Compass

Open Shelving in the Kitchen?

by Lorrie French 08/04/2019

Among the upgrades most sought in a kitchen are new cabinets and appliances, granite, marble, or even concrete countertops, and the ubiquitous farmhouse-style sink top the list. If the expense of these renovations is out of reach, however, there are some simple changes that can give your kitchen a new look. Open shelving, for example, can breathe new life into aging wood cabinets.

If you spend much time flipping through decorating magazines or watching home-makeover shows on TV, you’ve probably seen kitchens with open shelving. As part of a kitchen remodel, it’s probably not the first thing we think about … but as an inexpensive way to upgrade the busiest room in the house, it probably deserves consideration.

The trend of open shelving creates an elegant place to display dishware, crystal, antiques, your cookbook or wine collection, dry goods, or even your canning jars. With a little time and effort, you can create this look in your kitchen.

Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the doors to some (or all) of your upper cabinets. The look is especially attractive with cabinets that line a single wall. Note: you won’t want to do this to lower cabinets that store cleaning products or that hide plumbing.
  • Carefully remove hinges. Fill any remaining holes or gouges in the cabinet faces with wood filler or a product appropriate for your cabinet material. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the best results.
  • Sand and smooth the cabinet faces. Wipe them down with a degreaser cleaner. For primer and paint to stick, the surface should not have any oil or grease.
  • Prime the entire cabinet (inside and out) with a high-quality paintable primer. Priming is important to cover darker colored wood or paint, stains, discolorations, and to hide any repairs you’ve made to the surface.
  • Paint your cabinets with a paint designed for the surface of the cabinets. Use a satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish. Apply your paint with a small flat roller designed for smooth finishes. You’ll probably need more than one coat, so give plenty of drying time between coats, and take care to avoid drips as they will mar your elegant finish.
  • Create a new look with crown molding or specialty trim. Add a subtle geometric wallpaper to the shelf back for an interesting effect. For a farmhouse motif, use a print with fine, vertical stripes or chicken-wire design.
  • Install lighting in the cabinets to highlight your special display. If there is no power outlet nearby, use battery-operated puck lights.
  • Paint lower cabinets a complementary or contrasting color to finish out your look. Lighter upper cabinets with darker lower ones add depth and dimension to a smaller kitchen.

Finish out your look by filling the shelves with artful stacks of dishes or pottery, books, and jars of colorful nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

If you’re upgrading your kitchen to place it on the market, seek the advice of your real estate professional on popular and trending color choices for your project.

About the Author
Author

Lorrie French

"Where the Accent is on Service”

DRE#00910990

Lorrie is a San Francisco native and has 30 years of experience as a realtor/broker.  She knows the heartbeat  of the city.  From Russian Hill to SOMA from the Bayview District to the Marina, you’ll find her helping buyers and sellers handle their real estate needs.  Lorrie’s expertise in marketing, negotiating, and achieving results could be beneficial to you.  She takes pride on her ability to listen, communicate and most importantly, care about her clients.

  • Realtor designation - 1986
  • Graduate, Realtor Institute - 1992
  • Certified Residential Specialist - 1997
  • Broker designation - 1999
  • Senior Real Estate Specialists - 2005
  • Certified International Property Specialist - 2017

Lorrie is associated with:

  • California Association of Realtors
  • National Association of Realtors
  • Woman’s Council of Realtor
  • Past Director on the San Francisco Association of Realtors’ board
  • Director on the California Association of Realtors
  • Serves on the Legislative Committee and Professional Standards of the San Francisco Association of Realtors                             

She is active in the American Cancer Society, neighborhood associations, and Friends of the Urban Forest.  Her activities include yoga, biking, golf, and walking.

Lorrie attributes her success to experience, market knowledge, professionalism, and excellent communication.  Lorrie believes that buying or selling a home should be left to a professional -- not to chance.  Like with any major investment, one should be careful to seek out the best advice and assistance available. This is where Lorrie stands out; in fact, her track record of proven success and client satisfaction is the best assurance of the same outstanding service you will receive when you buy or sell with Lorrie.  She invites you to contact her and explore how she may assist you in a purchase or sale in the City by the Bay.