Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving

I’ve always loved the look of open shelving. The lightness of having things open, and the easy accessibility of everything appeals to me.
So not long after we finished redoing our cabinets when I noticed a guest open every door to find a cup, I began thinking. That thinking turned into a little project-isn’t that what always happens?
Here’s what the cabs looked like when we were all done with the redo, before I did the open shelving.
To get the open shelving look I just took two doors off one part of the top cabinet. And then I resisted the urge to buy new, pretty dishes and just gathered up all my white dishes. I also found a few fun orange dishes on the clearance rack at Target. Love Target, love the price on these plastic dishes-less than a dollar for each one. Yippie!
But after I was done with that the whole thing looked a bit unfinished-like we just forgot to put the doors on. I looked at it for a few weeks until I just couldn’t take it any more. I grabbed some burlap and put it up in the back. All I did was cut the burlap to size and hot glue it up around the edges.
It seemed a bit undone so I drug the family to Lowe’s and found a piece of trim. Our first thought was to trim out the whole thing, around the edges and all. But I thought just trimming the edges of the shelves would be easier-no corners to miter and all.
I measured and cut four lengths to fit the inside of the shelve. I just used my little miter box and a hand saw, then I painted the trim with a few coats of the cabinet paint. To adhere them I just hot glued them.
The difference is subtle but it’s still a difference. It looks more intentional now, and complete. And since it’s all up with hot glue, it should be pretty easy to undo if we ever get a hankering for that.

Here’s one last closer look. I think it works, and I’m pretty happy that I was able to do this one myself. So is my hubby.
Now, what to do with two cabinet doors? I’m thinking I’ve got another project on my hands!
I’m linking up to Kimba’s DIY day today-click the link to find some fun DIY inspiration.

Another cool place to visit today is The Shades of Pink Room a Month, she's got an awesome Roman Shades tutorial today!


  1. Hi Gina! Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog! I love your kitchen and dishes! Its such a nice, crisp and clean look - makes me want to come cook in it! Haha!
    Great blog!

  2. I too love the look of open shelving but I think I'd be tempted to buy all new dishes to make it look cute. Perhaps the next house :). Yours looks great and way to go doing it all yourself.

  3. Cute! I've been considering removing a few doors HOWEVER my son unloads the dishwasher and I have a feeling I would seriously regret the act later.

    I have a linky party going on come on over and link up!

  4. wow, that looks great! I would hate to show the stuff in my cabinets... but, maybe if I did, maybe I wouldn't throw stuff in there!

  5. This looks great! I'm debating doing this myself.

  6. Hey! That looks great! I've got a few doors and I'm thinking about turning them into chalkboards...

  7. I agree, the trim made all the difference. Great idea!

  8. Great job! We are in the process of buying a house and building cabinets for it, and I'm trying to work in some open cabinets. It scares me a little to let people see the insides :) but I love how they look!

  9. you've got ME thinking...
    I love it!

  10. Awesome... open cabs are more well design than the covered one, aren't they?

    Loving it!

  11. Love it! You're lucky to have a husband that will agree to taking off cabinet doors!

  12. I think it looks great - love the trim and love the color of your cabinets! Great job.

  13. Love the added detail. I'm going through the same thing right now with a cabinet I opened up. Love the idea of the burlap and the trim.
    Great job!

  14. Oooh, I love how it looks. Neat idea with the burlap and the trim.

  15. I love the open cabinet look too. I visited my sister early this year and planned to copy what she had done. She removed the doors, and then removed that center piece of wood, as it is not actually a support. Then she draped fabric napkins just so the corners lay over the open edge. I am determined to do this before the end of the year! LOL

  16. WOW! I really love your open shelving but my mouth is still hanging open from reading your "about me" paragraph. Fantastic! And love the whole not so random concept.

    Come over to Red Writing for a visit!

  17. Ridiculously cool! Love the burlap addition!!!

  18. I am SOOOO doing this! I hate my laundry room cabinet doors, and thank you for giving me the idea about what to do with them. You are GENIUS!

  19. Love the open shelves, especially with the backing. Looks more purposeful, and white dises always complete the look.

  20. Thank you for posting such a useful, impressive and a wicked article./Wow.. looking good!
    cabinet doors


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