When Kitty Bartholomew moved into her 1940s Santa Monica bungalow, she didn’t have enough extra dough for a complete kitchen remodel. But she did want to infuse the all-white room with some color. Part of her strategy was to remove the doors of the upper cabinets, thus allowing her colorful dishes to add to the ambiance. Plus, the added depth she got from seeing all the way to the wall makes the narrow kitchen seem wider.
Kitty, with whom I wrote a decorating book a few years ago, was a little ahead of the trends, as open shelves are now “hot” according to kitchen designer Susan Serra, author of The Kitchen Designer blog.
Here’s a tip from Kitty: Paint the shelves and cabinet boxes off-white, but paint the wall inside the cabinet the same color as the walls in the kitchen. This will make the shelves seem more distinct, rather than just part of a cabinet without doors. As they say in Hollywood: It’s all about perception.
One note: Taking the doors off an under-sink cabinet, where cleaning supplies or other chemicals are stored, would not be advisable in a home with small children.
(Photo: Sharon Cavanagh)