Special Nonexistent Furniture

How to Style Open Shelving in the Kitchen

by Kate Van Geldern

Kate is the voice behind DomestiKatedLife, a lifestyle blog, where she writes about entertaining, recipes, decorating ideas, and DIY projects. When Kate is not busy photographing her next domestic endeavor, she is working in social media and living with her husband in the city of Boston.

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  • I recently got married and with a wedding comes lots and lots of new kitchen items from our registry. I'm so excited to get in the kitchen with all of my new gadgets and can't wait to entertain guests with all of our fabulous new dinnerware. There is just one minor problem though: We live in an apartment with very limited space! With storage at a premium, I added some open shelves to the kitchen to house our gifted housewares. During my research, I came across a few styling tips for making open shelving a chic storage solution.
  • 1. Keep a neutral palette


    One of the fears many people have about open shelving is that things will look untidy. And they certainly can if not executed properly! But having a neutral palette, think white dishes, stainless steel kitchen tools, and natural wood cutting boards will keep things looking cohesive and uncluttered. 
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  • 2. Display the good stuff


    Do you have formal china? Take it out of the storage boxes and get it out on the open shelves, and then move things like unsightly appliances to storage. You want to look at the pretty stuff!
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  • 3. Invest in containers


    If you have to use your open shelves to store food, make it look pretty by investing in quality matching containers. Oversized mason jars are great for holding grains, large wicker baskets can conceal canned goods, and big wooden bowls look awesome when piled high with root vegetables.
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    Photo: Poppytalk
  • 4. Borrow from other rooms


    Style your shelves with items from other rooms to add interest. Lean a piece of artwork behind stacks of dishes or break up rows of glassware with a sculpture. Stacking cookbooks is another great way to add visual interest and make the most out of vertical space on the shelves. 
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