Americans are too attached to their kitchen cupboards. It's as if they'd never considered storage other than upper cabinets. Open shelving can actually make a kitchen feel open, relieving the tight, cramped feeling that many kitchens have, in addition to leaving space to display artwork and other decorative elements. But if you don't have matching dishes or you're not diligent about stacking them neatly, open shelving can look sloppy. And of course, open shelves attract dust more easily.