77 Comments

  1. maria
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:14 am

    What material are you using for your countertops?

    Reply

  2. Paige
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:15 am

    I am completely for this. We are doing a “butler’s pantry” looking monster on one side of our kitchen and the other is just going to be lower cabinets under a verifiable WALL O WINDOWS. It will be glorious. I hate cooking with upper cabinets.

    Reply

  3. Michelle Brown
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:22 am

    I like it! looking forward to seeing the end result. It’s your kitchen, do what works best for you!

    Reply

  4. Marianne in Mo.
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:24 am

    I have not lived with open shelving, so cannot comment on personal experience, BUT – have in the past, put items of decoration on top of cabinets. The amount of yuck and the time involved in cleaning the yuck has discouraged me from ever having things exposed again. However, I also found that seldom used items in cabinets also accumulated yuck, so it seems it doesn’t matter. Yuck happens.
    So I say if you love it, go for it! If you find, down the line that you hate it, you can always change it. Open shelving is prettier, I will have to say!
    One question – I didn’t see a spot for the wall oven – where will you place that?

    Reply

    • Tina
      April 17, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

      I put decorative stuff on top of my cabinets but YUCK! And scrubbing the cabinets is gross and nasty! Then my SIL came up with a great idea. In my new home, he spread a roll of waxed paper on top of the cabinets. I can put what I want up there and when I do my cleaning, I just get the stuff down and clean it and replace the waxed paper. DONE!

      Reply

  5. Lauren Matheson
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:25 am

    I have open shelves and don’t hate them, although I do restrict the items on them to repeats (drinking glasses in a set, frosted glass dry goods canisters) for visual simplicity or the cutter would overwhelm me. What I *will* weigh in on is that if I had to choose between splattering an ornate mirror frame with water or grease, I’d opt for water.

    Reply

  6. Karen Foss
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:29 am

    I just saw beautiful display kitchen with no uppers but a type of built in armoire at each end of sink wall. It looked great and provided great storage. Wish I knew how to send you pix! Your plan looks great.

    Reply

  7. home before dark
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:35 am

    I love open shelving and have had some form of it in every kitchen I have had had for over 50 years. So agree/aggrieve with you of shelves in a kitchen being “staged/decorated/filled with fake stuff”. I like things in glass jars. I like to see where things are without having to put my head into a cabinet. As for gunk build up: It’s easily dealt with. Like most things in life, I’d rather see the dirt and get rid of it than hide it and think it’s better someway since I can’t see it.

    Your kitchen is going to be grandly, unique and I know you hate this: useable.

    Reply

  8. Too Realistic
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:36 am

    The only thing I would say is – DRAWERS in your lowers where ever you can. That is all.

    Reply

    • Judy Blachek
      April 17, 2018 @ 11:04 am

      A huge Amen to the drawers in the lower cabinets. Getting down on the floor to get the stuff in the back gets old fast. And as I am old now, getting the stuff in the back is not fast, and not fun at all.

      Reply

    • Wilma
      April 17, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

      Yup, I agree. All drawers, all the time. And no upper cabinets. My dream kitchen–no shadows from upper cabinets, everything as open as possible, with all the windows. Ahhhhhhh…..

      Reply

    • Kay
      April 17, 2018 @ 1:18 pm

      Drawers only. They have revolutionized my life. And not those cabinets that you have to open to reach the drawers. How stupid is that?

      Reply

    • Nikki H
      April 17, 2018 @ 11:44 pm

      Drawers. They will save your back. and your sanity.

      Reply

  9. Kathy
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:37 am

    I couldn’t tell from your article if giving up the sink/window thing was utterly destroying you or not. You could have a 30″ sink close to your kitchen window. Angle the counter 45 degrees, or put it close to the turn. It will be off-center but so what? Wouldn’t that be fitting? And your kitchen is L-shaped only until you stick the piano in. Looking at the negative space, it then becomes U-shaped, and who doesn’t like U-shaped?

    Reply

  10. Lora
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:37 am

    I love open shelving! So I think you’re right on track for brilliance and beauty. But (you knew that would happen) I do like a couple of closed upper cabinets for foodie things I want close to hand and invisible. Like the coffee, the baking soda, salt and olive oil for the boiling spaghetti water, etc. But you do you, girl! I’m sure you have all that handled.

    Reply

  11. Flip Breskin
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:37 am

    Wonderful! So how do I find any of those amazing metal shelf supports?

    Reply

  12. Allie
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:40 am

    I might get tied to the stake for this but I love open shelving! I think it will look lovely in the kitchen AND allow you to have a reason to collect more fancy things to show off on the shelves. That is a big win in my book. xAllie
    http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

    Reply

  13. April
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:41 am

    Off topic, sorry, but–speaking of that beautiful Kohler Whitehaven farm sink, my advice is to skip the strange 2-piece rack they sell for the bottom. If you already bought one, sell it on Craigslist like I did! They scratch or mark the bottom of the sink, and are dreadful to clean.

    Here is the much-nicer alternative I found (mine is bright blue, which makes me smile when I look down in the sink! Don’t worry that it’s called a dish drying rack, there are multiple uses: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B06XCMDC4Y/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B06XCMDC4Y&pd_rd_wg=EafSE&pd_rd_r=VH7P2CNKK20WQMW4ZXED&pd_rd_w=ikso9

    Don’t see as many colors as when I got mine last year. They are easy to clean in your dishwasher, don’t develop scum as quickly, don’t scratch, simple to roll back for unobstructed use of garbage disposal, and they form a nice small roll for storage–you can rotate one into the dishwasher and plop a clean one into the sink.

    Reply

    • Angela
      April 17, 2018 @ 1:07 pm

      Another opinion on the racks for my Kohler sink: I have a double sink and often wash on one side and let drain on the rack on the other side. Dishes dry out of sight! My racks have rubber feet – so no scratching – and I run the racks through the dishwasher from time to time. I love them!

      Reply

      • Kay
        April 17, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

        Yes, that is exactly what we have and do. Simple and works beautifully.

        Reply

  14. Joanne
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:48 am

    Along with the mat method of drying, I also use a small antique bottle drying rack. Works great for glasses, bottles!, and utensils that can hang on hooks or straddle the frame.

    Reply

  15. Sarah
    April 17, 2018 @ 10:57 am

    I’ve lived in an apartment with ONLY open shelving- no upper cabinets at all in my rental- for almost two years now and I cannot imagine ever going back. I really do not understand what people are talking about when they talk about how dirty everything gets- we cook daily and it’s been fine, probably because everything we store there gets used (and thus washed) frequently. The only con is that everything is visible, so pretty containers, cookware, etc. are a must.

    Reply

  16. Jessica
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:00 am

    I really caution you against using an induction stove. Please read about their excessive EMF output and how they are not a healthy surface to cook on.

    https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/induction-stove-dangers-what-to-buy-instead/

    Reply

  17. Ada
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:02 am

    In theory, I love open shelving. It looks gorgeous in the pictures. In practicality, I have so much crap that the world doesn’t need to see, it would drive me nuts to loook at ALL MY STUFF ALL THE TIME. I always plan my renos with an eye on resale, and I think open shelving would be a deterrent to some people. That being said, I can’t wait to see what you do with it! You are taking the risks I would never dare to take and I am sure it will be stunning 🙂

    Reply

  18. Dianne Averill
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:03 am

    We love our dish mat… got an extra long one (almost 36 inches) in black. Easy to wash, easy to put away.

    Reply

  19. Heidi
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:04 am

    My dream kitchen is all open shelves instead of uppers. This gorgeous century kitchen, specifically (sorry, I hate links, but I feel in my heart that everyone should see this):
    https://www.houzz.com/photo/11720132-1910-foursquare-kitchen-craftsman-kitchen-portland

    Unfortunately for me, my better half is adamantly against this approach. Weep for me.

    Reply

  20. Fern Benson
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:06 am

    I went one step further……. no top cabinets, and I hung artwork! I am inspired daily. a galley kitchen, one side has the counters, a small shelving unit at counter height, then a glorious wall of art for a 14′ wall. the other wall has open shelving and lower cabinets. 99% of the time it suits me, the other 1% of the time I say “what is all this stuff?”. Then I get over that and enjoy.

    Reply

    • Carol
      April 17, 2018 @ 12:08 pm

      Hi Fern, I have a very small kitchen (12 x 12). Recently I took out the upper cabinets (which were always awkward and too narrow anyway) on my range wall. Then I added a fabulous range with gorgeous hood and sconces at either end of the space. My kitchen looks so much more spacious. LOVE IT! When finished, the range wall will look like it was once an inglenook fireplace. AND I added pull out drawers to the base cabinets and purged about half of the knickknacks and stuff I had not used in years. So beautiful and so liberating.

      Best wishes, Carol

      Reply

  21. Jennifer
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:07 am

    I totally agree with drawers in all your lowers. You will thank us for it in the end. I have never had a window over my sink. Well, I did once, but right in front of that window was a telephone pole. Might well enough have had no window there! Do hurry, we are all very anxious to see the finished kitchen.

    Reply

  22. JeanFB
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:07 am

    It will be magnificent! Your L will NOT be boring – it is an Illuminated Calligraphy L of the fanciest type – because your L has a grand piano as the embellishment. I can’t wait to see how you do your open shelving – knowing your penchant for GFTs, I’m picturing maybe wrought iron scrolled shelf supports? Maybe brass piping a la Fixer Upper’s mid century modern kitchen (except along the wall, not out over the island of course)? (maybe this link would work: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/222435669080532506/ ). And I cannot agree more with Too Realistic’s comment above – drawers along every single bottom cabinet you can possibly manage it for. And if you don’t like the look of drawers, you can do doors with slide-out shelving. Changed my entire universe. Any future house must have them. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I love your style – I’m from PA, went to school in Philly, and I know exactly the kind of GFTs you encounter and long for… me too!!

    Reply

  23. Chris Bennor
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:08 am

    When I was renovating my kitchen, I came in the day they pulled down the upper cabinets and I loved how much more spacious the kitchen felt. So I just have open shelving, but I do limit what I have. Only white or clear dishes, black pans, touches of blue, and a few art items. I keep all dishes out, my primary pots and pans. My kitchen, 5 years later, still gorgeous.

    Reply

  24. Michele
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:13 am

    I (anonymous internet person) am not afraid to say I LOVE the idea of open shelving rather than bulky closed up upper cabinets! (lol) seriously though if I had a bigger space and enough storage space for the ugly that i have to keep in my kitchen (I’m talking stained plastic kid cereal bowls they refuse to give up) I’d do it too!

    Reply

  25. Emily
    April 17, 2018 @ 11:40 am

    Functional open shelves are awesome! I ditched my uppers and went to open shelves a year ago and L O V E it 💓
    Go for it!!

    Reply

  26. Carol
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

    Hi VEB, NOW I am going to REALLY mess with your kitchen floor plan. I think the big visual problem for you is that your fabulous piano counter is not centered between the windows.

    1. Since you want to remove your wall cabinets and since you don’t plan to have a vent for your cook top, why not remove ALL the cabinets on your wall A? This will allow you to move the piano so it is centered under the windows.
    2. Move all those base cabinets to the opposite side of the kitchen to create a peninsula. Your range can go in the peninsula. AND you can have seating at the peninsula if you need it.

    Et voilà, your kitchen no longer an “L” but a “U”. You can use wall A for very thin shelving (5″ to 6″ deep) that is just one can or jar deep and/or to hang art or more of your glorious mirrors.

    Smiles from Carol

    Reply

    • Gwen
      April 17, 2018 @ 1:23 pm

      I’m interested by your suggestions. The piano island not being centered with the windows bugs me too, and it’s only amplified when the lady head mirror is added. The unbalance of it all is further amplified by that built in bench with storage under the right hand window.

      I’m in favor of losing that bench, but I don’t think there is space to move that island to the left, even if you don’t have the cabinets over there at all – it would kind of block the entrance from that angled doorway, at least visually if not physically. Really, the way you enter the room you probably can’t see how things line up. We can’t know how the space really looks or feels from those drawings. I mean, me not knowing how those windows relate to the house (front, back, side?), and money being no object (ha!) I would tear them both out and want a large one centered with the island.

      Fun to dream and plan! It will be a beautiful space no matter what. The room could be empty with that beautiful island and I would declare it fabulous. 🙂

      Reply

  27. Sandy
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:06 pm

    What 3D software do you use?

    Reply

  28. Jeanne
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:12 pm

    Simple is beautiful. I have nothing against open shelving – I have it in my basement kitchenette.

    My dream kitchen has neither uppers or open shelving – just mostly windows. My present kitchen has limited uppers – partly because it is a small kitchen to start with. Many are putting the window in front of their prep area rather than sink because that is where they feel they are most of the time. Julia Child’s French Kitchen had no uppers – just peg board style. Yes to drawers rather than lower cabinets.

    I do have the grill for my Whitehaven and don’t have a problem with it:)

    Reply

  29. LeighTX
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

    One word of warning and it has nothing to do with open shelving: those microfiber drying mats are marvelous, but they are NOT heat-proof and if you set your favorite skillet down on it directly from the hot stovetop it WILL melt onto the bottom of your skillet and you WILL have to put the skillet into the freezer for a couple of days to harden the microfiber bits so you can scrape them off, and then the bottom of your favorite skillet will be scratchy and not pretty anymore. Not that I have personal experience in this area.

    You do you. It will be lovely and I’m excited to see the finished kitchen!

    Reply

  30. Nadege
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:23 pm

    Following your kitchen progress, too weak to keep away from kitchen reno and yours will , no doubt, stand out.
    We had all upper cabinets in our former house , some plain, some glass front, and I absolutely hated cleaning them , the doors, the knobs, the top part that gathers this appalling greasy dust.
    In the new house we went for all open shelving apart from one cabinet that sits right on the counter and goes all the way to the ceiling. It was supposed to look like some sort of integrated hutch, and so it does but I sometimes wish I had just put more shelves, I like the airy effect. My only advice would be to go for brackets. My husbad build floating shelves with a fork system but one swags a little, so pretty sturdy brackets is what I’d go for. I’ve not had any concern with cleaning, as things that are used don’t get dusty. I take the upper shelves inhabitants ( cake stands, compote dishes, silver…)down every other month to wash them.
    And someone mentioned drawers in lower cabinets, that’s a choice I do not regret ( though I think I’d maybe reconsider under the sink now), great access and perfectly for a small “pantry cabinet” in the kitchen.

    Reply

  31. Linda
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:26 pm

    Open shelving and cats…could be a problem…?

    Reply

  32. Dawn Wendel
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:37 pm

    So I have had great comfort with my indecision as I follow you. I’m not sure why I think that this kitchen remodel in a 117 year old house means that it MUST remain the same for the next 117 years. What about resale and what if the tile I pick that now seems so exclusive becomes available through a well known vendor via Target? The shame of it all! Maybe that’s why I love heavy trash day…what is one persons trash….right?

    My crap – umm fabulous items – that have been stored in boxes that now seems to be an episode of Hoarders leave me thinking maybe I’ll just start all over. I mean if I haven’t used it this long, I won’t miss it right?

    Reply

  33. Patricia
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:43 pm

    We have a tiny kitchen in our condo with no window ANYWHERE. I hung art work collected on our world travels and enjoy that over our sink. You do you. You will, anyway.

    Reply

  34. Mary
    April 17, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

    I presently have open shelving (and a large original butler’s pantry with uppers), and I like it for a small kitchen. It creates an airy feel, but it also limits your storage ability and you have to be organized otherwise it looks like an insane mess all the time.

    I go back and forth about it. It’s certainly simpler to install, and I think you can really customize it much easier for a more interesting look, plus it’s also cheaper. Although sometimes I just wish I didn’t have to look at all my stuff or worry about arranging everything.

    The good thing is, that if you decide you want uppers at a later date it’s much easier to take down shelves than it is cabs!

    Reply

  35. Queenofantiques
    April 17, 2018 @ 1:15 pm

    I had all drawers made for lower cabs. We found storing heavy dinner plates in the top drawer the best idea. Yes uppers get dusty, but do what you want. You have little fairies with swooshing tails to walk up there and dust for you!😽. Leave enough room on the walls to put sconces on each side of the mirrors. Hang a giant fancy Victorian framed oil painting on the other wall in between shelves to get rid of the ordinary kitchen feel that you abhor! Think Europe, they don’t have giant storage to store a 3 year supply of fancy food from Costco!

    Reply

  36. Gwen
    April 17, 2018 @ 1:33 pm

    I took the bite after seeing it advertised and blogged about everywhere, and paid to have a room rendered by Modsy. HIGHLY recommend. Super easy to do and the rendering is so accurate. You can pay extra to have your must-keep things rendered and you can move things about to scale. Seriously love that technology like this is available to us little people who can’t afford to hire interior designers. Maybe there’s a similar service for kitchens?

    Reply

  37. Darling Lily
    April 17, 2018 @ 1:51 pm

    Open shelving is all the rage right now, and while I am entirely too messy to have them, I don’t think you will regret it at all. You will come up with some way to modify some GFTs you find for an amazing price (full mantels? headboards? add glass shelves to your mirrors?) or else find the most perfect bits-and-bobs to conjure up shelving that will have us all drooling and sobbing in our buidler-grade hovels. I have the utmost faith in you and Paul.

    I am such a heathen that not only do I not have a window over my sink, I don’t have any windows in my kitchen at all. One gets used to it. It doesn’t bother me near as much as not having a garbage disposal. And while I’m confessing, I will own up to not even having a microfiber mat; if I don’t dry the dishes right away, I just *gasp* drain them on a dishtowels(s). (Every horror you ever heard about hillbillies is apparently true)

    Reply

  38. Lisa W.
    April 17, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

    In some kitchens I like cupboards …. in others I prefer open shelving . I am sure your open shelving will be beautiful !

    Reply

  39. Bobbi
    April 17, 2018 @ 2:13 pm

    I painted the kitchen cabinets in a former home of ours. They were beautiful — nice and white like I wanted them in our kitchen-o-abundant-windows. Somehow got interrupted (life!) and didn’t get the doors to the upper cabinets hung for several months. I came to LOVE the openness. It was hard to live with the doors again (husband! [who I adore and mostly bows to my whims, so of course I adore him]). Actually, we were moving soon, so I only had to live with the doors for a couple of months. I say a little extra dusting is a small price to pay for opening shelving. Can labels to the front, ladies!

    Reply

  40. Kay
    April 17, 2018 @ 2:19 pm

    We have open shelves and I love them. In the corners at either end are tall narrow units that rest on the counters—so useful for hiding the unsightly stuff. The open shelves flank the window over the sink and contain our everyday dishes, tea cups, and other things that are used a lot and can be attractively arranged. I agree with you about dry foods—arranged in matching glass jars, they are decorative. So are home-canned foods in glass jars.

    There are also no cabinets squeezing the hood over my French stove. Instead, we have bars with S hooks on either side and below the hood. Most of my cookware and cooking implements hang from these bars. It is so convenient. In the absence of a hood, you could hang even more than I do. Most things are used often enough that they don’t get greasy or dusty.

    Reply

    • Jackie B
      April 17, 2018 @ 6:45 pm

      I am thinking a beautiful harp hung over the piano would make a magnificent pot rack to hang some gold and black pots and pans.

      Reply

      • karen
        April 17, 2018 @ 11:12 pm

        Jackie B~ Love that idea!

        Reply

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