I’m so happy that many of you found Monday’s post, re-assessing my kitchen open shelving, useful and today I’m building on that, sharing some inspiration for how to style open shelving in the kitchen so it’s functional and beautiful. In addition to worries about keeping open shelves clean, a major obstacle to opting for open shelving seems to be concern for showing off less attractive kitchen wares. It’s definitely a bit of a challenge to organize open shelves so that they’re functional and also attractive. I’ve only re-arranged mine once in six months and I guarantee I’ll do it again, partly because it’s fun, but also because I’m striving for the best arrangement. I find myself paying close attention to open shelving in kitchens now, trying to pick up tips.
The simplest way to style or organize open shelving? Collect matching or complementary dishware, like this beautiful jadeite collection, which is easily and effortlessly arranged:
Not everyone can piece together a beautiful, vintage collection, but just having a set of dishes (they don’t need to be fancy), instead of bits and pieces, makes it simple to arrange them attractively on a shelf:
My dishes are all white – most are a set of Villeroy and Boch, snagged from HomeSense seven years ago – but I’ve also got some random vintage plates (white with a turquoise pattern) and Hubby’s beloved (but chipped and awful) cereal bowls. Because they’re all white, it’s hard to tell that they’re not a set, so I’m cheating my way through. The Pyrex collection up top is handy because it’s distracting 😉
If mismatched dishes are holding you back from trying open shelving, then maybe keeping plates behind closed doors but showing off pretty glass food canisters might be the way to go. I mentioned Monday how much I love our open pantry, but these ones put mine to shame!
I love how these matching canisters look and they’re so practical! I’ve been shopping at bulk places to re-fill mine, and I love that I’m saving a bit of coin on some grocery staples and also cutting down on packaging. I’m currently brainstorming cute but practical ways to display/store loose leaf tea (it’s tricky because tea doesn’t fair well when exposed to light, which is a shame because it’s often so beautiful).
I do think, though, that beautiful open shelving can be had even with random pieces mixed in. I think the key is to simplify a bit. I de-cluttered and pared back a lot, and probably should have jettisoned more but I’ve got too many sentimental pieces so I made them work (and hid some in the credenza). It also helps to find some common thread, perhaps a colour or natural material, like wood. If you study the shelves carefully in the following pictures, you can see that these shelves don’t house perfect sets or collections, and there’s definitely some mixing and matching, but they all look tidy and beautifully styled. Most seem to offer great function, too, with few purely decorative objects but lots of useful items.
Thanks for letting me share the open shelving eye candy I’ve been admiring. I love finding inspiration for my own shelves, plus I find it encouraging to see other folks eschew upper cupboards – like this beautiful kitchen renovation from All Sorts of Pretty.