Creating and Organizing Open Kitchen Shelves - Inside Interior Crowd

Creating and Organizing Open Kitchen Shelves

InteriorCrowd Staff
by InteriorCrowd Staff
August 20, 2015

Written by Christina Vo for InteriorCrowd

How to Incorporate Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

Do you longingly admire the clean, streamlined look of open shelving in kitchens, but don’t think you can achieve – or even maintain – that crisp appearance? As busy individuals, it’s difficult enough to run around with the kids, prepare dinners friends, or just keep up with the hustle of life. It’s hard to imagine adding a detail, like open shelving, in your kitchen that might be difficult to maintain.

Here are a few tips that could help you be quickly on your way to this clean look with a minimal amount of maintenance.

Start With a Few Shelves and Focus on Decorative Items



First of all, you don’t need to overhaul your entire kitchen with open shelving to create the look you want. If you want to start small, just add a few open shelves to one area of your kitchen, while maintaining the closed cupboards in other areas. If you look at the shelves pictured in the image below, the shelving don’t take up much space and provides space to highlight decorative items. By focusing just on décor, and some functional pieces like plates and pitchers, you won’t need to worry about maintaining a clean look daily. These shelves can also make good use of extra space that’s being underutilized in your kitchen. If you find that you loving the open shelving, you can add more as your comfort level increases.

(Wood ShelvesWood Shelves)

Focus on neutrals

While pops of color are wonderful and add a touch of boldness and flair to any space, it’s recommended to keep things neutral on your open shelves. Neutral colors fit well with the clean, streamlined look of open shelving and don’t distract from the simplicity of the shelves. It’s easier on the eyes to see a set of matching neutral colored plates and mugs rather than a mish mash of brighter colors. If you want to spruce things up a bit, think more about added textured pottery and unique pieces that are still neutral. Check out Heath Ceramics for a wealth of inspiring tableware. You also could look at some of the interested textured vases, such as the one pictured below, in West Elm’s collection for more ideas.

(Refinery29West Elm)

Keep Functional Items on the Lower Shelves

One of the best tricks we’ve learned to keeping a fresh look for your kitchen shelves is to keep the items you use most on the lower shelves, while reserving the top shelves for decorative items or kitchenware that you use less frequently. If you’re using plates and glasses frequently and taking them for the lower shelves, you can make sure that when you put the items back that the shelves stay as neat as possible. 

Use Shelves to Cleverly Store Items 

So, if the neutral organized look is a little too sterile for you, you can spice things up a bit by getting a mix of jars and storing some of your staple pantry items, like flour sugar, pasta, etc. You could also incorporate some vintage pieces to add an additional touch, or like the image below even paint the wall with chalkboard paint.


Chalkboard Shelves

Whatever the reasons you’re venturing toward open shelving in your kitchen, we hope that you don’t feel daunted by the possibility. Remember, just start small, see how you like it, and go from there.

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InteriorCrowd Staff
InteriorCrowd Staff

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