Open Storage: Good or Bad Idea?

We are all guilty of going through Pinterest to see the latest trends. The biggest one that I have seen popping up is the open storage style instead of having top hung cabinets (just a fancy name for the cabinets you see at the top) and a lot of people have come up to me and asked if it is a good solution. Like all else in life there are pros and cons and I am here to give you the low-down and let you decide what best fit your lifestyle.

To make things fun, let’s play a game. Choose option A or B


1. Do you live

A. Alone or with a partner only

B. Big family

2. Are you a

A. Minimalist

B. Hoarder

3. Are you

A. Tidy and neat

B. Messy and clumsy

4. Do you like

A. An informal look

B. Prim and proper look

5. How often do you spring clean

A. Once a week at least

B. Once a month max

If your answers are mostly As, you have the all clear! Go for that open shelving if you want to!

In all seriousness the open shelving concept is a good option if you don’t have a lot of people living with you. Truth is open shelves are easily accessible and if you either lives alone or with a partner only, it is quite easy to manage. For people who live in a small house with not many plates, utensils and silverware, this allows you to have a clear view of what you have and not get more than what you need. If you do live with a big family but you adapt the minimalist lifestyle this might work out in your favour too. Open shelving is a good option or storage but it does not provide as much storage as top hung cabinets that can have sometimes twice or three times more space.

Lifestyles also play an important role, what are your characteristics. If you are generally tidy and loves cleaning up, open shelving might just be the better option anyway. The absence of doors in these open shelves allows dusts and frequent cleaning is required to ensure the cleanliness is well maintained. Apart from the dust, the term ‘open’ in open shelving also means everything will be put up on display and can be seen from all angles. Keeping it neat and tidy is not a cleanliness problem only; it is also an aesthetic problem now. There is nowhere to hide when it comes to open shelving so tidying up needs to be done at all times to ensure the kitchen looks well kept.

If your answers are mostly Bs, it’s best to keep it all behind closed doors. Top hung cabinets are your best bet!

Top hung cabinets are the more traditional option, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be modernized. This option is great if you are the kind who loves to entertain and have a big family due to its massive storage space available for the extra plates and utensils you might have and do not use from day to day. As I have mentioned earlier, top hung cabinets can keep about twice as much as open shelving and bonus point is closed cabinets means it keeps them less dusty too. Dust is made up of pollen, particles, dirt and whatever that is in the environment, so by keeping the items in a closed cabinet it keeps dusts away and thus requiring less maintenance. However, more storage space does not necessarily mean better because it also encourages you to hoard a lot more than what you normally use.

Organization is not the only plus point of this option, for instance, if you prefer a more formal setting and finish, having proper cabinets adds a more finished appeal. It is also more forgiving if you don’t tidy up the arrangement or you don’t have time to clean it up. Having glass doors for part of your cabinet can also be an option if you’d like the display factor that you have with the open shelving concept without the fuss of the dust.

The pros and cons of deciding whether or not either option is a good idea or not in dependent on the lifestyle and what you think is most convenient for you. My personal experience would be having both options, a combination if you cannot make up your mind. Having utensils that you use every day on display is a smart idea in a sense that you can have them readily accessible for use and keep items like extra cutlery or fine chinas in the closet for safe keeping. You can always mix and match these ideas to find one that best suit you. Weigh out the factors and I am certain you will make a good decision.




Syaza from Syaza Of All Trades will be our contributor writer for BakedKL in the next few upcoming posts.


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Originally published Jun3 12, 2019

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