Thursday, March 17, 2011

Open Shelves in the Kitchen

To bare it or was a decision my husband and I had to make when designing our kitchen. While a modern kitchen has all its mess and appliances cleverly hidden behind slick cabinets, there is a certain charm in baring our favourite displays on an open shelf. Imagine your favourite collection of coffee cups, spices, coke bottles, beer glasses or any pride and joy all neatly assembled and given its well deserved lime light.

Open shelves can be seamlessly integrated into your kitchen layout and lighten up the look of tall heavy cabinets. It also gives an appearance that's less sterile and more character. You can tell a lot about the owners of a house by the things that they display on open shelves.
Small cut-out makes way for shelves and plays down the darkness of the cabinets via Habitually Chic

If you're tossing in between open shelving and hiding contents of your kitchen behind closed doors, here's an option that gives you both (see picture below). Take note that it's actually a pretty tall hanging cabinet and would have risked looking heavy with solid doors, however the semi-translucent sliding doors and shallow shelving lightened up the overall design of the kitchen.
Semi-open shelves via

Speaking of tall...
Tall open shelves via Martha Stewart

Open shelving can do wonders in small spaces as it lets more lighting through, making rooms appear larger. I love the idea of storing my kitchenware conveniently above the hob like a real sous kitchen set-up. The hanging rack of herbs and spices is a bonus. 
Open shelving above kitchen island via the kitchn

Though the door-less look is great and would save a lot of money in cabinetry, the dust-free obsessive compulsive freak in me screams "no!"
Breezy black and white kitchen - source unknown

The use of open shelves maximises the exposure of your beautiful backsplash without taking up too much valuable storage space.
Maximum exposure via The Design Files

Jazz up your shelves with interesting brackets and play along with the theme of your kitchen design. If your theme is modern, opt for a more current material such as stainless steel in a simple and clean design and if rustic is your name, consider a rugged wooden slate as the shelf with brackets made from branches (see picture below).
Rustic shelf via wrenwoods in Etsy
Showcase Storage Simple wood shelves
Country style shelf brackets via Kitchen Building

* Some images are from unknown sources. Please email me if it belongs to you and I'll happily credit you for it.


  1. White is the symbol of peace of mind. I really like to make classic trend with above kitchen designs. I think that You should make your kitchen more eye catch after install LED lamps in your kitchen.

  2. Lighting definitely makes a huge impact though I personally think it should be balanced out with sufficient brightness and task lighting. You can't go wrong with white and classic styles with modern touches :-)


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