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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Glass front cabinets – form over function?


I know that many of my posts of late have been kitchen related, but we are getting to the detail design of the kitchen and it is very much on my mind. I am going to post on kitchen related items a few times this week, and hopefully I will get it out of my system!

After a month of working on permits and such, we finally had a project meeting to start working on the interiors of the house. The kitchen was one of the big agenda items, and we were all in agreement that the kitchen is going to be very much soft and retreating in style, no strong colors or bold statements. One of the topics of conversation was about a bank of cabinets that will be in my kitchen – really the only overhead cabinets in the kitchen (we will also have two floor to ceiling cabinets on either side of the range, which will provide a lot of the storage in the kitchen, as well as a walk in pantry that will also have storage).

These cabinets will be the first thing that is seen when walking into the kitchen, so we want them to look nice. We discussed which would work best from both an aesthetic perspective and a functionality perspective - glass front or solid front. Glass front is so pretty (aesthetics win here), but I am not the type of person who is going to line up the cups and glasses in neat rows (so maybe solid front is more functional).

I have never really thought much about glass front cabinets; I just know that I don’t like open shelving (not my style). When looking through my kitchen files after the meeting, I noticed that most of my favorite kitchens have glass front cabinets. I wonder if this is because my images tend to come from ‘designer’ kitchens from magazines, and the glass front look is a popular look among designers and architects.


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This is a particularly striking example of the beauty of glass front cabinets. Note how tidy and organized the items in the cabinets appear; of course, no one would orchestrate a photo shoot and have disorganized cabinets, but I have to wonder how the items inside the cabinets look on a regular day. Note how the high shelves are solid front, which avoids the ‘what to put on the top shelf’ syndrome which can be problematic with glass front cabinets. Design by Nathan Egan Interiors.


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One of my all time favorite kitchens is by Tracery Interiors. This view shows a lovely cabinet that is floor to ceiling, with only part of the cabinet glassed. This cabinet seems to be used as a pantry of sorts; on the opposite wall is a glass front refrigerator. (Here is a picture of the rest of the kitchen, from the Tracery Interiors Facebook page).


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This beautiful kitchen was on a tour of homes last year. It was light and airy, with many pretty glass front cabinets. Kitchen design by Cynthia Ziegler; cabinets by Morgan Creek Cabinet Company.


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Glass front cabinets are an undeniably a beautiful look; they add a certain transparency and lightness to a kitchen. The panes can be designed large or small according to the aesthetic of the kitchen. Image via Elle Decor October 2006.


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This kitchen has achieved iconic status in the blog world, and is one of Suzanne Kasler’s most memorable projects. The glass paned cabinets really suit the airy and beachy feel of the kitchen.


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One of my favorite classic kitchens, with architecture by Keith Summerour (this is his home) and interiors by Barbara Westbrook. I love the combination of the solid front and the glass front. Again, since the cabinets go to the ceiling, the top cabinets are solid. Cabinets by Morgan Creek Cabinet Company.


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Another much loved kitchen in the blog world is by Steve and Brooke Giannetti. The glass front cabinets are placed in front of the windows to provide storage, but still allow maximum light.


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I appreciate this picture because the inside of the cabinets are not perfectly neat and tidy – they are actually a bit haphazard. What do you think about this – does it detract from the look of the glass cabinets?


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The splendid kitchen by kitchen designer Lindy Weaver has been part of my ‘virtual home’ for several years now. The soft and airy look of the kitchen really speaks to me, and I wasn’t surprised when I looked back through my files and saw that this kitchen features glass front cabinets – even the high level cabinets have glass fronts. I think the glass in the cabinets is part of what defines the look of the kitchen.


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Here is a kitchen that combines glass front cabinets with solid front cabinets. Via Willow Decor, from Kvänum Kok, a Swedish cabinet company.


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This kitchen has some sort of mesh on the front of the cabinets, not glass, but the overall effect is similar.


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This kitchen, via Traditional Home, has all glass front cabinets. The cabinets are full, but have a pleasant look because of the monochromatic nature of the contents.


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These cabinets are in a kitchen by Michael Smith (image via House Beautiful). Note that the insides of the cabinets are not picture perfect – it looks like someone actually lives here! This house does not have very high ceilings, so the cabinets are not excessively tall.


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Here is another example of a kitchen with glass front cabinets, in one of my favorite kitchens (architecture by William Hefner). It is interesting to observe that several of the shelves are empty – I never noticed that before!


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This kitchen by Jim Howard is very clean lined and tailored. The glass front of the cabinets on the left are a good counterbalance to the two refrigerators (one not visible in the picture), which are both paneled. The dishes in the cabinets appear to be white, and note that there is nothing on the two upper shelves!


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A great kitchen from a recent Traditional Home has a mixture of glass front and solid front cabinets. The plates and glasses are arranged neatly, but it also looks like the glasses are all clear which helps with the appearance. Design by Mark J. Williams.

Glass cabinets are undeniably beautiful. I love how they provide a bit of airiness in a kitchen. But are they a feature that is form over function? Do you have to be a really neat and organized person to have glass front cabinets in your kitchen? The cabinets in my kitchen will really be used (probably for cups and glasses) – they will not be for decorative display.

When I mentioned the idea to my sister-in-law, who just built a house, she said that her designer wanted glass front cabinets, but she put her foot down and refused. She did not want to worry about the cups and plates being lined up, and she likes to put things in the cabinets near the sinks – vitamins, toothpicks, etc – things that would be unsightly if they could be seen through the front of a cabinet.

I would love your honest thoughts, and your experiences with glass front cabinets!

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72 comments:

  1. I have glass front cabinets both in my kitchen and in my pantry.My dishes are gray or white so when putting things away, though the sizes and shapes may not match, things always look nice. I do have some odd coffee mugs which I keep in the kitchen cabinets but I put them behind the white mugs. You really can see in mine as much as others because of the X detailing and the beveled glass. I think people over estimated how much you actually see inside. I do not put any food items in them though. Dinnerware is sculptural and can be very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing with minimal effort.

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  2. I wonder if the combination of some solid and some glass would work the best? The examples you have shown of those look great, and may be practical near the stove, oven and range, as sometimes the glass needs extra cleaning there. I have seen some cabinets with multi-paned mirror fronts, it looked amazing, and the light in the room was fantastic! What about a semi-opaque glass? It may still give you the look you want, but with less worry about perfectly kept displays!
    :)

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  3. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing those wonderful pics of kitchens. We just recently renovated our kitchen and came across the same dilemma about glass front, open shelves, or closed cabinets. We decided on glass front. Our kitchen is white and we wanted to have the kitchen feel open and bright. We put a few colorful accessories in our glass front cabinets. We don't regret the decision. It looks so open and bright. We have two closed front cabinets near the wet bar for those mix and match items. The glass front cabinets look like window dressing around the stove. I come down the stairs every morning and the first thing I see are our glass front cabinets in front of our kitchen island and it brings a smile to my face. I will be posting pics soon of our kitchen. Good Luck and you will make the right choice for your kitchen. Have fun designing the kitchen!!!!

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  4. I love glass cabinets too. I am currently working on a kitchen and using them. I think they add another layer and dimension to the room. It is going to be beautiful, can't wait to see it!

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  5. We recently completed a house and I really wanted to use glass front cabinets but I needed the space for everyday use. In a previous house I had glass front cabinets on both sides of the stove and I only used them for display. For me it is definately function over form.

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  6. I love the images. I don't have glass front cabinets but I think I would like some that are glass and some that aren't. I am so OCD the items in the glass cabinets would have to be lined up perfectly and I would want a place to hide those items that you don't want on display (toothpicks, etc.). They look gorgeous.

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  7. Maybe a mix of solid, glass and little mirrors?
    A friend of mine has french glasses in cabinets and replaced some of them with mirrors in a "chess" style. It's beautiful and much less garish that I thought.

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  8. I think that sometimes form can equal function. Don't discount the pleasure that you get from seeing the display of lovely objects, dishes, etc.... That is the function.

    That said, you should be sure to have enough utilitarian storage somewhere else in the space(which it sounds like you will.) I love glass front cab's but accept them with their limitations.

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  9. When we renovated the kitchen in our 80 year old house several years ago, I did a combination of glass front and closed cabinets. The glass front store decorative serving items that I don't use all the time and look pretty and neat. The items I use all the time are behind closed doors which is great since I don't always put things away neatly. My kitchen is white and similar in appearance to your photos. Best thing I did was two dishwahers-one one either side of my farmhouse sink. Worst was I listened to my designer and didn't use marble on my counters which I would have loved. I also used a Waterworks faucet and wouldn't do that again. It leaks and the plumbers here don't know how to fix it.

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  10. I have often thought about this and I think the way around organizational perfection is by carefully choosing the location of the glass fronts and what you put in them. Some cabinets are utilitarian, like your sister has, and I would be sure that those are solid front. Since you may need a cabinet for your better wine glasses and special serving pieces, I would use a glass front for those. It eliminates the need to be fussy about the arrangement everyday, which I must say I wouldn't do either despite the desperate desire to be that perfect. ;)
    I love the kitchens you chose to display. In perusing homes for sale I am so disheartened by the poor choices that people make, even in upscale homes.

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  11. I think there's no doubt that you HAVE to go with the glass front cabinets! It's the feature look in every single one of you favorite kitchens, so I say this is your big clue. I have glass fronts that hold my dishes/cups, etc, and I can tell you we have a very lived in house (4 children!). I have white plates and with the clear glasses, it never really looks messy. It also doesn't look magazine perfect, but that's fine, too. Go for the glass fronts!

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  12. I think it will be hard for me to get some of these images out of my head - they are so perfect! I absolutely love the look of all glass though I have to confess that I would have a hard time living with too much glass. In our own kitchen, we have very few upper cabinets because it is the center of our home and we didn't want it to feel like one huge kitchen so concealing many of the kitchen components was important. With these pics as inspiration, you can hardly go wrong! Have fun!

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  13. I think glass front cabinets are beautiful but my neatnick personality would not like to see all the plastic sippy cups lined up :). I am like your sister - we put vitamins by our glassware, plastic straws by our fridge, etc.

    I think a mixture of glass and paneled look great and would be easier to live with, as you could put only the pretty things (glassware and dishes) in the cabinets.

    I have also seen, and liked, glass only on the top. This serves as a more display type area but we all have pretty things we use but don't need regularly so this might be an option.

    I also *love* mirrored front cabinets, selectively used. If that is too reflective for you you can have the mirror aged by the glass shop in varying degrees. It provides some lightness and reflectivity but conceals the mess. I think it look particularly nice where all the stainless appliances are paneled - gives some sparkle.

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  14. Hi. Living in Atalanta, I really enjoy your blog! Okay, about the cabinets... I relaced my solid cabinet uppers last year with glass front doors. The messy stuff is in the bottom cabinets or pantry. The immediate effect was that the kitchen felt bigger and brighter. I love them. My glasses are lined up, but my dishes are a collection of mismatched whites, so they are less formal. I used the Traditional Home photo above with the white island as an inspiration photo for my island redo. I love what the glass doors did for my kitchen and now I'm looking for an antique cupboard with glass doors to hang on my dining room wall and have started collecting dishes to put in it. You can see just a little glimpse on my blog in the post called Signature Style. I can't wait to see what you do.

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  15. My husband builds custom kitchens, and more often than not his clients want a section, even if just a tiny section, with glass front doors, especially if it is a painted kitchen. Ultra modern and contemporary kitchens mostly do not unless it they ar sold glass front, no wood frame around it.
    I can't to see your kitchen, your entire home, when completed. (I think about it from time to time, seriously.)

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  16. Please excuse the typos, I meant in the modern and contemporary kitchens mostly not unless they are solid glass fronts. Need more coffee.

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  17. mate - great pics! I think those tall upper cabinets are a bit of a waste (on a daily use basis) but even long term, just too high!!

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  18. I love glass front cabinets! I have one and wish I had more. It also forces you to buy beautiful tableware and to keep things organized!

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  19. We have one small glass section with, glass shelves, lit from the top. It's purely decorative, a focal point on our the oven/pantry wall. Gordon sometimes rummages though it to spiff it up but we use it and it looks it.

    I like all your pictures. I think windows are beautiful so in the sense that glass fronts emulate windows all the better. Super arranged / never changes shelves are cold. I like kitchens that look used every day.

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  20. I completely understand you're concern. When we remodel our kitchen we plan to have a couple glass front cabinets near the ceiling (currently where the soffit is) of one wall for display of pretty platters, bowls, and wine glasses. The rest of the cabinets will be solid. We're doing other things to open up the space like installing a 6' long window over the sink (the glass front cabinets will be on either side) and not having upper cabinets on the two short walls of our rectangular kitchen (one will have the kitchen hood and the other is a walkway area). We're also expanding the width of the walkways into the kitchen. I think how the space it designed lends more toward the open feel than cabinets do.

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  21. I don't think having glass front cabinets is nearly as scary (for neatness) as people think they will be. It is nice to hone down your kitchen things to sets that match--and things you really use. I have enjoyed having glass fronted cabinets and thing they add to the appearance of the room immensely.

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  22. Oh! I really think if you don't go with glass cabs somewhere in your kitchen you will truly regret it. The fact that you are even asking the question means you want them. I have glass fronted cabinets in my very small kitchen and I have ambient lighting by using strip lighting. I really hate the harsh halogen lights that are often used. I wanted a soft golden glow in my cabinets. I took it a step further and added mirror to the back walls of the glass front cabs. and it is a wonderful way of making my small kitchen look larger. It is so easy to keep stacks of dishes and glasses neat.Instead of making the cupboard floor to ceiling the same depth why not do a hutch look where there are cupboards with doors on the bottom and a top then relief back further with the top and use the glass fronts. Might make for a very interesting and different look. Here is a post I did on my glass cupboards. Also you will enjoy doing different displays, I love it and would never have anything els.

    http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-many-looks-can-kitchen-have.html

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  23. All of your examples are quite beautiful...

    Glass door fronts add depth and dimension to a kitchen. If keeping it neat is really something that would bother you, then using a glass that diffuses may be the way to go. The ribbed glasses (and there are various choices) are very classic, are not so revealing, but still add depth. Don't forget the interior lights for the cabinets.

    Go with what you like, and it will all be fine... otherwise, you will probably regret not doing them.

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  24. We have quiet a few glass cabinet doors in our kitchen. To make it warmer we used stained alder boxes for the interior of them along with puck lights. It adds so much warmth to the space and it is a great compliment to the cream that the cabinets are painted. Our next kitchen will have a few more glass front doors, I just love the 'bling' it adds to the space.

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  25. If I were to remodel my kitchen I would add glass fronts in mixed with the closed cabinetry. I love the look!!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  26. We remodeled the kitchen 3 years ago, I had to have some glass so I did my sink wall with large window over the sink & 1 glass cabinet on each side. The design of the glass doors are much more detailed than the others & of course lights inside. I keep one of my antique cookie jars on each top shelf & then glasses on the other shelves, this always keeps the look tidy. My other little "secret" was to make those 2 cabinets deeper than the remaining solid front cabinets on the wall, that has always been a signature design of mine in the many houses we have lived in & remodeled!

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  27. Oh and my shelves are glass so the light shines through to the bottom!

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  28. I, too, love the glass front cabinets. But they are impractical from the perspective of keeping all of that glass spotless when they are in a kitchen where food is being prepared--ie., roasting, frying, etc. and the layer of greasy film that accumulates. Have you considered mesh front cabinets with plain, washable fabric lining the insides? That would give a layered look, adding texture without revealing the inside arrangements of dishes, etc. and would be relatively easy to clean. And would add a european touch to the space.
    Can't wait to learn of your decision.
    Best,
    Mary

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  29. Beautiful kitchen images... I am loving the light blue tiled back splash walls in some...

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  30. I love these. I think that as long as you work to keep your stored items fairly homogeneous and well-organized they absolutely work.

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  31. I agree with your sister, almost. I think they are impractical for the real world and people with kids and no time to make it pretty all the time. Having said that, I think it also depends on space. You will have a much larger kitchen then me, and perhaps some can be devoted to glass fronts. I loved that Swedish company cabinet style built-in with the glass top. Almost like a built-in china cabinet, with drawers at bottom for linens and glass at the top to display pretty things. And then make all the regular cabinets glass.
    I use all my upper cabinets for storage and none is neat and pretty - the only one that looks goodis my wine glass cupboard, which would look pretty with glass doors. The rest needs to be hidden. But if there is a section of cupboards away from the main work area or an area where you will store glassware, etc. glass fronts might be nice. It always looks tidy and sparkly in there...

    Fascinating topic!! I love that swedish one most, with just the glass "cabinet". xo Terri

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  32. Oops, in my first paragraph, I meant just one glass cabinet and then make all the regular cabinets solid. I really should re-read before I "send". xo T.

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  33. Go for the glass. I have had two kitchens with glass fronts and have never tired of the look. It was not difficult to maintain the look and even if things are not perfectly lined up, they are still charming. You will completely regret it if you do not incorporate at least a couple of glass fronts in your design.

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  34. Go with a combination of solid center panel and glass panel cabinets on the wall. Have them be in some sort of logical arrangement and that way you get the best of both worlds. I shudder at the thought of exposing the contents of my wall cabinets to the world but that's just me. On a couple of my projects, I've used outward-facing mirrors in lieu of glass as someone else suggested. This serves two masters and can look really great in a large room like yours. If you go with glass inserts, light the interiors of the wall cabinets with the glass inserts.

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  35. I am torn between glass front and closed cabinet doors. The effort to make sure everything looks aesthetically pleasing behind the glass doors would add stress to my life. I would consider doing a couple with glass fronts but not all of them. That's not to say I do not like all glass doors. I do love the look.

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  36. I have been out all day, and was excited about reading all of the comments when I returned! I am enjoying them. Lots of food for thought. I know I want some glass front cabinets for the look, and when I move I am planning on starting fresh with glassware - all new cups and glasses, get rid of all of the plastic kids cups, new tea cups (instead of my random collection of mugs from college and various work functions).

    It would be ideal to use glass front cabinets in the area where I store my crystal and wine glasses. We ran out of time and did not have a chance to discuss the butler's pantry; this might be an opportunity for glass front instead of or in addition to the cabinets in the kitchen.

    I love Terry's observation about glass front doors looking like windows. Another factor is that the cabinets that are the candidates for the glass front are on a wall with a sink, so that is actually an interesting thought - it would make the sink look more like it is with a window.

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  37. I used glass fronts in my galley kitchen to keep the space light and airy. However, like you, I'm not entirely neat and orderly so instead of flat glass we used ribbed glass. It maintains the airy feel but the ribbed glass diffuses and hides some of the messiness. You can see pics of it on my blog.

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  38. I agree with many of the other comments. I prefer a combination of glass and paneled cabinets. Your new glasses and plates will look wonderful on display and add interest to your kitchen.
    I don't think a kitchen needs to look perfect. Lately I seem to be drawn to images of kitchens that look like someone really cooks in it. I think that's why everyone loved the "It's Complicated" kitchen. It was the heart center of the home, and it looked like it.

    xo
    Brooke

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  39. I love the look -so much cleaner and more open feeling than wood cabinets (even painted). I too hate open shelving -dust catchers!
    I think there are a lot of other options - cafe curtains with a pretty fabric? Frosted glass? antiqued mirror? stained glass? The options are limitless. Since you are starting from scratch -why not start with something interesting? Plain wood cabinets are nice but so boring.Great post as always :-)

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  40. I think a mix of paneled and glass is wonderful and will give your kitchen so much character. In our almost completed kitchen we will have paneled on either side of the stove and one large glass front cabinet when you enter the kitchen and even some open shelving...just go for what you love, it will be perfect then.
    This is a very exciting time and these decisions can be tricky but your gut will lead you proper every time!
    Best,
    Jessica

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  41. I live in a Keith Summerour designed house, which has both glass front and solid front cabinets. I store my glasses, vitamins, etc. in the solid one directly left of the frig and my china (various types) in the other solid ones. In the glass front ones I store things that are beautiful and appealing to the eye, i.e., silver goblets, vases, unique china, etc...
    All can goods, etc. are in the pantry.
    I would do both!

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  42. Your images of glass front cabinets are all beautiful and I would use any of them. We had glass front cabinets installed in our kitchen and they looked awful - I've taken them off. The problem here was that the cabinets were relatively short and wide - not a good look for glass front. I think if they are long and narrow (as in your examples), you can't go wrong. Rxx

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  43. We just re-did our tiny kitchen and I definitely wanted several glass-front cabinets...mostly because they are beautiful, yes, but also because I think they truly "open up" a space. It allows your sight lines to continue, and making our tiny kitchen appear to be bigger than before was imperative! I have 2 upper cabinets flanking a window over the sink that are glass front -- they hold our dishes and glasses (all of which are creamy whites/clear glass -- what I'm naturally drawn to). I like to have somewhat orderly cabinets whether they are glass front or not, so that wasn't really an issue. Honestly, if I had cobalt blue dishes and vintage juice glasses with different designs the glass fronts would look amazing too. The other glass fronts are on my pantry, actually, and I have a basket in there to hold everyday medicines and just stick our food items in there. It may not be "perfect" but it's real life, and the glass fronts on there still get plenty of complements, "messy/real" insides or not! Do what you love & enjoy it!!! :)
    Blessings,
    Stacey

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  44. I love the glass front cabinetry. I think overhead cabinets are not really functional- unless you are very tall and can reach into upper shelves and into the back. I would love to design a kitchen without any overhead cabinetry at all but glass front is more interesting idea. I especially like the Michael Smith kitchen. Great collection of photos!

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  45. You mentioned moving... so think about resale value and sales appeal as well... the next buyer will probably love them too!

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  46. I love glass fronts, and have to admit that the bottom shelf, in particular, is less than tidy in my kitchen. It would be great if the bottom "panes" were solid, so that the unruly things you have to use a lot had hidden storage, while the upper shelves could remain pristine. I hand paint ceramic tiles (stjudesquareartworks.com), and have thought about using artwork, somehow, to block those bottom panes :)
    As always, the things that inspire you are a joy to see. Thanks for your blog!
    Ellen

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  47. I love glass fronts, and have to admit that the bottom shelf, in particular, is less than tidy in my kitchen. It would be great if the bottom "panes" were solid, so that the unruly things you have to use a lot had hidden storage, while the upper shelves could remain pristine. I hand paint ceramic tiles (stjudesquareartworks.com), and have thought about using artwork, somehow, to block those bottom panes :)
    As always, the things that inspire you are a joy to see. Thanks for your blog!
    Ellen

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  48. Hi, I have just finished my kitchen and have a combination of glass front and solid doors. The glass front - I have my glassess and white dinnerware neatly lined up Behind the solid ones I have the pantry and all the old pots and pans and plastic bits and pieces. I just love the combo and it is very practical where you can hide what you don't love but need to be able to cook and have a real life and then display all your lovely things behind the glass so you can look at them.

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  49. A mixture of glass and solid front doors would be ideal. The glass front cabinets are a really good excuse to go buy a new pattern of everyday dishes and glasses, if you have mismatched pieces (which I highly doubt that you do). When you have a common denominator in your pieces, you don't have to "line them up perfectly". They just have to be of like kind with an intention to them. For the ugly stuff, as your sister in law mentioned put those in a solid cabinet front near the refrigerator. Sippy cups work well in a large deep drawer, frankly, my coffee cups are in a large deep drawer, as I've never had the need for sippy cups :-).

    Just knowing a little bit about you from reading your blog, I think you'd be disappointed if you didn't do a good portion of the cabinets with glass fronts. Your photo images are very consistent and you need to trust what keeps drawing you in.

    I'll look forward to hearing what you decide!!

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  50. Thank you for your great posts, I read every one of them and always enjoy your topics! I too have two of my cabinets with glass doors in the kitchen and they are pretty, but after awhile I felt it always looked junky no matter how I tried and I really needed the space for serious things we use all the time, so I have covered them inside with burlap inserts that give texture and interest, but keep the look very plain and crisp from the outside. Now I have an option and if someday I want the glass back, I just take the fabric out!

    Thank you! Judy

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  51. Hi,
    Your kitchen blogs are my inspiration for my kitchen. This past week I decided I wanted glass front cabinets. I was also struggling with the should I or should I not, but the glass front won. Mine are also the first thing you will see when walking into the kitchen that gives me an excuse to go buy some very nice tableware. I also got myself a farmer's sink, your post have been just so helpful.

    Thanks

    Ruth

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  52. Loving each and every one of these images, we must have very similar taste! Did you go with the sink on the counter under the window looking to the back yard? That is where my sink is, and we decided to just flank either side of the sink with glass open cabinets. This created the look I wanted, added symmetry to the room, and since its just two cabinets, I leave the items in there for mostly decorative purposes...less fussing, etc. Hope this helps!

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  53. I don't personally have them but I wish I did. The upkeep of staying organized would be worth it!

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  54. I just remodeled my kitchen and installed glass on one section of cabinets that house my everyday dishes and glasses. I'd do it again in a heartbeat because that section of cabinetry is nice and airy, making the kitchen seem more spacious. It's not hard at all to keep the glasses and plates in rows but even if they weren't I think it would be okay. I knew going in that I wasn't going to be putting vitamins or pantry items here. Here's a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91217466@N00/sets/72157623935848626/

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  55. The nice thing about using mesh instead of glass is that mesh still adds beauty to the cabinetry, but you have the ability to tighten the mesh and obscure the objects inside the cabinet. Here is a photo of a home by Stan Benecki and Melanie Turner that uses a polished nickel mesh to that effect.
    Benecki Homes photo
    Notice the mesh in the cabinets in the left corner.

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  56. I like the idea of a mix of two. Currently, we've got mostly wood cabinets with glass fronts on our butler's pantry. But, if we don't end up moving I plan to replace the doors on one wall of our kitchen with glass fronts (or wire). IT is an area with three double upper cabinets and a desk area below. I am with you on open cabinets and I couldn't go with all glass....since we are still in bottle/sippy/plastic kids plate, etc. mode at the moment. Lovely images....all going in my inspiration files.

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  57. I like them as part of the mood lighting in the evening, and with a pantry, you can just line up your nicer things. I also like that you can change the paint or paper on the back wall to change the look of a neutral kitchen easily. Frosted glass shelves cut down on the glare.

    Sounds like it's going to be wonderful!

    Best,
    Michelle

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  58. I have "messy" but color coordinated glass front cabinets -- all white dishes or clear glassware, organized on a per shelf basis. It's not perfect, but it doesn't bother me. I try to throw in some "interesting" pieces (mortar & pestle, interesting marble containers, tiny glasses, etc) for an effect sort of like #9 above (which I believe is a Roman & Williams project -- they do my favorite work!).

    Sara
    yes, Hanszen, '97

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  59. I love the pictures and would love to have glass doors in my kitchen. the thing I have found is that what looks great displayed behind glass looks less nice when you set a table from the cabinet. My wide 4 door china cabinet in diningroom looks stunning with the service for 12 and bohemian stemware on display. If I were to set the table what would it look like then with almost empty shelves.
    My mother had glass doors in her 1890's kitchen and had shirred sheers on rods inside doors. for her it was neet and gave just a hint of what was there.
    rick s

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  60. I like the idea of glass front cabinets because we entertain a lot and guests could easily see in to help themselves to mugs or glasses. However, I think a few glass front cabinets is as good as a feast - although I am tidy and most of my dishes match, it's nice to have some hidden areas.

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  61. Interesting post and comments! I like a mix too. I think too many solid wood cabinets look too "chunky" and boring. But I'm also one who doesn't mind seeing a little mess inside the cabinets. It looks lived in!! xoRH

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  62. I'm such a fan of glass front cabinets - with one caveat. There must be other non-glass cabinets nearby! This is such a great way to store dish and glassware - but it's unreasonable as a storage solution for an entire kitchen. Great pics.
    -Sanity Fair

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  63. You already have a lot of great comments but I thought that I would add, the cabinet widths dictate where you store your dishes so you end up having pretty orderly dishes just by the nature of upper cabinets. At least that is what I found with my glass uppers (which I also love and glad we went with) but I also have all plain white dishes. But the fun part is that anyone can put them away and it doesn't matter, you can also find them!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanmei/3335075991/in/set-72157613377750224/

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  64. Well, I'll be one of the last to chime in - but I love glass front cabinets! I think a mix of glass front and paneled cabinets is ideal. I have 2 glass cabinets on either side of the sink, and I store our everyday dishes in there. Glasses are in a solid front cabinet beside the refrigerator (as that is where I reach for water). I've never regretted the glass front cabinets - even while living through a gazillion bottles to sippy cups to plastic plates (as the mom of twin boys, four years old today).

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  65. I love glass-fronted cabinets. They really bring some lightness to a kitchen and keep it from being overwhelmed by wood (this is especially true when the cabinetry is dark). I'm a big fan of having a combination of both glass-fronted and solid cabinets. I've got a pair of glass-fronted cabinets in our current kitchen where I display our china. As for the rest of my admittedly not so pretty stuff, it goes behind the closed doors and no one is the wiser!

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  66. When I built my house, everyone thought I was crazy to use glass on all my upper cabinets,(especially my cabinet maker) but I love them and wouldn't change them for anything. I think dishes are artwork in themselves and look so pretty when they are displayed this way. I keep the plastic stuff and the pans below.
    Hugs,
    Michelle

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  67. I have a kitchen sink on a wall. I never really realized that that was exactly what it was - but so it is. I like it a little more now after seeing all your lovely inspiration images!

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  68. yes, yes, yes... please put in some glass-front cabinets in combo with solid front. I keep my glassware, white dishes and nicer serving pieces in ours. We have several other solid front doors that hide the other dishware, food, etc. You will have to let us know what you decide. And, yes glass is functional and forces you to keep your cabinets neat.

    xo,
    cristin

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  69. 'Things that Inspire', you certainly deliver on your promise! I love your blog. I feel like you are Atlanta Royalty.

    A friend of mine has glass cabinets for just the very top (near the ceiling) inside are recessed lights that showcase her grandmother's collection of soup tureens. The rest of her cabinets are solid front...a good mix of the Gorgeous with the Practical!

    I agree with Michelle May and so many others: glass makes your dishes look like art! keep the rest down below.


    My butler's pantry isn't elegant, but it's very functional (it's mismatched and un-tidy at all times). I may even swap out those shiny knobs and paint the back of it a bright color:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lFj5UWPtRQE/S7FmAY-RQPI/AAAAAAAAAGU/W5thy6eXfIY/s1600/IMG_1820.JPG

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  70. Beautiful kitchen images... I am loving the light blue tiled back splash walls in some...

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  71. It is a good idea to measure up the space that you wish to hang the glass cabinet in, as this will give you a pretty good idea of how big you can go.

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