Open front or glass-front kitchen cabinets are a great place to display things, such as collections or nice dishes.
If you have a hutch, for example, something that’s out of the main kitchen traffic, you can get away with storing things that you don’t use every day, like serving dishes, your good crystal wine glasses, or things you only use for parties.
Open shelves in the kitchen would be better for a different kind of display; things you use every day, like your standard dishes. You would still need some closed storage as well, for plastic bowls, Tupperware, and things you don’t necessarily want people to see.
Your display, whether it is glass-fronted cabinets or open shelves, you usually want it to be centered or at least symmetrical on either side of a window or maybe your hood fan. It won’t likely be a one-off cabinet, so you want to make it look purposeful.
People are going to look at it, so you want to make sure that it’s as close to perfect-looking as it can be. This goes for where you place it, how you place it, whether you accent it with a different color, or put an LED light strip inside of it.
What Will You Display In Your Kitchen Cabinets?
Ultimately, there aren’t any hard and fast rules about what you put in your kitchen display cabinets. Everybody’s different. Some homeowners will have photographs displayed in there; others will have collections. Cake plates, teacups, souvenirs from your travels, ceramic chickens, salt and pepper shakers, cookie jars – the sky’s the limit.
One thing, though, the stuff you display in the kitchen is likely stuff you wouldn’t display in the dining room or the living room, or even the bathroom. You can get away with a lot more kitsch in the kitchen.
Open cabinets are a way to display collections that have been handed down to you as well. For example, you may have a bunch of your grandmother’s cookbooks that have been handed down for generations. Whether you use them or not, just seeing them is going to make you feel good.
Open Cabinets Are Not For Everyone
Not every client wants kitchen display cabinets, though. It’s something we always talk about when we’re designing a kitchen, but many people either don’t have anything they want to display or they’re more interested in keeping the sightlines neat and tidy.
Other clients love the look of open shelving, but if they don’t have something appropriately nice to put on them, it might not look that great.
For example, one client wanted all of her wall cabinets to be black and we talked her out of it. Unless she was going to have a collection of the same cups, and exactly the same dishes and bowls, and everything is always going to be perfectly organized, it’s not going to be the best look.
But, she had two little kids, and a ton of sippy cups, and Elmo plates and stuff like that. With an open cabinet, people would see all that, and it wouldn’t look great. So we talked her out of it. In this case, a closed cabinet was a much more practical design choice.
In general, unless people already have something like this in mind, they don’t typically ask for this type of cabinetry. We’re working with somebody right now who has an old family collection of depression glass, and he’s already asking where he can put it. Something like this is perfect for a display cabinet, so it’s going to be part of his kitchen design.
In other words – the collection comes before the display cabinet. You won’t design a kitchen with glass cabinets and nothing to put in them. If you do, you’ll be running down to Home Goods to buy vases, nice plates, and little signs.
Highlighting Your Collections With LEDs
There are ways to highlight different parts of your display cabinetry, say if you have one particular collection that you want to highlight or even if you want to draw the eye away from places where there isn’t much to look at.
One of our clients, she had open cabinets with more stuff in them than she wanted to look at every day. But, used the middle section to display pretty little things on plexiglass shelves, pitchers, bowls, teacups, a teapot, stuff like that – kitchen-themed items. We lit that up, so it’s easier for her to see those things and have them on display, but they’re high enough that the grandkids can’t pull them down.
Are you thinking about display cabinets for your St. Louis kitchen? Let’s talk about it! Reach out today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.