Open Shelving Ideas for Kitchens

Aug 21, 2020 | Blog

Exposing your clutter to the world isn’t for everyone, but it feels way less real when it’s concealed behind closed cabinet doors. If you’ve been resisting open shelving, here at the Kitchen Partners, we’ve put together some ideas that might convince you. From aesthetics to practicality, open shelving done right can look insanely chic and totally contained. Its a great way to add extra storage space to your custom designed Kitchen, as well as the wow factor. Adjustable shelves, lighting and use of material will bring personality to your space, offering a way to group favourite items and add impact to a scheme.


Shelving doesn’t have to always be practical, it can be used to house quirky and conversational objects. Try mixing large statement pieces with smaller items grouped together. When grouping, consider the shape that the objects create collectively and play with colour and form to keep things interesting. Adjustable heights allow for flexibility and add visual impact to the overall design.


Keep things organised. Lots of plates and cups stacked on shelves will only add to a feeling of clutter, instead force yourself to pair down and your kitchen will look way more chic. Items placed in groups or in lines of threes, fours or fives will prevent the shelves looking untidy. When choosing the overall look, decide if you want the shelves to be made in a material which is a statement in itself, or if you want them to have a less prominent role, allowing your display to do all the talking.


Open shelving can create a real statement in a room and is both practical and visually pleasing. It is also a more economical option than a fully enclosed storage unit. It is particularly suited to small recesses in areas such as either side of a chimney breast, helping to visually correct uneven proportions.


Think carefully about the thickness you want each shelf to be. If you’re using wood, it pays to choose a chunky option, giving a strong, clean, confident appearance. Also think carefully about what you are displaying, this will ensure each shelf is made to allow sufficient depth and to carry weight without warping.


White, light, and airy kitchens create a bright clean environment, so play it up even more with open shelving. Cabinetry can make a kitchen feel heavier and dense. The materials and colours you opt to use for an open shelving unit can really make a difference to the overall scheme.

Whether you’re a budding chef needing ample space to quickly reach frequently used kitchen equipment, or in a family kitchen where displaying children’s objects and artworks are an everyday must!, open shelving blurs the distinction between cooking and domestic areas with a balance between storage and aesthetics

If you need advice designing your kitchen, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d love to help.

Have a great weekend

Clinton and Fiona