Open or Closed Storage in the Kitchen?

I recently signed the lease for a new apartment, and I'm thrilled that it has an enormous kitchen (by New York standards anyway). But for all the space it has, there is very little storage. It has too tiny cabinets over the sink, which will be for everyday dishes, and a cabinet that has the sink in it (not exactly sure what is going in there yet).

So, I'm going to have to figure out something to use as a pantry. I just can't choose between open and closed storage.

I could do something like the OMAR unit from IKEA:


At $39.99 for the set shown above, the price is right. I could even afford to buy another set and stack them. The other open shelving option I'm considering is the elfa system from The Container Store.

In terms of closed storage, I actually love the PAX wardrobes from IKEA. I know that they are traditionally used in place of closets, but with all the interior options I think I could make it work for the kitchen. All I would need to do is to fill it with shelves, and maybe a drawer or two for spices and smaller things.

The PAX wardrobes are incredibly versatile—just look at this office built into a wardrobe from IkeaHacker.


I'd love to hear what you prefer—open or closed storage in the kitchen?