Cool Kitchen Idea :: Open Shelving

seen in house beautiful

seen in house beautiful

Open shelving in kitchens has become trendy over the last couple of years and I must admit, I’m a fan.  Open shelving gives you the option to show off all your dishware, glassware and serving pieces that are normally hidden behind closed doors. Open shelving can make a small kitchen seem bigger and can also heighten the space when there is no upper cabinet soffit to stop the eye from moving up.

I utilized the open shelving idea in my kitchen in Denver -- I thought the existing doors were kind of cheesy and wanted to show off my pretty glassware and dishes {they’re just plain white, but I like the look that they have when stacked.}  I wrote a blog post about the whole process that you can read here. A full-on kitchen remodel wasn’t in the budget and this minor change {I called it “botox”} made a big difference. It should come as no surprise that I chose Hermès orange for the interior of the cabinets!  Here are some “after” photos ::

Besides dishware, you can put items that you use frequently and would like close at hand on the shelves, things like oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, and often-used spices.   You can also put items on the shelves that are currently cluttering up your countertops and create more space. Glass jars filled with bulk goods like cereal, pasta, sugar, etc look great on open shelving -- the glass jars are far more attractive than the packaging from Costco and more convenient than the plastic baggies you get at the bulk section in the supermarket.

If you find that there is still a lot of space on the shelves once you’ve added all the items you frequently use or want to show off you can mix in decorative items as well.

You don’t have to take ALL the doors off your cabinets or remove all the upper cabinets and replace them with shelves.  You can limit the items on the open shelving to what you want to see and keep the rest behind closed doors -- there is no need to put your disorganized tupperware collection on display! Another thing about open shelving is that forces you to be tidier -- you can’t just hide things behind a cabinet door anymore. 

To create the look you can use floating shelves as well as those supported by brackets, and, if you don’t like the look of your cabinet doors you can just take them off.  This is a great option if new cabinets are not in the budget.  Here’s a great video on how to create open shelving from existing upper cabinets.

The only “con” of open shelving that I can think of is dust, but its nothing a handy-dandy Swiffer duster can’t cure.

The open shelves provide much needed storage space in this small kitchen.

seen in dwell magazine

seen in dwell magazine

I love the look of the floating shelves in front of the white subway tile.  And, wow, those are some bright yellow cabinets -- and I love them.

via a beautiful mess

via a beautiful mess

I know, I know, people are saying that the chevron is passé, but I love how bright and cheery this kitchen is and you really get the full impact of the pattern with the open shelving.

seen in lonny

seen in lonny

The wall of this kitchen would have felt more crowded with traditional cabinets -- with the open shelving it feels more airy.  I can't get enough of the exposed beams, and the dogs, oh the cute little doggies!

seen in house beautiful

seen in house beautiful

Painting the back side of the cabinets is a great way to bring in color.

seen in coastal living

seen in coastal living

This kitchen also feels much more airy with the open shelving.  I love the look of the white dishes on the gray cabinets.

grey+kitchen+open+shelving+brettVdesign

The open shelving gives you the opportunity to appreciate the exposed brick in this small kitchen.

seen in house beautiful

seen in house beautiful

The open shelving in this kitchen fits perfectly with the industrial loft design.

via decoist

via decoist

I like how the metal shelving seems to float above the countertop.

seen in house beautiful

seen in house beautiful

The stainless steel shelving coordinates beautifully with the countertops, hood + range.

via remodelista

via remodelista


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