Open Shelves: Clever Ways To Craft An Inviting Kitchen Look For Less

Incorporating open shelves into your kitchen design is one of the most budget-friendly ways to make a big visual impact. Ditching upper cabinets for open shelving instantly gives your cooking space a lighter, airier feel. Cleverly styled shelves also add lovely decorative touches to your kitchen decor. From modern metal brackets to reclaimed wood planks, open shelves can be customized to match any decor style. Keep reading as we share our favorite tips for affordably adding this stylish and practical storage option.

Corner Shelves Open Up Wasted Space

Take advantage of empty corner nooks by filling them with open corner shelves. This handy storage solution opens up space that would otherwise go unused. Corner shelves come in a variety of materials like wood, metal, or glass. Choose one that complements your existing kitchen finishes. For a homier look, try rustic corner shelves made from reclaimed barn wood. Or go for a sleek modern feel with glass corner shelves mounted on metal brackets. Style your corner shelves with pretty accent pieces like plants, cookbooks, or rustic ceramics.

DIY Floating Shelves Make A Bold Statement

Turn a boring blank wall into a stylish focal point by mounting some floating shelves. DIY floating shelves are one of the most budget-friendly ways to add open shelving. You can buy readymade floating shelf brackets and use inexpensive boards cut to size. Stain or paint the shelves to match your kitchen’s color palette. Floating shelves work especially well over a counter or sink area to hold frequently used cooking essentials. Display pretty jars of spices, oils, and vinegars so they’re within easy reach as you cook.

Add An Industrial Touch With Pipe Shelves

For an edgy, industrial vibe, try open shelves made from iron piping. Black iron pipe paired with wood shelves makes a bold statement for less. Mount the pipe brackets securely on the wall, allowing room to slide your shelf boards in place. Distress the wood or paint it a bright contrasting color. Fill the shelves with gleaming copper pots and pans for an eye-catching look. Iron pipe shelves add a modern, urban feel to both traditional and contemporary kitchens.

Open Shelving Transforms Island Dead Space

Kitchen islands can benefit from open shelving too. While one side of your island may house cabinets or drawers, why not open up the other side with shelves? The lower open portion instantly gives your island a lighter, more spacious feel. Island shelves are the perfect spot to show off your prized cookbook collection or decorative crockery. For a seamless look, choose matching shelves and island countertops made from materials like marble or butcher block.

kitchen with open shelves and cabinets

Ledger Boards Add A Rustic Note

Ledger boards mounted on the wall make for an easy DIY shelving project with tons of farmhouse charm. These rustic wood shelves only require a few supplies like lumber, timber, brackets, and stain. Ledger shelves work especially well in cottage kitchens. Display your white dishes and ditzy florals for a cozy feel. Or fill them with woven baskets of potatoes and onions for a authentic country kitchen vibe. For extra rustic appeal, look for reclaimed barn boards with natural distressing.

Open Shelves Showcase Collections

Those with culinary collections can showcase them with pride on open shelves. Devoted bakers might display rows of cookbooks for inspiration. For tea enthusiasts, style shelves with colorful antique tea tins. Or neatly line up your most treasured coffee table books. Group items together in complementary colors for a curated look. Add eclectic accessories like plants, candles, or trays to give shelves extra flair.

Design And Style Tips For Seamless Shelves

When designing your open shelves, keep your kitchen’s existing style in mind. Shelving materials should coordinate with your cabinetry, counters, and hardware finishes for a cohesive look. For a sleek modern kitchen, try glossy white shelves and bracing. In traditional kitchens, unfinished wood shelves add warmth. Ensure shelves are sturdy enough for cooking essentials by choosing thicker boards or glass.

Minimize Clutter With Careful Styling

While open shelves create a sense of spaciousness, improperly styled shelves can seem cluttered. Curb kitchen clutter by only displaying your most frequently used or decorative pieces. Use pretty baskets or bins to corral small items like spices and cooking tools. Arrange items in odd numbers for the most pleasing visual look. And consider adding hooks on the undersides of shelves for hanging mugs and utensils.

Incorporate Nature With Plants

Don’t underestimate how much of an impact a little greenery can make. Drape ivy or philodendrons over your open shelves for an instant freshness boost. Set succulents or herb plants on shelves near sunny windows. You can also alternate plants and accessories for an organic feel. And don’t forget to add rustic wooden crates, galvanized tin buckets, or concrete planters. Natural textures complement both modern and farmhouse kitchens beautifully.

Maximize Your Storage With Practical Shelves

While open shelves make a stylish statement, they’re also hugely practical for organizing kitchen items. Use shelves in place of upper cabinets to store go-to cooking supplies. Mount shelves near appliances to corral coffees, spices, oils and other daily essentials. Shelves give you easy access to what you need. For lesser used items, combine open and closed storage. Use shelves for display and cabinets for hiding away clutter.

Budget-Friendly Shelving With DIY Flair

You don’t have to splurge on fancy custom shelves to add this popular feature. Simple DIY wood shelves are budget-friendly and easy to install. Use reclaimed boards, lumber scraps, or tension rods with floating shelves. Paint, stain or distress your shelves to match your kitchen’s personality. Add dollar store baskets, thrifted tins, and repurposed crates for storage. With a little creativity, you can craft charming shelves that fit your space and style.

Make Use Of Odd Spaces And Problem Areas

Take advantage of challenging spaces by adding purposeful open shelves. Mount shelves next to your kitchen’s busy sink area for easy access to scrub brushes, soaps, and dish towels when washing up. Bridge the gap between counters and cabinets with a slim shelf for appliances. Shelve nooks around or above your refrigerator are great for extra storage. Think through your kitchen’s needs to find spots where handy open shelves can help.

With endless design possibilities, open shelving can truly elevate your culinary space. Clever shelves lend a lighter, airier ambiance to any kitchen. Mixing closed and open storage allows you to highlight treasured items while tucking away clutter. The simplicity of open shelves also makes them a budget DIY project. Let your shelves reflect your unique taste. Curate them with your most beautiful cookware and serveware or favorite vintage finds. However you choose to shelve, enjoy the blend of fashion and function.

Maximize vertical space with tall open shelves. If you’re running out of horizontal counter or cabinet space, consider adding tall open shelves to your kitchen. These can be placed on an empty wall or in between your cabinets to make the most of vertical space. They’re particularly useful for storing items that you use less frequently, such as serving dishes, holiday decorations, or small appliances. Plus, they can help to break up a long stretch of wall and create a more visually interesting layout.

Use open shelves to display your favorite kitchen gadgets. If you love your kitchen gadgets and want to show them off, consider using open shelves to display them. Not only will this make it easier to find what you need, but it can also add a fun and eclectic touch to your kitchen decor. You might choose to group similar items together, such as measuring cups, mixing bowls, or knives, or mix and match different styles and materials for a more eclectic look.

Consider adding open shelves to your kitchen island. If you have a large kitchen island, you might consider adding open shelves to it. This can provide additional storage space.

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