Tips for Styling Open Kitchen Shelves

bookcase styling tips
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Open shelves in your kitchen came make it look more spacious. Not only that but open shelving also gives you an opportunity to display favorite pieces and show off your personality. Open shelves can also make it easier to reach for those things that you use every day. However open shelving can scare some people off, but there is no need to worry, by following these easy tips for styling your open kitchen shelves they can become a point of interest and make your kitchen look bigger.

Choose what you want to have on display

When considering what to put on the open shelves you want to make sure to avoid items that will make your shelves look messy and unattractive. Needless to say, you certainly want to keep the Tupperware and mismatched cups and plates out of sight. When deciding what items to display on your open shelves look for the following:

  • Matching sets of glasses, plates, bowls, and cups look great when put together.
  • Choose some nice and interesting pieces you want to show off like pitchers, vases, cups with fun and interesting designs, etc.
  • Cookbooks are ideal for open shelves. Keeping them within reach to provide dinner inspiration is a great idea and the colorful bindings add interest to your shelves.
  • Consider a theme and a look; for example, going for a mostly monochromatic palette or grouping metal cookware and utensil together.
  • Jars and glass containers filled with spices, pasta, olive oil, etc. give are great to have on display.

how to style open kitchen shelves

Keep things in order

The key is making everything look like it belongs there, you don’t want things to end up looking like they were just thrown on the shelves.

To achieve an organized and clean look on your open kitchen shelves keep the following in mind.

  • Face things like mugs and cups in the same direction.
  • Stack matching sets of plates and bowls together.
  • Keep mismatched pieces within the same color palette or make sure they all have something in common like size, use or material they are made of.
tips for styling open kitchen shelves
Photo by William on Unsplash

Add some interest

Place those pieces that are more interesting or eclectic on the top shelf to make them a focal point and because you probably will not be using those as often so they don’t need to be so close at hand.

Add some interest by propping up cookbooks, artwork or beautiful trays and cutting boards vertically. This will also help you expand the shelves visually and you a place them behind items that are low like small stacks of plates.

open kitchen shelves inspiration

Keep the balance

Achieve balance by alternating stacks of plates or smaller items with larger pieces like pitchers or vases. Do the same with colorful pieces or pieces that have intricate patterns, alternating them with monochromatic pieces so that shelves don’t look too busy.

tips for styling open kitchen shelves
Photo by huyen. on Unsplash

Give them a natural touch

Give your shelves a warm feel adding natural materials like wooden bowls and cutting boards, or add some texture with baskets. Adding live plants or a vase with flowers breaks the monotony and adds a pop of color.

tips for styling open kitchen shelves
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Tips for Styling Open Kitchen Shelves


Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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