Zero Cost Ways to Make Your Open Kitchen Shelves Look Better

updated May 3, 2019
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Open kitchen shelving is a charming little minx. She’ll talk you into bringing her home, swaying you with the promise of beautiful displays of glassware and ceramics. “It’s bohemian and cool,” she’ll say. But after too long, she gets comfortable and starts to look, well, messy.

The secret to keeping the spark alive in your open-shelf romance? Working hard every day to make sure that your shelves and the things on them are well-styled.

Styling Tricks for Open Kitchen Shelves

Here are five things you can do right now to improve the look of your open shelves, without leaving the house or spending a dime.

(Image credit: Nicole LaMotte)

1. Color-Code

Your things probably aren’t all the same color. Divide and conquer.

(Image credit: SVK Interior Design)

2. Vary Heights

Keep things interesting by making sure the tops of your kitchen stacks aren’t all the same height. Stack glasses into pyramids to add dimension where needed.

(Image credit: Brittany Ambridge)

3. Aim for Repetition in Your Rows

Two by two, three by three, ten by ten, whatever works for your multiples.

(Image credit: Our House)

4. Edit Down to the Bare Minimum

Take stock of what’s left on the shelf when you run the dishwasher, and stash it all away somewhere else.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

5. Incorporate Art & Other Pretties

If there’s room, a few pretty objets will make for a better shelf vista. Borrow plants and artwork from the other rooms in your home.

Any other tips for styling open shelves?