Friday, April 19, 2013

Why the Open Shelving Trend Is Not for Me

I'm ecstatic that its spring and warmer weather is on the horizon. Not just because this means we can stop being cooped up in the house and enjoy being in the garden, letting in the fresh air, etc. What I'm really happy about is that its almost outdoor painting weather. Which means I can stop looking at the scene above every day.

Every single thing in the kitchen cabinets has been on full display for the past six months (almost seven actually) since our outdoor cabinet spray-painting project was interrupted by, of all the nerve, winter. That's since last the end of September. Last September! As I'm more of a "hide all the stuff where I never have to look at it" kind of neat freak, this has been rather disturbing.

All-in-all I've handled it pretty well I think. I haven't murdered anyone, or had any major breakdowns (at least not since I spent a week painting the cabinet boxes). We even had some guests stay for the weekend. But as we get closer and closer to outdoor painting weather I've been itching to see my dishes and food stuffs hidden behind freshly painted white doors. And kitchen drawers! Remember self, when we had kitchen drawers to store stuff in? Oh, the luxury!

In a way, I guess I could take this experience as a great exercise in learning what we really need for day-to-day living. There is a rather large blue IKEA tarp bag hidden in the basement full of kitchen stuff from the drawers and cabinets that we've lived without quite easily for the past six months. I went from one drawer of cutlery and a second for utensils to a single drawer of both, and yet we were still able to cook. As I think about it, I'm not even sure what all is in that bag besides extra dish towels and the remains of the junk drawer.

Another thing the "great open cabinet winter of 2013" has confirmed is something I've long suspected. The trend of open shelving and open cabinetry is absolutely, positively, not for me! When the boyfriend's mother came to stay, she kindly remarked that she liked the open cabinets so much she thought I should leave them that way. While I'm glad that not everyone thinks the current state of my kitchen is as hideous as I do, there's no way I would choose this look on purpose.

Please don't misunderstand, I've seen pictures of some absolutely gorgeous kitchens that feature open shelving  and open cabinetry. What I question is the practicality of this trend. Perhaps if one lives without pets, hair, and has only beautiful dishes and kitchen items, then it's a lot less hassle. But for us, with three cats, one boyfriend, and my long hair, it's a disaster. I've been vacuuming the shelves because there is some hair, and a lot of dust everywhere. Do people dust their shelves and cabinets every week? Because more cleaning and maintenance is not my idea of fun.

I've also had two open shelves ever since I've lived in this house. I use them to store my decorative-only collection of vintage Pyrex. And they are purely decorative in part because you would need to to scrub them before every use due to the dust and sometimes bits of grease that find them. They look nice from far away, but I always hope visitors don't get too close and wonder if all my dishes are so sketchy. (They're not, pinky swear).

Readers, I'm curious, what do you think of this trend? And if you have open shelving in your home, how has the maintenance issue been? Do we just live in a freakishly dusty and furry house?


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