The Kitchen Design Choice HGTV's Nate Berkus And Jeremiah Brent Can't Agree On

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent may be married, but that doesn't mean they agree on everything when it comes to design. In Season 2, Episode 3 of "The Nate and Jeremiah Home Project," the pair disagreed on whether the open shelving trend was a good option for a young family's kitchen space. While Brent advocated for the design choice, Berkus voiced his concerns. "The only thing that I'm worried about with open shelving with a family with a kid is that they need room for, like, sippy cups, they need something at eye level for drinking glasses and things like that," he said. 

However, Brent explained that he wanted to make "a pretty big visual impact" in the kitchen with the open shelves. The pair mainly seemed to disagree on whether practicality versus an aesthetic design was the better choice for a home with a young family who needed storage. In the end, Brent and Berkus compromised. While open shelves were installed in the kitchen for the visual impact Brent wanted, upper cupboard storage on the other side of the kitchen like Berkus suggested was also included.

Open shelves are a gorgeous addition to any space

If you're considering open shelving for your kitchen, there are plenty of things to like. Firstly, like Jeremiah Brent pointed out, open shelves can make a big impact in a space and are the perfect way to display decorative items. The style has many benefits as well as looking good, including the fact it might actually work out cheaper than buying entire new cabinets because you're only buying the shelves rather than the front, sides, and back too. 

Another obvious benefit is that open shelving allows you to see what you have, making both grocery shopping and general organization much easier. Having things out in the open is also a big incentive to keep your kitchen neat and tidy. Additionally, if you have a small kitchen, this type of shelving can help open up the space instead of making it appear cramped like wall-to-wall cabinets might. As for style, there are lots of materials to pick from but classic wood shelves are timeless — you can always paint the wood a different color if you decide to change up the look of your kitchen.

There are also some downsides to consider before choosing open shelving

Though it has many plus points, open shelving isn't for everyone. It isn't always easy to maintain a tidy look in your kitchen, and having lots of items out in the open could contribute to clutter. Plus, as mentioned by Nate Berkus, if you have children, there are plenty of items such as sippy cups that aren't very aesthetic but are still important to keep in your kitchen. Another downside of open shelving is that you might have to clean the shelves and all of the items on the shelves more often.

Dust can build up fast in high-traffic areas, and constantly spotting it on your open shelves won't lead to a relaxed atmosphere when you're spending time in the kitchen. Keeping both of these things in mind, open shelves aren't a very practical storage solution. If you love the look of the design feature but not the downsides, you could opt for a hybrid cabinet and open shelving solution like Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus did. This then gives you the best of both worlds in terms of functionality and aesthetics.