Cabinetry is expensive; replacing them might not be an option whether you’re just purchasing a home or trying to renovate your current home. However, using the current cabinets or shelves with a few modifications can make your cabinets look brand new! 

Take a look at the 10 phenomenal ideas to update your home without breaking the bank.

You just might find your next home improvement project!

How to Cover Cabinets Without Doors

Sometimes cabinets are inevitable. So, how can you turn bland old cabinets into new and inviting pieces without doors? Taking the doors off of old cabinets can create the open look of shelves if you can’t remove the entire cabinet or need to keep the closed space.

Barn Doors

Barn doors can be a great option for those built-in bookcases you may find in the living room or study of an older home. These doors slide on a track and generally have two panels that slide behind one another. This would give you the option to hide some or all of your shelves. 

Barn doors come in all colors and materials to fit any home and can be custom-made to fit any design style.

Glass Doors

If barn doors aren’t your idea of decor, glass can be a great alternative. A frosted glass panel on the same style track can provide an elegant look to any home. Glass can also be tinted or treated to have a stained glass look with any pattern you’d like. 

Loose Curtains

Curtains can be another great idea for covering those large floor to-ceiling-shelves. Loose-flowing curtains can add a luxurious feel without the high price tag. Curtains come in so many different colors and styles. You could also go to your local fabric store and have your unique curtains made from whatever fabric you choose. 

Fixed Curtains

What about smaller cabinets like in the bathroom or kitchen? Fixed curtains can be perfect if you really want the curtain look but only have smaller shelves. Attaching small curtains to the shelf itself instead of the walls allows you to keep the customization of curtains with the freedom to use them just about anywhere.

Creeping Plants

Plants can be a stunning cover for shelves. 

Creeping plants that grow quickly like:

They will love to grasp your shelves and cover any amount of clutter with their thick leaves. Even though plants won’t create a moveable curtain they will create beautiful coverage for shelves that don’t need access constantly. Plants also provide excellent air purification which can be a huge bonus in old homes that lack the ventilation that newer homes have. 

Chicken Wire

Removing cabinet doors and taking out the centerpiece while keeping the frame of the original door and replacing it with chicken wire will create an enticing farmhouse look to your cabinetry and give it that modern open style. 


Windows can be a great replacement for doors, it allows the open modern look while still providing the enclosed safety of a cabinet. Windows can be customized just like the sliding glass doors mentioned above. Old windows can be found in so many places and bring a beautiful antique style.


Showcasing painting can be a stately way to cover cabinets or shelves. By attaching a canvas or picture frame by a hinge you can hide clutter or belongings behind your favorite art pieces. You can also remove cabinet doors and take out the centerpiece while keeping the frame of the original door and replace it with fabric coffee or flour sacks to create a kitchen art piece. 


Everyone has seen mirrored medicine cabinets in bathrooms but what about in other rooms? 

Mirrors are great for smaller spaces because they create the allusion to bigger rooms. These can be used as large sliding doors over a closet or can be used on smaller cabinets like kitchens. 

Remember if you decide to use this idea it will make things look more cluttered and require a lot of cleaning so this idea is best for those with minimal clutter and no little fingers to leave prints on them. 


If you do, however, have those little fingers. Building blocks can be great unique ways to cover cabinets or shelves. Using Legos or wooden building blocks you can secure them with glue to create whatever style of door you want. Including the littles in this activity to create personalized pieces for their rooms.


There are so many different ways to customize old cabinetry and shelving, these are just a few ideas that can be modified in so many ways to fit any home style easily. Don’t settle for plain shelving, let your creativity run rampant and use these ideas to build your own!