How to Decide Between Open Shelving, Glass-Front and Traditional Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen cabinet typesChoosing the right cabinets for your kitchen is not a decision to take lightly; after all, the choice you make will have a significant impact on the visual appeal and functionality of your kitchen. There’s a seemingly endless array of kitchen cabinet styles to choose from, but most of them will loosely fall into one of the three following categories: Traditional, glass-front, or open shelving. Below are some points to consider about each cabinet style to help you determine which one will be the best fit for your kitchen.

Open Shelving Kitchen Cabinets: Pros and Cons

  • It’s hard to argue with the eye-catching aesthetics of open shelving in the kitchen. You can not only use them to store your regular kitchen items, but you can also reserve sections of your shelves for artistic pieces or other special accents.
  • Accessibility is a huge plus. Open shelving gives you easy access to all of the items you’ll be keeping in your cabinets. Plus, you won’t have to rely on your sharp memory skills to remember where everything is; all you have to do is give your cabinets a quick glance, and you’ll be able to locate what you need with no sweat.
  • Open shelving has a significantly lower installation cost than other cabinet types, which makes it a very budget-friendly choice. The money you can save by choosing open shelving can be put towards other aspects of your kitchen renovation or remodeling project.
  • You’re going to have to be mindful of dusting. Very mindful. Otherwise, kitchen-related residue can give your shelves a grimy look over time.
  • You’ll need to pay much more attention to clutter, because everything will be visible. Open shelving offers little wiggle room for the less organized among us.

Glass-Front Kitchen Cabinets: Pros and Cons

  • Glass-front cabinets typically lend a more modern look to your kitchen than solid wood doors. In addition, you can paint (or paper) the inside of your cabinets with a nice complementary color or pattern to add a visual “pop” to the space.
  • This style can boost the perception of the kitchen’s overall size.
  • Glass-front cabinets enable you to display special dinnerware items or other attractive accents, adding an extra element of style to your kitchen. You can also locate items easily when your cabinet doors are transparent!
  • Glass-front cabinets are obviously more fragile than solid doors.
  • The glass can sometimes become discolored over time, diminishing their visual appeal.
  • Glass can be a magnet for cooking residue of all kinds, which means you’ll have to clean your glass doors on a frequent basis. Otherwise, they’ll look dingy and unattractive.

Traditional Kitchen Cabinets: Pros and Cons

  • Traditional kitchen cabinets are typically made of solid wood (e.g., maple, birch, cherry, oak, etc.), making them perhaps the most durable cabinet style. Wood cabinets are also highly versatile in terms of aesthetics, as they can be stained, painted, bleached, distressed, etc., to match practically any home decor.
  • Minor scratches and dents are easily repairable, and any problems with doors are usually not too difficult to fix.
  • If the items in your cabinets tend to drift towards disorder (especially in a very busy household), traditional cabinets can obscure the disarray, giving your kitchen at least the appearance of being organized.
  • Water or humidity-related damage can lead to mold, warping, or rotting.
  • In terms of price point and installation costs, traditional kitchen cabinets made of solid wood are typically a more expensive choice.
Choosing the kitchen cabinet type that matches your ideal objectives for aesthetics and functionality is not always an easy task. Enlisting the help of a kitchen design coach from Lifestyle Kitchen Designs in Cincinnati, OH or Centerville, OH can make the process much easier, as you’ll be able to tap into their wealth of knowledge and experience in cabinetry choices and kitchen design to help you make your decision. Keep the above pros and cons in mind as you weigh your options, so that you can make the choice that makes the most sense for your home and lifestyle.