Are you thinking about whether open shelving is the right choice for you? Kitchen cupboards allow us to stack things away for a calm and uncluttered look, but there is definitely an upside to open shelving.
Firstly, well designed open shelving means having the things you need at hand. A busy chef knows what they use regularly, so having these things on a shelf means you can see what you want and get it without embarking on a hunt through the cupboards.
Secondly, your beautiful homeware can be admired at more than just mealtimes. Those delicately crafted bowls you picked up on your trip to Japan deserve the admiration. By putting them on display, you are able to enjoy the beauty in the craft and design of your carefully selected items. So with this in mind, here are the do’s and don’ts of kitchen open shelving.
Do Group Similar Items Together
Sticking with a cohesive color palette creates a cleaner look. Placing items of similar types together makes it easier to find them when you’re looking for them.
Display glasses on open shelves like in this Australian open plan kitchen. Consider using a mirror behind the shelves to reflect light. Put items together in colors, like the white and pastel eggshell blue mugs that balance nicely in this kitchen inspired by Gilmore Girls.
Don’t Be Scared to Mix Things Up
Once you have your basic color palette sorted, it’s fun to throw a curve-ball into the mix. Also consider blending functional and decorative items together. As well as shelving you can hang frequently used items.
Do Put Your Favorite Pieces on Show
You welcomed these items into your home because they appeal to you, so don’t be shy about showing them off.
Don’t Be Scared of Change
You can re-arrange your shelves and display items easily. Take the time to test out your kitchen and discover which items you keep coming back to. Bring those ones closer to your workspace so they are at hand.
For an example of how kitchens can be modified in different ways, check out this Amsterdam home that used to be a school house. This Spanish vacation home’s kitchen is pretty in pastel, with a flexible storage shelving unit.
Do Keep Things Tidy
One of the biggest drawbacks to open shelving in the kitchen is that it’s all there for you to see. It means you need to stay vigilant. If you need help keeping on top of things, try keeping a cleaning tracker to remind you when it’s time to clean the pantry.
Using reusable glass containers for your ingredients is a beautifully tidy alternative to rows of packaging. Check out our zero waste article to learn more.
Don’t Forget That Things Get Sticky in a Working Kitchen
A working kitchen means things can get messy. If you’re keeping your glassware next to the hob, consider they are likely to pick up grease or be affected by the steam from your cooking creations. When you’re designing your open shelving space, consider which areas get dirty faster, and remember to give these an extra wipe down after you finish cooking. Items that you use regularly will also be washed regularly anyway so they may be more suitable in these areas.
Do Think About the Background
White background walls will really make your items pop. So think about which items you want to show off. If you want some items to blend in more subtly, pick items that are the same color as the background wall, or made of glass.
Don’t Overstuff Shelves
Consider that sometimes you can allow your collection of spices to grow slowly, rather than filling shelves from the get go. Be comfortable in minimal design.
Do you have open shelving at home or prefer to keep your cupboards closed? Let us know which kitchen is your favorite, in the comments below.