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5 Ways to Style Your Kitchen's Open Shelves

APRIL 13, 2018
Photo credit: Julia Sperling

Open shelving in a kitchen has been a growing design trend for the last couple years. We're big fans of this look but recognize that it's not always easy to make open shelves magazine-worthy. You can't just stash things out of sight or hide clutter behind cabinet doors. You need to know some basic tricks that will force you to keep your kitchen clean and encourage thoughtful decorating. Open shelves are quite multifunctional; They act as a pantry, are a place to store dishes and even to display artwork.

Today we ask Decorist Design Director Jessica McCarthy to share some styling tip from her kitchen design for the Sunset Smart Cottage. Read on to see her beautifully styled open shelves that just might inspire you to start your own Decorist kitchen makeover!

1. Simple Dishware

We love the clean, organic look of earthenware especially the handcrafted pottery from Heath Ceramics. Today many retailers, like World Market, are mass producing pottery and ceramic dinnerware to create the feel of something handmade.  Use a neutral palette such as whites, beiges and earth tones to create a sophisticated and timeless look. 


2. Get organized

It's essential for open shelves to be neat and organized. Use baskets and pretty baking dishes—like this copper dish— to display your fruits and vegtables. Mix in different size glass jars to hold beans, coffee, pasta and nuts. Not only is this functional, but it's super stylish, too.


3. Display artwork

Although it may seem somewhat unexpected, displaying artwork on your open shelves adds a personal touch to your kitchen. For that rustic farmhouse look, pick up some vintage art from a flea market, antique store or second-hand shop.


4. Varying heights

Like in any shelf or bookcase, create interest with objets of various sizes, heights and shapes. Include your cutting boards, cookbooks, cake plates and jars of jam. Make your shelves work hard by not only being chic but by being as functional as your pantry would be. 


5. Go green

Nothing adds a little life to a room then greenery.  Plants add texture to your shelves and a pop of color to your room. Try a small potted ivory plant or even some fresh cut herbs from the farmer's market or your own garden. 

Need help styling your kitchen's open shelves or help with your entire kitchen design? Tap a Decorist designer today to make your kitchen not only beautiful but functional too.


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