Cabinets vs. Open Shelving

Patricia O’Dell offers her advice on choosing open shelving or cabinets in a kitchen

Q: I’m considering open shelves instead of cabinets. Thoughts? — Melodye Rogers

A: I love open shelving, especially in smaller kitchens. They alleviate the weight of big blocks of cabinets. Visually, shelving works best when your dish and glassware have a consistent aesthetic. Nothing’s going to disrupt the look more than a stack of cups from the stadium. Items that are used less often, such as pitchers and serving bowls, may require a periodic wash to protect them from dust and the inevitable coating of oil from stovetop cooking.