9 Tips for Open Kitchen Shelving - Inside Interior Crowd

9 Tips for Open Kitchen Shelving

by Taylor Duvall for InteriorCrowd
November 26, 2015

Open shelving in the kitchen typically causes one of two reactions: people either love it or they hate it. Those who love it are often not sure how to pull it off in their own kitchens. It can be a tricky feat to ensure that your open display of pots, pans, plates, bowls, and utensils looks like a beautiful element of style instead of a cluttered mess of kitchenware.

Since open kitchen shelving can be such a wonderful part of a kitchen’s design, we have compiled a list of nine tips for open kitchen shelving that can help anyone achieve the beautiful look in their own kitchens.

  1. Choose Old or New

Open kitchen shelving can happen one of two ways: you can either bring in open shelving or you can take the doors off of your current shelving. Either can be a fantastic look. Bringing in new shelving allows you free range to have the exact style that you want, but taking off the doors of your kitchen cabinets can still be lovely with great paint, wallpaper, or wood stain.

  1. Showcase Beautiful Things

Here is the #1 rule for open kitchen shelving: if you do not like your cookware or dinnerware, open shelving is not for you. You are essentially turning your plates into elements of design and art, so make sure you like the way they look. You should think the things you display are beautiful.  This does not have to mean expensive, by the way!

  1. Have a Theme


(Image via DesignSponge)

One way to design your open kitchen shelves is to choose some sort of theme or overall style. This kitchen’s vintage plates, bowls, and decor help tie all the pieces in together. If your kitchenware is all modern or coastal or follows a color pattern, this could work well for your kitchen too!

  1. Stay Organized – Always

If you are prone to being messy and disorganized, open shelving may not be your best bet. It takes some effort to keep these shelves looking stylish and not like a mess of kitchen clutter. When you are displaying such a variety of kitchen items, it is important to keep them organized all the time. To make it easier, double checking that your open kitchen shelves are in order can be the last thing you do each evening after the dinner dishes.

  1. Go Simple

Since there will naturally be a lot going on atop these kitchen shelves, it is always nice to go simple with what you place up there. Now, simple does not mean boring or lacking in style. Simplicity means differentiating between what is essential for storage and style and what is just “noise.”

  1. Stack Nicely


(Image via Keeping It Cozy)

Remember that you are turning your everyday kitchen utensils and cookware into a decor element for your home. One way to make the display artful and thoughtful is to stack with intention. Instead of only putting plates on plates or bowls on bowls, find ways to stack your items that creates a beautiful visual appeal.

  1. Think Pantry


(Image via Country Living)

Open kitchen shelving need not only be for kitchenware, it can also be a great option as a food pantry. The key to pulling this look off is removing your items from any ugly packaging and putting them in great containers. Not only will this look less cluttered, it can also keep your food items safe from bugs and humidity.

  1. Shake It Up

Simply because these shelves are in your kitchen does not mean that you only need to display kitchen items. Unless you are tight on space, it can be a lovely choice to add extra elements to your shelving. Plants, leaning framed art, baskets, (cook)books, or sculptures can break up the repetition of kitchen items and add visual interest.

  1. Choose Great Shelves


(Image via HGTV)

Whether or not they have doors on them, kitchen shelves make a real difference in the look and style of your kitchen. Choosing to have open shelving means eyes will naturally be drawn to that area of your kitchen. Having nice shelving plays a big part in creating a beautiful unit. Sanding and painting or staining ugly shelving creates a brand new, customized look to be excited about.

Open kitchen shelving can be a daunting design choice, but it is totally doable with some knowledge. It also takes a little creativity and a willingness to try different options. A professional designer is the perfect choice for a home project like this. They can help you make your shelves look their best and organize all your kitchenware into a beautifully designed wall in your kitchen.

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Taylor Duvall for InteriorCrowd

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