As much as I like concealed storage, there’s just something about open cabinets that’s really appealing. With 8 closed cabinets, I decided to modify Ana’s 24″ Cabinet Plan (link coming soon) for open storage. I wanted recipe books and flat platters on one side, and my microwave and maybe a little wine cubby on the other. For now I’m nixing the wine option since I have a handsy toddler and plans for another sometime in the future.
Making open cabinets is insanely easy. I didn’t have to worry about drawer boxes fitting or door frames being square. I simply built the initial carcass and added an extra shelf or two. Then my face frames just included one or two extra cross pieces as trim for the shelves. Half of me kind of wishes I’d just done open cabinets on all of them! But I’m just too messy for that business.
One of our more brilliant ideas was when we noticed the 24″ cabinet had more than enough room for our microwave. So we put our shelf at 16 3/4″ up from the bottom shelf (not from the bottom of the cabinet, but where the kickplate starts) and it left the perfect area for our microwave. There’s enough room on the top and back to provide ample circulation, and since we already had electricity run through the floor when they poured the concrete it was easy for the hubs to wire up a couple of plugs for power. I’m so glad to have it off the counter forever!
For the recipe side, I opted for three different sizes on each shelf. I placed my shelves at the base of the kickplate, 13″ and 24 1/4″ up. That left me with a base shelf of 11 1/4″ tall, 8 1/2″ and 5″ at the top. It left me with more than enough room to have all my tall books on the bottom, shorter ones above and lots of platters and my big cutting board at the top. Plus a little extra in the back for hiding more junk.
I know open cabinets aren’t for everyone, but I’m really, really happy with these. It makes the island look even more custom and built-in. And they are so easy it’s almost ridiculous. If you can build a bookcase, you can build an open cabinet. So don’t be afraid to try!