Open kitchen shelving visually expands a kitchen space and provides handy storage. Clients often ask how to accomplish this look. A popular kitchen trend is to remove existing upper cabinets and install open shelves in their place. The shelves can be in the form of floating shelves or shelves supported by decorative brackets. Another way is to just remove a few of the cabinet doors. Once they’re removed, fill in the holes, touch it up and voila! You have open shelving. With open kitchen shelving the items are always visible, so you want to keep them as organized and attractive as possible. Here are 10 tips to help you make your open kitchen shelving aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Open Kitchen Shelving
1 Keep the shelf design simple, so that it doesn’t compete with the items set on it. But make sure the design coordinates with the style of your kitchen.
2 Display only those items that you love and find attractive. Don’t display food boxes unless you store them in attractive containers or baskets. Baskets are great for containing small items. Besides function, they also bring texture to a display.
3 Group like things together either by color, shape or function. For example, you might want to display your collection of pitchers or all white mixing bowls. For everyday dishes, keep each type of plates or bowls together.
4 Store what you use in a way that is functional and works for you in the kitchen. But to keep it visually pleasing, put the heavier items (e.g. plates and serving bowls) on the bottom shelves and the lighter items (e.g. glasses) on the top.
5 The items you place on the shelves will be seen everyday. Artfully arrange each piece or grouping just as you would decorative items in other rooms. Allow plenty of space between things, so the display doesn’t look crowded or messy.
6 For added impact, highlight your dishes with a contrasting background. For example, with light dishes use a darker background and for dark dishes, use a lighter background.
7 A mirrored background will reflect light and open up the space even more. Accent it with some overhead lighting.
8 Lean a decorative plate against the wall behind a stack of everyday dishes. This way when the stack is being used, the shelf will still have a finished look and not an empty space. Keep it from falling by attaching double-sided tape to the back or using a plate hanger.
9 Open shelves can collect dust. For those items you don’t use on a daily basis, make sure they are kept free of dust. You’ll want to move everything off the shelves at least once a month to give the shelves a good dusting.
10If you have a large collection, you don’t have to display everything at the same time. Keep some things tucked away in the cabinets. Then when you get tired of the look, freshen it up by switching things out for items that you have stored. Even if you don’t have extra items put away, you can change it up by moving things around.
Open kitchen shelving can make a small kitchen feel larger. Just remember to keep things neat and organized. There are lots of great options for kitchen storage that would look great on open shelving.
Do you have open kitchen shelving in your home?
All images via Better Homes & Gardens