We like it when small spaces utilize open shelving. Not only are items easily accessible--they're also easy to put away. The key to keeping open shelving looking neat and orderly is to keep them organized...
Open shelving is also a great organizing tool because you're making use of vertical storage space in the home. Using baskets and bins is the easiest way to keep things in line. Keep in mind to store the items used most frequently at a reachable level. If you're using baskets, you also may want to add labels for belongings stored on the top shelf. Another organizing product we like to use are shelf risers. Great in the kitchen and closet, these tools will help add more storage space. In addition, sticking to one or two colors also helps open shelving seem less cluttered. We also like it when the wall behind a set of open shelves is painted a bold color. That way, you'll focus more on the paint color than the items stored on the shelf.
(Images: 1. Converting a Closet into An Office?, 2. Look! Susy's Perfectly Organized Kitchen, 3. Bricolage Life 4. Flickr Finds: Missviolet's Craft Storage 5. Organizing Tip: Use Baskets, 6. Look: Organized Open Shelving In The Bathroom 7. The Kitchen Designer.org 8. Before & After: My IKEA Shelf Epiphany)