We immediately removed all of the dishes from the cupboards (apparently I have enough dishware to host the population of a small country) and called our landlord. Since we rent, we always have to run these types of things by the owners. If we owned, I would have removed these old cabinets years ago! He took a look and agreed that they had to be replaced. I saw this as an opportunity to sell him on the idea of installing open shelving. I sweetened the deal by offering to install them ourselves since we had three such shelves in our storage room. He accepted our offer and I immediately pulled out my drill. The old cabinets were off the wall by the time our landlord had put his boots on.
The good news was that the kitchen looked a thousand times better with the exposed wall. The bad news, the wall was GROSS. Instead of spending the rest of my afternoon sanding the wall and patching it up, I opted to paint it black, the same black paint that we used to paint another wall in our kitchen last year (remember this post?).
I love the result of this quick upgrade! It took me an afternoon and has made our kitchen much more functional, not to mention easier on the eyes.