Open Shelving vs. Closed Cabinets: Which Is Your Style?

When it comes to kitchen design, one of the biggest debates centers around the choice between open shelving and closed cabinets. Each option has its unique charm and practicality, and choosing between them can significantly impact the overall look and functionality of your kitchen. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of open shelving and closed cabinets to help you determine which style suits you best.

Open Shelving


  • Aesthetic Appeal: Open shelving creates a sense of openness and allows you to showcase your beautiful dishes, glassware, and decorative items. It’s perfect for those who love the idea of displaying their kitchenware.
  • Accessibility: With open shelves, everything is within easy reach. There’s no need to open and close cabinet doors, making it a convenient choice for frequently used items.
  • Easy to Install: Installing open shelves is usually simpler and more cost-effective than putting in cabinets. They can also be a great DIY project for those who enjoy crafting.


  • Dust and Dirt: Open shelving can accumulate dust and dirt quickly. Unless you’re diligent about cleaning and organizing, it can lead to a messy appearance.
  • Limited Storage: You need to be selective about what you display because open shelves have limited storage space compared to cabinets. This might not be suitable for those with extensive kitchen equipment.
  • Maintenance: Keeping items organized and aesthetically pleasing can be a constant effort. Frequent rearranging and cleaning are necessary to maintain the look.

Closed Cabinets:


  • Concealed Storage: Closed cabinets hide clutter and keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy. They’re perfect if you prefer a more minimalist or streamlined appearance.
  • Protection: Cabinet doors provide protection against dust and grease, keeping your dishes and cookware cleaner for longer.
  • Variety of Styles: Cabinets come in a wide range of styles, from traditional to modern, allowing you to choose the design that best fits your kitchen’s overall aesthetic.


  • Limited Visibility: The downside of concealed storage is that you might forget what you have, leading to items being forgotten or wasted. You may also have to rummage through cabinets to find what you need.
  • Cost: High-quality cabinets can be expensive to purchase and install, making them a significant investment in your kitchen.
  • Installation Complexity: Installing cabinets can be more complex and time-consuming than adding open shelving. Professional installation may be necessary.

In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the open shelving vs. closed cabinets debate. Your decision should reflect your unique taste, lifestyle, and how you use your kitchen.

With Imperial Kitchen Cabinets, you can enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen.

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