What to Display on Shelving in the Kitchen

What to Display on Shelving in the Kitchen

Marcia Prentice
Mar 26, 2010

Open shelving in the kitchen is a nice idea, but can sometimes be hard to pull off. Recently our editor, Grace, wrote about her own frustrations with this type of look. We want to share some inspirational examples of open shelving in real homes. Maybe it will change your mind and if you love this aesthetic, show you ways you can incorporate it into your own home.

Depending on the design style and needs of your kitchen, you can lend toward the minimal display on your shelves or still achieve a pleasing aesthetic while using the shelves more as an actual function. Also, note that a subtle touch is to add small lights underneath the shelves. It accents the pieces on the shelve and adds a little drama to the kitchen.

Simple Ways to Achieve This Look Using Items You Already Own:

  • Decorative Plates: You don't have to go out and purchase all new fine china, a collection of white dinnerware or a series of colorful plates would do just the trick.
  • Wine Glasses: We like the look of the cocktail glasses displayed on the shelving in the first photo.
  • Spice Jars: If you love to cook and spend time in the kitchen, you probably have various spices to accommodate different recipes. Spices are sometimes displayed on the counter or in a spice rack, so why not just display them on the shelving.
  • Tea Set: We think sipping tea is very cute and love feeling like a princess for a day. A beautiful tea set should be showed off and therefore would look great on open shelving.
  • Liquor Bottles: Ok, so we are not promoting drinking, but do you ever notice the presentation of alcohol bottles behind a bar. We have always liked the way they are displayed. They can be commonplace to a kitchen if you entertain quite frequently.
  • Wine Bottles: Maybe you are not the hard liquor type, but maybe you prefer a collection of refined aged wine. Drinking and collecting wine can be an art in and of itself, we wouldn't mind seeing someone's wine collection displayed on the top shelves in the kitchen.
  • Serving Platters: Because serving platters are used for entertaining, they are meant to be displayed.
  • Pottery or Vases: How stunning would decorative pottery or vases be on shelving in the kitchen. The visual interest and possible color it would add to the kitchen would make it worth showcasing.

What have you found successful when using open shelving in the kitchen?

(Images: House Tour: North End Contemporary Renovation, Kitchen Inspiration: A Modern and Industrial Renovation, Kitchen Inspiration: Mixing Steel with Wood, Small Space Solutions From an Architect's Tiny Loft, Open Shelving Ideas from a Georgian Home)

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