Whether you have a beautiful collection of vintage glassware or a selection of dinnerware that you wish you had more opportunities to use, it can feel like a real shame to hide your prized belongings behind kitchen cabinets. Open shelving is a popular option for adding a display area in your kitchen—but some may not be quite so enthusiastic about the prospect of dusting a little more frequently than they’re used to. Luckily, there’s a solution that can give your kitchen the best of both worlds: glass-ready doors.
By pairing a glass panel with a simple Shaker cabinet front, you can create the look of a modern china cabinet in your kitchen, but with way more customizability. Just a few glass cabinets can open up your space, or an all-over look can give off a more dramatic effect. Once you decide exactly where you’d like them, the creativity doesn’t end: The way you style inside your cabinets has just as much of an impact on the design of the space as the cabinets themselves.
There’s no shortage of ways you can incorporate glass-ready cabinets into your kitchen—so allow these seven spaces to provide you with plenty of ideas.
Photography and design by Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones’s pantry is an organized dream, thanks to its all-white cabinetry and tidy storage baskets. A few glass-ready doors with Semihandmade’s DIY Shaker fronts make the space look larger. To keep the room looking pristine and calm, Jones was strategic in the way she filled her cabinets. “Use a lot of neutral-toned dishes that relate to the aesthetic of the space,” she recommends.
Photography by Margaret Wright, design by Renovate108
In a kitchen with deep-colored cabinets, like this one by Tyler and Jessica Marés of Renovate108, glass cabinets can help to create a visual break that brightens up the space. Here, Semihandmade DIY Shaker glass-ready fronts painted in Benjamin Moore’s Narragansett Green display an all-white china collection, while solid DIY Shaker cabinets and DIY Slab cabinets above and below provide plenty of space for storing less decorative items. Gold hardware adds a refined look to the counter-to-ceiling built-ins.
You can also skip the full-on china cabinet and instead opt for a built-in, standalone cabinet made with entirely glass fronts, like this one in El Rancho. When filled with an impressive array of colorful glassware, it becomes a stunning focal point. Its floor-to-ceiling design makes good use of vertical space for maximum storage, too.
If you’re not sure you want to commit to all-over glass cabinets, one corner cabinet can provide ample room to make a statement. In El Rancho, this glass-front cabinet ties in the standalone cabinet that sits on the other end of the kitchen and brightens up a wall of black cabinets. Positioned above the white countertops, it doesn’t look too jarring in the space, but rather adds cohesion to the overall design.
Photography courtesy of and design by Coco & Jack
Since Semihandmade’s glass-ready cabinet fronts don’t come with glass already installed, there’s plenty of room to get creative with decorative touches. In this kitchen by Coco & Jack, etched glass with a gold cross-hatch design gives the DIY Shaker fronts an elevated touch, and they play up the cabinetry’s gold hardware. A cupboard latch adds to the old-school-meets-modern vibe.
Photography and design by @acozykitchen
In Adrianna Adarme’s kitchen, glass cabinets make a more practical alternative to open shelving, keeping dinnerware essentials in easy reach at all times. What makes this design work? The willingness to pare back your plates, cups, and more to the things you really do use everyday (though the rest can certainly go behind opaque closed doors).
Photography and design by Becky Daly
If you have the space for a kitchen bar, glass cabinets can also be used to differentiate that space. Becky Daly’s impressive set up features two glass front cabinets, fabricated with cross-hatched glass, that house her stemware, connected by two floating shelves that serve both a decorative and practical function. For the avid entertainer (or even the amateur mixologist), this layout makes toasting at home feel way more festive.