Open Kitchen Shelving

Open shelving in the kitchen can be a little controversial.  People have a tendency to think, “I don’t want everyone seeing all my mismatched dishes.” or “I don’t want the pressure of having to keep everything neat and organized all the time.”  
But if you choose a few specific, key items to keep on “display” and have a certain spot for each of those things, open shelving can be really pretty and open up the room.  
In our kitchen, our glass cabinet shelving holds our everyday plates and bowls, as well as a few decorative wooden bowls and my favorite Mikasa chevron plates and cups. 
The light olive plates are from my single days and are made by Calvin Klein.  The off-white place setting is from our wedding registry at Crate & Barrel.  The wooden bowls are from Pottery Barn.  

Jimmy’s bachelor white Ikea plates and bowls are still with us.  

It’s easy to keep things organized when you don’t have more things than you have room for.  Every dish has a specific place where it goes. Whoever puts the dishes away knows exactly where to put them.
Lately, I’ve been considering doing something with the back of the cabinets (paint, wallpaper, fabric??).  
I still love these Calvin Klein plates and bowls.  I remember they were my first “set” of dishes as an adult and I searched all over before finally deciding on them.  They have a great weight to them.  (p.s. I found them at Macy’s).

The black plates with the gold rim are from Z Gallerie.  

Do you like open shelving in the kitchen or prefer to keep your things behind closed doors?  

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I really love the look of open shelves (behind glass so there isn't any dust collecting on your plates!). And I think that you're right! Not all your shelves should be open, just some. The pots and pans aren't really that nice to look at, so you wouldn't have to display them 😉

  2. I love open shelving, but agree, you have to be selective about what you put in it. I used to be a fan of decorating the backs of the cabinets with a pattern, but now I tend to lean more toward just a simple color so as to not compete with what is in the cabinet, and making it easier to change things up if needed.

  3. We have glass front cabinets in our house, and love them. I think they make our smallish kitchen look a lot more open and airy. I've considered painting the backs of ours, so I say go for it! It's easy to change it back if you don't like it.

  4. I have always had an glass cabinet door in my kitchens and i have always displayed my wedding china in them. Now seeing your post, I am thinking about changing what is inside as it is not matching at all the colors in my current kitchen.
    Thank you for the suggestion.

  5. I love the idea of glass front cabinets, especially in a white kitchen. We have a small section of uppers and lowers between our dining room doorway and our laundry room doorway, I would love to change the upper doors to glass to show off my china. I also love backing the cabinets with mirror so you arent competing with your display items, and you bounce light back into the room.

  6. I love the glass doors as well. I think it would look really nice to paint or do some type of wallpaper in the background. Maybe paint as not to take away from the chevron pattern. Your Kitchen is gorgeous!

  7. Love the pictures and the Chevron pattern! Question – where did you get your Bread box. I love the icon for 'bread' and was wondering if you purchased it this way or you did a DIY to it to customize? Love it either way and hoping you will share!!!! Please.

  8. I thought your first photo was out of a magazine!! So pretty! Love the idea of open shelving to break up a big kitchen! It adds interest!

  9. I love open shelving, but only a few cabinets. I have a very similar set up in my kitchen with the three cabinets and counter space separate from the rest of the kitchen. I have already decided when our kitchen cabinets get a makeover I want those three cabinets to be open shelving!

  10. I think open shelving is a total must! Like you said- just pick a few key things to keep organized and you'll be fine 🙂 It definitely opens up the room, breaking up all the standard cabinets.

  11. I love open shelving but at this time of my life I could never pull it off. I'm a college student with mismatched dishes.

    Your open shelving is stunning. I love those chevron mugs!!!


  12. I love the look of open shelves but could not pull it off! Way too many baby accessories! Love your mugs btw!

  13. I have forgotten where I heard this (probably Martha), but it's one of those tips you keep in your back pocket until you get a chance to use it.

    Get some foam core board (Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc) and cut it to fit your cabinet backs. Try for a close as you can fit. If the board is too short, put the seams where the stiles are or tape pieces together with duct tape if you plan to wall paper or cover with fabric.

    Paint, paper, or cover with fabric. Push them into the back and you have a completely changeble background. You can even make a few and change according to mood, or seasons.

    Kathe C.

  14. I keep seeing those chevron mugs in Army Wives and *need* some… or at least ONE for myself. haha Of course they're older and I'm having no luck. Any chance you're sick of them yet?! hehe

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