Adding Style and Functionality with Kitchen Open Shelving

Benefits of Open Shelving in the Kitchen

For decades, kitchen cabinets have been a dominating feature in every kitchen. While they are practical and efficient, they can sometimes dominate the space, making a room to feel cramped and too small. To combat this, many homeowners are now opting for open shelving in their kitchens. The popularity of open shelving has skyrocketed in the last few years, and people are realizing the benefits that come with having open shelving in your kitchen. In this article, we are going to dive deeper into some of the benefits of open shelving in your kitchen.

1. Adds Style and Personality

One of the most significant perks of having open shelving in your kitchen is the fact that it adds a unique and stylish touch to any kitchen. Unlike traditional cabinets, open shelving enables homeowners to display their dishes, bowls, cups, and other kitchen gadgets. The items you place on your open shelves can say a lot about your personality and style imprint, giving you the chance to show off your decorative taste. Moreover, this feature enables you to create the ambiance you desire in your kitchen, making it feel more cozy and inviting.

Additionally, open shelving puts your dishes and bowls within reach, making it easier for you to access them. Furthermore, when you have all your plates and utensils on open shelves, you can easily locate what you need without having to rummage through cabinets. Simply put, open shelving enhances the functionality and style of your kitchen in more ways than one.

When setting up open shelves, one can choose from several materials, including wood, metal, glass, or a combination of these options. Also, the shape and size of your open shelving entirely depend on your preferences and desires. You can have several small open shelves that snake around your kitchen, or one extended shelf that extends over a long wall, giving your kitchen space a seamless and focused look.

2. Easy to Maintain and Keep Clean

The concept of open shelving in the kitchen removes any obstacles between you and your dishes and utensils, making it easier to maintain and keep clean. With open shelving, all your items are exposed, which makes it harder to hide dirt and grime build-up. Knowing that your dishes and utensils are out in the open encourages you to keep them consistently clean.

Additionally, open shelving removes the need for constantly wiping down cabinet doors, which can be costly in terms of time and effort. If you’re a busy person, cleaning open shelves will take you less time and effort than cleaning cabinet doors every day.

3. Ideal for Small Kitchens

If you have a small kitchen, then open shelving might be the best solution. Installing open shelving in your kitchen makes your space more inviting, and it gives you an efficient storage solution. Additionally, by displaying your dishes on open shelves, you give the illusion of a big and spacious kitchen. This feature proves very advantageous, especially if you don’t have the option of renovating or expanding your kitchen.

4. Easy to Access and Organize

When dishes are scattered all over different kitchen cabinets, it can be a tedious and confusing process to find what you need. However, open shelving helps you organize your kitchen effectively, making everything easier to access. With open shelving, all your dishes are in one place, and it’s easy to grab whatever you need.

Open shelving also encourages you to organize your dishes according to their sizes, types, and everyday usage, keeping them within reach. Gone are the days when you had to stand on tippy-toes to reach your favorite bowl on the top of the kitchen cabinet. Open shelving places everything at eye-level, making reaching for the items you need more comfortable.


Open shelving is the perfect solution for any homeowner who seeks to improve the look of their kitchen while simultaneously optimizing space. Putting your dishes on open shelves brings a unique and stylish touch to your kitchen, making it easy for you to reach anything you need, and maintain the hygiene of your kitchen. Whether you have a large or small kitchen, open shelving will work best for you, making it easier to organize all your dishes neatly.

When planning your kitchen design, it would be best to consider open shelving as a viable option. You might be surprised at how much more inviting and efficient opening up your kitchen space can be.

Types of Open Shelves for Kitchen Displays

When you consider open shelving in your kitchen, it doesn’t have to be just a regular wooden shelf. There is a multitude of types of open shelves that you can choose from to display your kitchen decor and essentials. Here are some of the popular types of open shelves:

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a trendy option that provides a sleek and modern look to your kitchen. These shelves can be mounted on the wall or under a kitchen cabinet. The installation process is simple, and the shelf appears to float in mid-air, hence the name “floating shelf.” The best part about these shelves is that they can be customized to any dimension or color to match your kitchen aesthetic. Floating shelves put less weight on your wall, making them a practical option, and they are an excellent choice for small kitchens where space is limited.

Pipe Shelving

Do you love the industrial look in your kitchen? Then the pipe shelving design is the perfect option. These shelves can be created using galvanized pipes and industrial-style fittings, adding a unique look to your kitchen. Pipe shelves are sturdy and offer plenty of support for your kitchen essentials. They are also budget-friendly and can be customized to match any kitchen design, giving you plenty of flexibility.

Corner Shelves

Corner shelves are a brilliant way to utilize the corner space in your kitchen, providing more storage and display space. These shelves are a practical option to store your essential kitchen items within reach while keeping clutter at bay. Corner shelves can be designed using wood or metal, and you can choose the measurements that work best for your kitchen. These types of shelves are a functional option, and they make your kitchen look chic and organized.

Reclaimed Wood Shelves

Reclaimed wood shelves are a popular choice for open shelving because they add warmth and character to any kitchen. These rustic-style shelves are perfect to display your collection of dishware, glassware, and other kitchen decor. Reclaimed wood shelves are environmentally friendly, and they add a touch of charm to your kitchen while being functional. They can be mounted on a wall or above the counters providing easy access to your kitchen essentials.

Glass Shelves

Do you have a collection of beautiful china or glassware that you want to display? The glass shelf design is a popular option because it provides a transparent look, making it easier to see the items on display. Glass shelves can be mounted with brackets or as part of an elegant design and can fit multiple decor styles. They create a cohesive look in your kitchen while making your items on display the focal point. Glass shelves require regular cleaning to remove fingerprints, but they are a practical option in any kitchen.

Ladder Shelves

Ladder shelves are functional and stylish, adding character to your kitchen. These shelves can be customized using wood or metal and come in various sizes to fit any kitchen space. They provide ample storage space for all your kitchen essentials, and the design allows for easy access. Ladder shelves can be used to display various items such as cookbooks, glassware, and other decorative items. The design is practical for kitchens with limited space or to create a focal point in your kitchen.

In conclusion, open shelving is a practical and stylish alternative to traditional cabinets in your kitchen. When you consider open shelves, there is an array of options to choose from, all of which can be customized to your needs and preferences. Whether you opt for a floating shelf, pipe shelving, corner shelf, reclaimed wood, glass, or ladder shelves, you can add personality to your kitchen while showcasing your collection of kitchen essentials and decor.

Organizing with Open Shelving: Tips and Tricks

Open shelving in the kitchen has become a popular trend in recent years. Not only does it add a modern touch to any kitchen, but it can also be practical by making your everyday items easily accessible. However, it’s important to understand that open shelving can also become a source of clutter if not organized properly. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most out of your open shelving:

1. Consider Your Overall Kitchen Design

Before you begin organizing your open shelving, take a step back and evaluate your kitchen’s overall design. Do you want your open shelving to match the rest of your cabinetry or stand out? Do you want to display your favorite kitchen items or add some greenery with potted plants and herbs? Once you have a clear vision in mind, it will be easier to determine what items should go on your open shelves and how they should be arranged.

2. Use a Simple Color Scheme

When deciding what items to display on your open shelves, it’s important to keep your color scheme in mind. Limit the color palette of your displayed items to a few hues that match your kitchen’s color scheme. This will create a sense of unity and make your shelves look more organized.

For example, if your kitchen has white cabinetry and black countertops, you can create a cohesive look with white dishes and black coffee mugs on your open shelves. Or, if your kitchen features a pop of color, such as a turquoise backsplash, you can add small accents of the same color to your open shelves to tie everything together.

3. Group Similar Items Together

A great way to organize your open shelving is by grouping similar items together. This will create a sense of order and make it easier to find what you need. Consider grouping items by color, use, or category, such as:

  • Dinnerware: Arrange your plates, bowls, and serving dishes in a cohesive manner. Consider keeping your most-used dinnerware on the lower shelves for easy access.
  • Glassware: Display your favorite glasses and stemware on your open shelves. Arrange them by type or color, such as wine glasses on one shelf and tumblers on another.
  • Cooking Utensils: Hang your cooking utensils on S-hooks or place them in a utensil holder on your open shelves. This will keep them within reach while cooking and make them easy to put away when not in use.
  • Small Appliances: If you have smaller appliances, such as a toaster or blender, consider storing them on your open shelves. Display them in a neat row or stack them to save space.
  • Decorative Items: If you want to add some decorative flair to your open shelving, consider displaying a few statement pieces, such as a vase or picture frame. Keep them grouped together on a designated shelf to avoid clutter.

Overall, grouping your items together by category will help you keep your open shelving organized and visually appealing.

4. Use Containers and Baskets

If you’re concerned about clutter on your open shelves, consider using containers and baskets to corral items. For example, store your dry goods, such as pasta and rice, in clear glass jars with airtight lids. This will keep them fresh while adding a cohesive look to your open shelves.

For larger items, such as bags of chips or produce, consider using decorative baskets to keep them contained. You can also use baskets to store smaller items, such as utensils or recipe cards, for easy access.

5. Rotate Your Items

Lastly, don’t be afraid to switch up the items on your open shelves from time to time. This will keep your kitchen looking fresh and prevent your shelves from becoming too cluttered. Consider rotating seasonal items, such as holiday-themed dishware or fresh flowers, to add a pop of color and create a festive atmosphere.

In conclusion, open shelving can be a great addition to any kitchen when organized properly. By considering your overall kitchen design, using a simple color scheme, grouping similar items together, using containers and baskets, and rotating your items, you can create a functional and visually appealing space that you’ll love cooking and entertaining in.

Decorating with Open Shelving: Dos and Don’ts

Open shelving is a popular trend in kitchen design because of its practicality and aesthetic value. It allows you to showcase your beautiful dinnerware, glassware, and other kitchen items while keeping them within reach. However, open shelving can be challenging to style without cluttering your space. In this article, we’ll show you the dos and don’ts of decorating with open shelving.

Do: Use an Array of Colors

One of the best things about open shelving is that it encourages you to display your colorful items. Consider grouping or layering items in a way that pleases your eye, and contrasts the color scheme of your kitchen. Use a color wheel to see what will complement the blue-gray subway tile backsplash or white grout for example. You can also place vibrantly colored items against a white or neutral background to make them stand out.

Don’t: Display Items Haphazardly

While having an unplanned collage of items may seem like a great idea, it can quickly detract from the overall appeal of the kitchen. Maintain an assortment of objects without overcrowding to avoid your space looking cluttered or chaotic. Try grouping items by a common theme or color scheme or using an exposed shelving unit as a statement piece decorated with a few items.

Do: Add Texture and Variety

Including a mix of materials and textures is crucial for creating an appealing and practical open shelving display. Add a mixture of ceramics, glass, and wood items for a touch of warmth, and light metal objects like copper for contrast. Bringing a tiered bowl or two into the mix adds interesting volume and texture. You don’t have to stick to the traditional kitchen items – try throwing in some plants or framed pictures to add personality.

Don’t: Leave Your Shelves Bare

Avoid leaving your shelves completely empty. Leaving the shelves bare can detract from the open shelving system’s overall look while making your kitchen appear more sparse. Instead, use the mantle as an opportunity to showcase some of your favorite utensils, patterned mixing bowls or colorful mugs. If you’re unsure of how to decorate empty space, enlist the help of friends and family or simply browse sites like Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration.

Do: Organize Objects for Everyday Functionality

One of the fantastic advantages of open shelving is that it provides easy access to all of your frequently used items. Organize your items in a way that makes sense for how you use your kitchen. For instance, place glassware together on the same shelf and plates near the dishwasher for easy stacking. You can also use baskets or containers to compartmentalize your shelving system and keep items sorted. The key is to display in such a way that your essentials are within reach and easy to grab when preparing a quick meal.

Don’t: Overfill Your Shelves

Open shelving is all about creating a space that feels open and airy, so take care not to overstuff your shelves. Overfilling your shelves can make your kitchen look cluttered and disorganized. If you have a large collection of items, consider rotating your items or dedicating a shelf to seasonal items that you don’t need often. You can also incorporate some storage boxes that you can use to house items that you don’t need to display all the time.

Open shelving can be an effective way to showcase your personality and enhance the style of your kitchen. There are definite dos and don’ts to keep in mind when decorating with open shelves. Stick to these guidelines to create a functional and beautiful display that you can be proud of.

Maintaining Open Shelving: Cleaning and Care Tips

Open shelving in the kitchen is a trend that has been on the rise for years. It gives a modern, chic and airy feel to any kitchen, while also making your space appear larger than it is. However, open shelving does require some maintenance and care to keep it looking its best. In this article, we will provide easy-to-follow cleaning and care tips that will ensure your open shelves stay in top condition for years to come.

1. Remove and dust frequently

The first rule of maintaining open shelving is to regularly remove everything from the shelves and dust them carefully. This should be done on a weekly basis or as needed, to prevent a thick layer of dust buildup, greasy fingerprints and other debris from accumulating on your shelves, which can attract bugs, rodents and other unwanted visitors.

2. Wipe down with a damp cloth

Using a damp cloth is the most effective way to clean open shelving. Wipe down the entire surface of the shelf, paying particular attention to sticky, grimy and greasy spots. Avoid using sponges or abrasive cleaners, which can leave scratches on the surface and damage your shelves. Use a microfiber cloth or a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe all of the dust and debris away.

3. Use a mild detergent or vinegar solution

For tougher stains or spills, mild detergent or white vinegar can be used to remove them. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar, then spray the affected area and wipe away with a clean, damp cloth. Rinse well with water and dry the area with a clean cloth. This will help to eliminate bacteria, remove tough stains, and leave your open shelving looking pristine.

4. Organize your items

A common mistake for homeowners who have open shelving in their kitchen is to use it as a storage space for all their kitchen items. This results in a messy and cluttered look that can defeat the purpose of having open shelves. To keep your open shelving looking clean and organized, consider grouping similar items together and storing them neatly. For example, stack your plates, bowls and cups on the same shelf. Arrange your glassware together on another shelf and keep your cooking utensils together in a ceramic container.

5. Avoid overcrowding

One of the most important aspects of maintaining open shelving is to avoid overcrowding it. Overcrowding can make your shelves appear cluttered and increase the risk of items falling out, causing damage to the shelf, the item itself, or a person in the kitchen. To avoid overcrowding, be selective about what you put on your shelves. A good rule of thumb is to avoid placing more than three to four items on a single shelf. This will ensure that your open shelves look clean and organized, in line with the desired effect.


In conclusion, open shelving is a modern and chic way to display your kitchen goods, and with the above tips, a little maintenance and care are all that is needed to keep your shelves looking great. Always make sure to remove and dust frequently, use a damp cloth, mild detergent or vinegar solution only when needed, store your items neatly and avoid overcrowding. If you follow these tips regularly, you will extend the life and look of your open shelving and enjoy its many advantages for years to come.