Open or closed? That is the Kitchen Storage Question

This high-end kitchen combines many different forms of hidden storage.

By Laura Gee, USstoragesearch.com

Bright and early this morning, my friend Rebecca (the one who likes to guest blog) sent me a stream of texts that woke me up. Assuming they were an emergency, I got out of bed to see what the big deal was. I had received 4 back-to-back text messages before 6:30am because a guy we knew from high school just bought a new house and according to Rebecca, his wife just “butchered the kitchen”. “Hey Organizing Lady! Get on FB NOW and see what [Insert chick’s name here] did to her house!” Seriously, SERIOUSLY? I was woken up 30 minutes before my alarm because of a decorating disaster?

After coffee calmed my nerves, I strolled over to see what the drama was about. Basically, the girl had knocked out 85% of her kitchen’s cabinets (that weren’t that stellar to begin with because the house was a touch outdated) to put up open shelves and hanging racks. NOT the end of the world…but not my favorite. That got me to thinking though…which method IS better for kitchen storage?

This is similar to some of the shelving our friend opted to use instead of keeping her cabinets.

I’m a fan of the traditional kitchen with TONS of traditional cabinet spaces, but that isn’t the final word in design. Like our friend did, many people opt for open storage shelves in their kitchen to display their stuff. Others prefer drawers, hidden lazy Susans, or glass front cabinets for their kitchen storage.

Why I like traditional options:

-You don’t have to keep everything that is stored PERFECTLY neat and tidy.

-It looks nice. A lovely cabinet door with nice fixtures are very eye appealing.

-You can hang things on the backs of cabinet doors.

-Less visually stimulating…I don’t want to stare at stacks of plates, cans of soup, or boxed meals. I want a nice wooden door to look at.

-Resale value–people tend to enjoy cabinet space and can adjust things later to fit their needs.

Why I don’t HATE open shelves:

-Better display options for your pretty dishes.

This kitchen has lots of potential space for open storage options.

-You kitchen items act as decorations in your kitchen–so you kind of get more bang for your buck.

-Forced to keep things neater and more organized because you (and everybody else who comes in) can see everything.

My compromise:

I like a combo of both. In my kitchen, I mainly have traditional cabinets in a pantry, but we did install shelves in our kitchen to display wine and some pieces of our fancy dishes. For daily sanity, there is no way I could maintain perfectly organized shelves–especially when I tend to accumulate (hoard) so much stuff. I think it is important to keep some stuff hidden and keep a little mystery. People don’t need to see your ratty water bottle collection you take to the gym or your stacks of plastic food containers you use for leftovers that are stained by tomato sauce. Use some display storage AND some hidden storage in your kitchen.

While our friend’s newly remodeled kitchen isn’t exactly my taste, and obviously not Rebecca’s, I see why they like it. I don’t think guests will walk away from visits talking about the terrible kitchen at all. It is still very pretty and so far they keep it neat. It’ll be interesting to find out if she maintains her perfect shelving organization or if she will miss her closed storage after a while.

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