crazy to expose the insides of almost all my upper cabinets, but I loved the idea from the very beginning. I thought I’d do a post on why I love mine, in case there are any of you out there who are on the fence. This might sway you to take those suckers off…or not;)

Let me show you what these cabinets looked like when we moved in…

These are the EXACT same cabinets. Didn’t do anything but those 4 steps. Oh, and new hardware on the ones that are still up;)

I think it’s such a great idea for those of us on a budget, but hate the way our cabinets look. All it takes is some paint, and pretty dishes to make ugly cabinets look like something out of a magazine.

Here are the reasons I freaking LOVE my open shelves (cabinets).

1. First and foremost, I think I love them most because they force me to simplify and de-clutter. I loathe clutter, and with 3 small kids, it’s a never-ending battle. But with this open look, I can’t exactly stare at the Spiderman and princess plasticware that the kids love. So I gave their “stuff” the bottom 2 drawers in our bottom cabs. Anything that didn’t fit, got given away. I mean, I have 3 kids – do I REALLY need 30 cups and plates?! Nope. I saved a handful, a few sippy cups and said ‘see-ya!’ to the rest. They’ve never asked for one of those things I got rid of either.

drawer #1
drawer #2

And any of our favorite mugs/bowls/glasses that don’t exactly look too pretty on display? Stored them all in this cabinet, with the door remaining CLOSED at all times;)

So for those of you a little intimidated at the thought of keeping your open shelves neat, get rid of your excess – and be honest! 😉 – leave some of the cabinet doors on, and stick the rest in there.

2. You may laugh and think I’m ridiculous, but every morning when I empty the dishwasher, I fall in love with these open shelves all over again. Who knew opening a cabinet door was such a nuissance?! Ok, ok, it’s really not, but it is pretty nice to just place those plates right on the shelf! For real.

3. Everything I need is right at my fingertips. If I need a glass, I grab it. I have these 2 baskets (that are from the Dollar Tree, but I spray painted them white to match the rest of the look), that are very handy. One holds coffee filters, so I just take one, and pop it in the coffee maker directly below it. Comes in handy when I’m still half asleep in the morning;).

I use the heck out of those Corningware dishes at dinnertime, so I’ve also enjoyed having them right there at my disposal, rather than having to squat down and search the bottom cabinet to get them out.

4. The final reason is just how darn pretty they are for such a small expense. I did have to buy a few white dishes, but I got most of them at the Dollar Tree and combined them with what I had already. Since my rockin’ 1960s cabinets were so boxy and outdated, I love that I was able to give my kitchen a whole new look for a heckuva lot less than buying new cabinets, that’s for sure!

So if you’re thinking of taking it all off and baring all, I hope this information helps! It’s not for everyone, but I sure do love them! Those of you who have already taken the leap, what are your thoughts? Do you love ’em like I do?


  1. When you primed and painted your cabinets what primer and paint did you find worked best? Did you sand first?

    • I just used whatever primer we had – don’t even remember! It was just plain ol’ primer. As for the paint – we went with semi-gloss white – Valspar, right off the shelf at Lowes! And yes, definitely sand first.

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