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Giving Your Kitchen an Open, Airy Look

by Dawn West

For a kitchen to truly sparkle, it needs plenty of light and an open, airy quality that makes it feel both clean and inviting. Knocking down walls and putting in banks of windows may not be in kitchen remodeling budget, but that doesn't mean you can't lighten the look of your kitchen anyway. You may be thinking paint, perhaps some curtains. But the real answer lies in an unexpected place: your cabinets. If you're ready for a light and open feel, consider these four changes.

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Opt for Open Shelving

Replacing some of your cabinets with open shelving can open up the look and feel of your kitchen. Unless you're a consummate minimalist, you'll still want cabinets below your countertops to store less picturesque kitchen items. But open shelves on top can be stunning. Think of them as the modern-day equivalent of a china cabinet. Open shelves are inherently airy, and they bring an element of celebration to your kitchen. Why hide beautiful dishes? Enjoy them.

Consider Fewer Cabinets

Most of us are looking for more storage space, not less, but if you have a bank of upper cabinets that blocks your view to another room, considering taking them out. Yes, you'll lose the storage, but opening the kitchen to the dining room or family room makes the kitchen a more functional hub in your home. You'll also find yourself making much more use of the countertop space once the upper cabinets are removed.

Go Glass with Cabinet Refacing

If you're planning to change the look of your cabinets with cabinet refacing, throw another option in for consideration: glass. New cabinet doors that wed wood and glass can read as modern or country chic, depending on the style, but either way, glass bounces light around the kitchen and takes away from the heavy feeling wood can sometimes impart. You'll maintain the storage space you need, but with a fresh look and feel.

Choose Hanging Storage

Hang your pots and pans hung above your kitchen island, and you achieve two things. First, your cookware will be forever at your fingertips, forget about scrounging through the back cupboards for that pan you need. Second, you'll need fewer cupboards and in their place you'll have what effectively serves as a mobile for grown ups. Watch the light bounce off the metal. See the handles swish as take pots and pans off the hooks.

You may consider your kitchen storage inviolate, the one thing that cannot change. But think again, and you just may find yourself richly rewarded with the light and space you've always dreamed of.

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