Before & After: Cookbook Display Goes Front-Facing

updated Sep 20, 2022
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(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

My kitchen is spacious by city apartment standards, but really lacks in storage. While an inexpensive tower shelf stored my cookbooks just fine, I found that I wasn’t particularly inspired to use them, and the positioning partially blocked doorway. So I decided to break out my favorites and display them with some reverence… by facing them forward.

(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

You may have already spied these cookbook shelves in my January Cure party post. Inspired by this post on The Kitchn, I set out to recreate the look in my home. It was really simple: I used four of the 21-inch RIBBA picture ledges from IKEA and installed them with anchors and screws specifically for drywall.

Each shelf’s load is 11 pounds, which gives wiggle room for three average-sized cookbooks. You can’t put the giant tomes on here anyhow, since the ledge is only a couple of inches deep.

Sure, it only holds a limited few (my others are shelved elsewhere), but I like to think of it as a rotating collection. They attract attention, and welcome people to pick them up and browse, just like in the bookstore. I find that I am referencing them more often, since I don’t have to unstack five books to grab the one at the bottom. Plus, my doorway is much less obstructed.

Would you display cookbooks facing outward?