Lighten up a heavy, closed-off kitchen by converting your ordinary cabinets to open shelving. The kitchen shown belongs to blogger Judy Meek, who first tried open shelving in 2011 and documented her steps for her readers. “I have loved the open shelf concept,” Meek says. “Besides the open shelf over the peninsula, I’ve also opened up a shelf over the dishwasher for glasses, a shelf over the coffeemaker for cups and a long cabinet over our cooktop for our everyday dinnerware. The key is filling the shelves with items you use often.” Meek started by painting her oak cabinets white, and is now changing over to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ with wax, which makes spill cleanup a snap.