When it comes to sprucing up our homes, we're approaching our kitchen with an open mind—literally. Over the past few years, open kitchen cabinets have been all the rage and, truthfully, it's not hard to see why. Not only does this fad give your space an easy, breezy feel, but it's also a fun way to show off your carefully curated bowls, glasses, and cookware.
After so many years as the decorating trend du jour, it's easy to assume that open kitchen cabinets will become a thing of the past. But, as far as we're concerned, this is one design move that's here to stay.
Want proof? Keep scrolling for 20 gorgeous open kitchen cabinets that will transcend time and trends.
Embrace the Elements
For an open kitchen cabinet setup that pays homage to Mother Nature, take a page out of Robert McKinley's book. Here, the New York-based designer juxtaposed the wooden shelves with a stone backsplash and coordinating countertops. The result? A space that feels modern, but is rooted in the basics.
Mix and Match
Just because you want to give open shelving look a try doesn't mean you have to convert all of your cabinets. In her Malibu home, designer Kelly Wearstler juxtaposed a row of open storage with a traditional, door-clad style.
Another thing we love about setup? The cabinets above and below the island create a very cool serving window, which will undoubtedly come in handy when hosting.
Opt For One
You don't need a bunch of open kitchen cabinets to make a statement. In fact, sometimes all it takes is one. Designer Cathie Hong maximized storage—and added a "wow" factor in the process—with this winning combination.
Wow With Wood
Want to give your kitchen a farmhouse flair? Reimagine your open cabinets in distressed wood. In this Clinton Hill home, Bespoke Only's Melissa Lee pairs this rustic style with delicate hardware and an ornate chandelier. The strategically placed backsplash rounds out the look to give the country charm a contemporary twist.
Offset a Brick Wall
As this space from Karen Emile proves, it's important to think critically about where you place your open kitchen cabinets. The Milk and Honey Life blogger kept the rustic vibes in full throttle by juxtaposing the sleek shelves with a white-washed brick wall.
Create an Optical Illusion
If your style skews toward the more subtle side of the spectrum, match your open shelves to your backsplash. When Mani of Afro Bohemian Living did this in her kitchen, it's as if her belongings are floating in mid-air.
Add a Pattern
Just because your open kitchen cabinets serve a practical purpose — you know, to hold dinnerware, cookware, and your go-to appliances — doesn't mean they have to be boring. Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions deftly struck the perfect balance between form and function by adding her shelves to a wall of patterned tiles.
Fill Up Some Negative Space
One of the reasons we love open cabinets is that they make of your kitchen's layout without compromising the look and feel of some much-needed negative space. Case in point: this airy room by Cortney Bishop. When paired with floor-to-ceiling cabinets and a striking marble backsplash, these open kitchen cabinets are eye-catching without cluttering up the room.
Style a Shelfie
If you only have a few open cabinets in your kitchen, use them to show off your finest wares. "For a curated look, try combining a mix of ceramics," designer Kristin Dion says. "Bonus points if they are functional, too, like coffee mugs, glassware, art, and plants. Cookbooks are always useful for stacking and height."
As this space from Ashley Montgomery proves, the only way to go is up. We love how the Canadian designer stacked these breezy shelves to match the height of the shutter-clad cabinets. This design trick takes open kitchen cabinets to new heights and draws the eye upward in the process.
Support Your Setup
While we firmly believe that open kitchen cabinets can hold their own, they're also a great supporting player. In this kitchen from Sarah Fultz, breezy shelving flanks each side of the stovetop, drawing the eye directly toward the hood.
Innovate Your Kitchen Island
In case you didn't get the memo, your open kitchen cabinets don't need to be restricted to the space above your countertops. We love how designer Velinda Hellen flipped this feature on its head with exposed shelving on the island. Thanks to its easy-to-access placement, this design trick gives open kitchen cabinets a practical edge.
Add to Your Breakfast Nook
Another place for your open kitchen cabinets? Right above your breakfast nook. Adding a freestanding shelf or two, as seen in this space from Arbor & Co. is the perfect spot for the kitchen essentials you don't necessarily use on the regular.
Color Code It
Open kitchen cabinets are typically made out of a neutral wood, so where better to add a much-needed pop of color? Stephanie Watkins of Casa Watkins Living took the popularity of color-coded bookshelves and applied it to her culinary quarter. The result? Visual ASMR.
Hack Your Setup
Want to create open kitchen cabinets, but don't have the budget or jurisdiction for a full-fledge renovation? Fake the look by adding a wide bookshelf to your kitchen. This shot from Rikki Snyder shows you how it's done.
Light It Up
You officially have our permission to shine a light on your open kitchen cabinets—literally. In this space from Calimia Home, two scones draw the eye directly to the floating shelves, turning this storage solution into a serious "wow" factor.
At first thought, adding white open kitchen cabinets to an all-white kitchen sounds a little, well, boring. However, Los Angeles-based design firm Chelius House of Design manages to make the combo pop. The trick? Adding the exposed shelves to a glossy backsplash. The unexpected sheen puts the spotlight on the open cabinets in the best way possible
We love the look and feel of a high-contrast color palette, and the good news is that your can convey the same look with your open kitchen cabinets. The trick is to opt for shelves in a dark stain—let this space from designer Desiree Burns show you how it's done.
The deep hue takes on the look of a moody black, and gives the space an undeniably chic edge in the process.
While most open kitchen cabinets are installed to look like floating shelves, this space from Becca Interiors proves that suspending your storage from the ceiling is another suitable alternative. The thing wiring draws the eye upward, putting the gorgeous wooden beams front and center.
Add Organizational Elements
Admittedly, open kitchen cabinets can be somewhat anxiety-inducing. Since your belongings aren't hiding behind a shutter, they're out for all your guests to see. To avoid a potential mess, add some dividers to your setup. We love how designer Katie Martinez installed designated slots for this clients' assortment of fancy plates.