12 Eye-Catching Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen’s Open Shelves

Open shelving instantly amplifies the style and functionality of any kitchen. Clever organization techniques and eye-catching accessories transform previously hidden storage into an enviable decorative feature.

Follow these 12 tips to create stunning open shelves that organize your essentials and show off your personal flair.

Embrace Mixed Styling

The eclectic look is perfect for open shelving, blending modern and antique pieces for visual interest. Copper pots add warmth and shine when grouped with matte ceramic canisters in natural hues. Allow your personal tastes to shine through unexpected color and texture combinations.

Suggested Items

  • Copper pots
  • Ceramic canisters
  • Colored glassware

Use Baskets for Warmth

Incorporating baskets of varying sizes and shapes brings natural texture to open shelves. Materials like rattan, wood, and wicker create coziness. Fill them with fruits and vegetables, cookbooks, or utensils to harmonize form with function.

Display Tips

  • Stack baskets to build height
  • Anchor uneven piles with bookends
  • Weave trailing ivy through rattan handles

Incorporate Greenery

Plants interspersed throughout the shelves generate freshness. Trailing ivy cascading from upper shelves and small succulents clustered in planters at eye level breathe life into the space. For added function, cultivate a mini herb garden.

Best Houseplants for Open Shelving

  • Trailing philodendrons
  • Succulents
  • Spider plants
  • English ivy

Spotlight Dishware

Bright solid dishware or plates with funky patterns pop against a neutral backdrop. Group items like stacks of plates and rows of mugs to create an artful installation. Anchor them in place using decorative bookends or metal brackets to avoid sliding.

Dishware TipsExamples
Combine colors and patternsRed plates + blue mugs
Separate dishes and cookwarePlates above, pots below

Employ Clever Organization

Function meets form with smart storage ideas like slide-out spice racks, vertically mounted paper towel holders, and hanging utensil caddies. A lazy susan spin shelf corrals oils and sauces within easy reach.

Vertical dividers keep cutting boards, baking sheets, and pans organized while displaying their unique shapes.

how to decorate open shelves in kitchen

Recommended Products

  • 3 Tier slide-out pantry
  • Paper towel holder with shelf
  • Corner mounted knife block
  • Clear acrylic canister set
  • Bamboo utensil caddy

Take Advantage of Height Variety

A staircase configuration with lower and upper open shelves allows you to curate what’s on display. Place decorative ceramics, serving ware, or sentimental antiques up high, stashing less visually appealing everyday items down below.

Situate glasses and mugs on bottom shelves for convenient access while cooking and cleaning up after meals.

Height Variation Tips

  • Most used items within reach
  • Collections and accents up high
  • Large statement pieces as focal points

Use Books as Decor and Storage

Books instantly add color and softness to open shelves. Stand them upright in rows or stack them horizontally to create ledges. Anchor books with bookends so they don’t topple over.

Hollow out roomy cookbooks to stash small appliances or cooking utensils inside. Or line shelves with them to conceal skeptic cords and clutter.

Book Display Ideas

  • Organize by color
  • Group by subject like cookbooks
  • Mix with bookends and vases

Incorporate Small Decorations

Collections of small decorative accents both serve as eye candy and hide shelf clutter. Display found treasures like sea glass, pottery shards, or an assortment of candlesticks.

Rotate accent pieces to reflect changing seasons and holiday motifs so your shelves never go stale.

Recommended Small Decorations

  • Glass vases
  • Trays
  • Terrariums with air plants

Use Lighting for Drama

Proper open shelf illumination shifts their appeal from purely practical to dazzling accent wall. Install an LED lighting strip underneath upper cabinets to spotlight prized dishware or illuminate a workspace.

Mini puck lights also lend a glow for accenting architectural details or illuminating specific shelf areas.

Lighting Options

  • Under cabinet LED strip
  • Glass jar string lights
  • Wireless puck lights

Display Meaningful Items

The personal touches make a kitchen special. Alongside dishware and practical items, tuck in framed photos, vacation souvenirs like seashells, or ceramic pieces made by the kids.

These nostalgic accessories showcase family memories and make the heartwarming the heart of the home.

Sentimental Decor Ideas

  • Family photo gallery
  • Children’s artwork
  • Travel trinkets

Take Advantage of Wall Space

Don’t limit shelving to just the lower open cabinets. Take things vertical, utilizing available wall space above appliances, the range hood, and around windows and doors for additional storage.

Floor-to-ceiling built out shelves with adjustable tiers adapt to fit specialized items while maximizing every inch.

Wall Storage Ideas

  • Wall mounted knife and utensil racks
  • Vertical spice racks
  • Floating glass shelves above appliances

Incorporate Unexpected Materials

Open shelving allows you to get creative with mixing unexpected materials like metal, reclaimed wood, concrete, stone, and galvanized steel.

Concrete or stone shelves paired with powder-coated steel brackets emit an edgy, artful vibe. Or fill a reclaimed wood hutch with practical enamelware to contrast natural and industrial.

  • Stone + black pipe brackets
  • Galvanized metal buckets + wood shelves
  • Glass containers + marble shelves

Your open kitchen shelves become both stunning design feature and highly functional storage space with a little planning.

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