three steps to achieve the open cabinet look

It is a well known fact that when remodeling your house, you get the biggest bang for your buck in kitchens in bathrooms.  With kitchen remodeling being all the rage, it can get very easy to get carried away.  One thing turns into another, and before you know it you are looking at a $70,000 kitchen remodel.  Sure, everything looks gorgeous and wonderful, but the likelihood that you’ll be able to recoup that value?  Very slim.

With all of that being said, one of the driving forces that leaves a kitchen feeling dated is the cabinets.  New cabinets can cost thousands of dollars, and while if you don’t get carried away it can be completely worth it, here is another approach you can try for far less money.

Open cabinets are a huge trend that have been showing up all over the internet and in design magazines everywhere.  The clean, streamlined storage solutions gives off a contemporary vibe that will instantly update your house.  However, if you are going to do it, you need to do it right.  So here are three pointers to help you get the job done.

1.  Keep clutter to a minimum.
When you decide to opt out of cupboard doors, you are exposing your mess to the world.  You want to keep the items you display simple and clean, and you can accomplish this in a number of ways.  First of all, group like items together.  Stack plates and bowls, and anything else that can be easily organized.  I would suggest picking a color scheme and sticking with it.  One example would be to display all of your white dishes and vases.  If you want to add some accents, stick to 2 or 3 colors, or keep everything all within the same color family.  The moral of the story is to make everything looks cohesive.  Instead of thinking of these shelves as a place to store your dishes, think of it as one large artwork display.

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Above you can see how a select number of colors were stratgically used in the items displayed on the open shelves, and the number of items displayed were kept to a minimum.  Simplicity is key.  

2. Add contrast.
To make the items you are displaying really pop, paint the back of your shelves a different color.  I also love the added touch of the beadboard that lines the back of many of the cabinets.  This helps the cabinets to feel like they are their own entity, instead of just some cabinets you took the doors off of.  If painting the back of your cabinets a bright color is too bold a move for you, you can achieve the same contrast in the accessories (as you can see in the second image below).  

Image credit: {1} {2} {3} {4}
If serious contrast isn’t your style, you can still achieve a similar affect by using a color that is just slightly darker than the color of your cabinets.  This provides slight visual difference, without going to an extreme. 
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3.  Make the shelves look like built-ins.
If you simply just take the doors off of your cabinets, its going to look like an afterthought.  It won’t have the same effect as built in open shelves that were intentionally put there.  As I said earlier, you want to treat the items you are displaying as artwork, so if your dinnerware is the art, your cabinets are the frames.  If all of your cabinets are open to one another (as you can see in the top image) the cabinets don’t feel built in, and the center posts feel unnecessary.  So you have one of two options: get rid of them, or build them out.  Personally, I like the idea of embracing them, and just adding a little more wood behind them.    
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Although I think the image above could benefit from a little addition of wood behind the center posts, I must say the display techniques of the items is wonderful!
By building out the center posts and making them span to the back of your cupboards, not only have you achieved a more custom, built in look, but you have successfully “framed” the artwork you wish to display.  The picture below depicts this idea beautifully.  If you look back up through all the gorgeous examples, you can see just how well the cabinets are framing their contents.
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 With that, I wish you the best of luck with your kitchen remodeling…and as always, let me know if you have any questions!

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One Response to three steps to achieve the open cabinet look

  1. Connie says:

    You’re on top of the game. Thanks for shiarng.

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