August 19, 2022

Fad or Fab: Open Shelves

Open shelves are a trend that has spent quite some time in the spotlight for the past few years, but are they on trend or yesterday’s news?

While we LOVE the possibilities that open shelves offer, some homeowners wonder if they are worth the upkeep. Will floating shelves will be the perfect addition to your home design? Ultimately, you decide - are they a fad or fab?

Designer Notes:

  • Open shelving is well suited for small kitchens or awkward spaces
  • Allow for an open and airy feel; showcasing patterned tile or wallpaper
  • Perfect for displaying kitchenware, artwork, and curated decor
  • Blend with traditional cabinetry for a unique look

Scroll for inspiration from the Cabinet Chic, Miriam Johnson!

Why Open Shelves

While we think that any space looks great with open shelving, they are particularly well suited for small kitchens or awkwardly shaped spaces. If you have a smaller kitchen, open shelves will allow you to showcase your favorite dishes and cookware by opening up the space. Plus, since everything is within eyesight, you don’t have to search through a cabinet to find what you are looking for.  

Open shelves aren’t just a short-lived fad either. Centuries-old houses have open shelving incorporated into their kitchens all over the world.

Kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms...there’s a place for open shelves throughout your space. If you love sharing “shelfies,” open shelves allow you to switch up the look of your space by rearranging and updating your shelf vignettes based on the holidays or changing seasons. Yes!

If you love the look of open shelves, great! But if it isn’t for you, our team at C & C Cabinets can design some amazing custom cabinetry to stash away all your items or create a beautiful blend of open shelves and closed cabinets.  

Open Shelving: The Pros and Cons

Ultimately, deciding to install open shelving in your kitchen depends largely on your personal style and commitment to cleaning.  

Here are a few pros and cons to consider:


  • Are modern and on-trend
  • Allow you to display gorgeous glassware, dishes, and decor  
  • Can break up rows of traditional cabinetry  
  • Perfect for small areas like corners where cabinets don’t work
  • Help keep your kitchen open and airy


  • Can gather dust and become cluttered
  • Are difficult to keep clean
  • Offer less storage space than traditional cabinets
  • Are not ideal for people with a lot of dishes, cookware, or glasses
  • Can be dangerous if overloaded  

Design Inspiration > Styling Glass Front Cabinetry

Incorporating Open Shelving Into Your Space

Here are the Cabinet Chic’s top tips for incorporating open shelving into your home:

  • Install them in your kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, office, etc.
  • Consider the function and beauty of everything you display if you want a more aesthetic or curated look. Blend everyday items with art or plants to make the most of your shelves.  
  • Keep it looking beautiful - be ready to dust often!
  • While open shelving is usually found in place of top cabinets, it is now making its way to the kitchen island. This gives you a little corner to decorate, or stock bowls, pans, or serving platters for easy access.  

Remember, incorporating open shelving into your space doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you love the look of open shelves but don't want to give up your cabinets, blend them together! Or, consider having some glass front cabinets installed so you can get the look of open shelves without the dust!  

Less is more when decorating open shelving. The less clutter, the more streamlined your space will look!

Design Inspiration >  Is Patterned Tile Staying in Style?

Have Happiness Built In

Open shelving can add a unique character to your kitchen, bathroom, or living room. So what are your thoughts? Are open shelves a fad or fab?

Personally, we love the look of blending open shelving and custom-made cabinetry throughout the home! At C & C Cabinets, our Tampa, FL craftsmen can build custom shelving, cabinetry, millwork, built-ins, and more! And our finish shop does stunning work with paints, stains, and glazes to truly set your home apart from the rest!

Have happiness built in and call C & C Cabinets at (813) 876-6780 for custom-designed open shelving today! Every time you see the finished look, you’ll be glad you did.

“The work of C&C cabinets is incredible. They can make any cabinet dreams a reality. Highly recommend!”    - Seleena N.
C & C Cabinets Butterfly Transform Your Home

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