I think I am in the minority when I confess to you, dear reader, that I do not like open kitchen shelves. They are pleasing to the eye when I first gaze upon their aesthetically pleasing utilitarian free-range displays of colorful porcelain. I want those open shelves. I crave having them in my home. Thankfully, this is where my practicality kicks in. If I had open shelves in my kitchen they would become a magnet for greasy dust build-up and would look like they were shoved onto a shelf without a care in the world.
Now that I am an empty nester we don’t use as many dishes as before. Not like we did when the kid was home and I had a house full of teenagers. Back then I was lucky if there was a clean dish left for dinner.
Don’t get me wrong, we considered open shelves when we built our house four years ago. That lasted a whole hot minute. My dreams of artfully styled gorgeous crockery meant two things: 1) I need to learn how to style and 2) I would need to procure gorgeous crockery.
Of course, I can also picture my grandmother stopping in for a visit. Nearing 90, she has issues many women her age have — she forgets things on occasion and is moving slower. But, I can also guarantee the one glass she would grab off of my beautifully styled shelves would send her to the sink in search of a bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid and a scrubber. Hazel knows a thing or two about household storage and this would be a calamity in her eyes.
The kid still comes home frequently and is, at best, a bull in a china shop most days. I think the chips in our cups and dishes have increased due to his shorter visits. He has been gone just long enough for all of the bad habits of college life to kick in while the established good habits leak out of his brain to make room for something… When I ask him what he learned, it’s the same answer he’s given me since kindergarten — “I don’t know.”
There is also the issue of clutter. The older I get, the less I like clutter. It exhausts me, so I take time every day to tackle spots that are clutter magnets and clear it out. (I’m cleaning out my closet soon – if you don’t hear from me in a month, send help.) The less clutter you have, the more organized you are and since I am not the naturally organized woman my family members are, I will do anything I can to stay on track of organization. This means hiding dishes behind a cabinet door as the stacks, no matter how neat they are, look like clutter.
There are a few instances where I would try open shelves. If I had odd-sized spaces where a cabinet wouldn’t work, or if I was a master of vignettes. I do have collectible dishes that I can display, but there are usually only one or two pieces out at a time. A friend told me I might like them better because I cook a lot and they make it easier to put my hands on the things I need, but I learned long ago to approach cooking with organization, so I gather everything ahead of time.
What are your thoughts on open kitchen shelves? Love or hate them?