Chattanooga Condo with a Manhattan Chic Specialty Designed Kitchen

Open Concept Shelving Tips From Interior Designer Dawn D Totty!

When you think of kitchen cabinetry, do you think of it with solid front doors, open fronts, or open concept shelving? Here are a few interior design tips to creating your own open concept shelves!

Solid front cabinetry particularly in a darker finish can give the illusion of a smaller more closed in space.

How open-minded are you to open concept shelving? If we stop and think about it, the entire concept of the open floor plan is fairly new. Most traditional floor plans started with multiple smaller rooms, as they were easier to heat or not heat, lifestyles were quite a bit more basic and families were larger with more children requiring more bedrooms. Current lifestyles & functionality have been a huge factor in the overall change in home design. The concept of open cabinetry is just like the open floor plan and it is taking hold as one of the top trends in kitchen design for it’s versatility and aesthetic appeal. 

Open Kitchen Cabinets Design, Dawn D. Totty Designs

If Open Concept just isn’t for you, consider updating and refreshing your current cabinetry with a lighter finish and changing out a few of the solid front doors with glass, it will make the overall space appear larger and much brighter!  

Do you prefer solid cabinet doors or open concept shelving and why??   

I have heard many opinions and this is what the consensus appears to be……

The Pro’s are –

  • Easy access to dishware
  • Adds an element of design flare to a space
  • Trending and modern
  • A great way to display your most beautiful dishware
  • Far less costly vs solid cabinetry
  • Complimentary to a small space as it reduces some of the heaviness & bulk of a solid cabinet
  • Contributes to a more organized neater storage space, reduces excess dishware, usually a much lower price point,
  • The European look is visually popular for it’s clean and simple appeal  

The Con’s are –

  • Occasional dusting & cleaning
  • Limited storage space
  • Nicer dishware should only be showcased
  • Will not have accommodations for containers, lids etc.
  • Keeping open concept shelves organized & tidy is a must 

If committing to full Open Concept Shelving simply just isn’t for you, try removing the doors and using either glass shelves or wood. It is a simple and easy transition with little to no cost! 

Refinished Kitchen Cabinetry in very pale blue with glass fronts and custom Swarovski Crystal Hand pulls.

 On a personal note, I have half open concept shelving in my own kitchen and I can tell you with complete honesty, that it is fabulous!  They are visually very appealing and I find them to be low maintenance as well as it adds a touch of glamour to the space. Having your glass wear readily available without having to grab for the cabinet door is very functional!  Open concept shelving will contribute to a small space as the density of a solid front can visually make a space appear smaller.

I would love to hear your thoughts on which you prefer, closed cabinetry, or open concept shelving and what do you currently have in your kitchen??

Thanks so much for stopping in, I hope this post has been informative and has helped you determine which cabinet design compliments you and your space the best!

My Very Best to You,

Dawn D Totty

Dawn D Totty Interior Designs is available for online, onsite, and global interior residential & commercial design. To schedule your custom design consultation contact Dawn at (615) 339-9919 or

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