8 Reasons You Should Try Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

It may not be a new trend, but we still love open shelving. And we're here to tell you why you should, too.

The open shelving kitchen trend has been around for a few years now, but real talk: it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. While it’s certainly not a look that works for everyone, it might be a great option if you’re looking to inject some fresh, modern vibes into your space.

A Ship-Shape Farmhouse Kitchen With Wood Paneling

A Ship-Shape Farmhouse Kitchen With Wood Paneling

Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines painted one wall a neutral gray and brought in shiplap for a feature paneled wall, matching detail in other parts of the home. A white subway tile backsplash and quartzite countertops add a modern element to the rustic space. Industrial-style shelving made from plumbing pipes and wood planks offer open storage, and a custom kitchen island made from vintage wood contributes style and utility in the kitchen.

From: Fixer Upper

For those of you that are always trying to tame a big mess at home, I would suggest you skip this one. But for everyone else, here are eight reasons you might want to consider giving open shelving a try in your own space.

1: It's More Flexible



After 12. A custom shelving unit was installed to house the microwave and espresso machine, freeing up valuable counter space.

From: Buying and Selling

Believe it or not, open shelving is something that you can ease your way into. Start off by simply taking off your cabinet doors. This will allow you to see if the open-shelving thing works for you. If it does, you might eventually choose to replace your cabinets with true open shelves.

2: You Can Try a Combo Platter!

White, Modern Kitchen With Open Shelving

White, Modern Kitchen With Open Shelving

Streamlined cabinetry and clean, neutral finishes make colorful accessories pop in this modern kitchen. A tile backsplash extends to the ceiling for maximum impact, turning the lighted open shelves into a cool and stylish focal point.

Photo by: Nic Lehoux

Nic Lehoux

Even if you’re sure you want to try open shelving, you don’t have to make ALL the shelves in your kitchen open. Consider trying a combination of open shelving and closed cabinets for the ultimate in storage flexibility. You can keep a few closed cabinets to wrangle the clutter and use open shelving for the rest of your space.

3: You've Got Odd Spaces to Fill

Open Shelving Around Door

Open Shelving Around Door

What was a normal door frame in the kitchen now boasts built-in shelving for cutting boards, cookbooks and kitchen wares.

Photo by: Alyssa Kirsten

Alyssa Kirsten

Open shelving is also a good option if you have some odd, unusable space in your kitchen. This custom shelving around the door frame adds quite a bit of storage in an area that, otherwise, would have been wasted.

4: You're Addicted to Vignettes 

Open Kitchen Shelving

Open Kitchen Shelving

Open shelves in dark wood, white Calcutta marble backsplash and library sconces give this updated kitchen a fresh farmhouse look, designed by Lindye Galloway.

Photo by: Ryan Garvin

Ryan Garvin

If you love "shelfies" way more than you love selfies, then open shelving might be the perfect choice for you. It will allow you to constantly switch up the look of your space by rearranging and updating your shelf vignettes. This is an especially great choice if you like to switch up the decor in your space along with the change of seasons.

5: Keeps Things Neat

Contemporary Kitchen With Hanging Open Shelves

Contemporary Kitchen With Hanging Open Shelves

Concrete countertops and industrial-style hanging shelves are noteworthy elements in this contemporary kitchen.

Photo by: Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher

If you’re looking for a built-in, training-wheel kitchen setup to help ensure that you stay organized, then open shelving might be a good idea. The trick is: you have to commit to keeping things neat so you can avoid having your kitchen look like a hot-mess yard sale.

6: It's Perfect for Collectors



Open shelving is also a great option for collectors. Whether you collect glassware, certain china patterns, serving pieces, salt and pepper shakers, vintage mugs or anything in between, you’re really able to show off all the items in your collection easily with open shelves.

7: It's a Budget-Friendly Solution

Country Kitchen Features Charming Open Shelving

Country Kitchen Features Charming Open Shelving

Crisp white shelves pop against the creamy walls in this country kitchen. The open shelves keep the dishes organized and create a charming display. Lovely blue vases complement the light blue hue of the cabinets below.

Photo by: Drake + Frye Home

Drake + Frye Home

If you’ve ever done a kitchen renovation, you know that cabinetry is often one of your biggest expenses. However, going with an open shelving plan in your kitchen can actually save you quite a bit of money. It could even work well as an interim solution; if you know you’d eventually like closed cabinets, but can’t quite afford the upgrade yet, install inexpensive open shelving.

8: It's Super Convenient

Contemporary Kitchen With Open Shelves & Industrial Island

Contemporary Kitchen With Open Shelves & Industrial Island

An ultra-industrial island with metal legs and wheels provides extra space for prep work and dining in this contemporary kitchen. Open shelving offers easy access to everyday kitchenware and gives the space a stylish feel.

Photo by: Specht Harpman

Specht Harpman

For those that entertain and cook a lot, it really is the ultimate convenience to have all of your kitchen items visible and easy-to-grab at all times. Guests can easily find whatever they might need, and you’ll never have to worry about remembering what cabinet your good china might be hiding in.

10 Kitchen Storage Solutions

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At Your Fingertips

Open shelving just above the cooking space is a great way to keep the most-used items within reach. Reserve the lower shelves for frequently used dishes, cookware, spices and more, and store special occasion dishware on the higher shelves.

All-White Alternative

As a relaxed and stylish alternative from the popular all-white kitchen, designer Nomita Joshi Gupta gave this previously dated kitchen a brand new look, complete with gorgeous wooden shelving that creates a feeling of warmth and nature in the space.

From: Nomita Joshi Gupta

Why So Serious?

While it is important to keep open shelving clutter free, a couple of personal effects can add tons of charm to your cooking space. Use a favorite toy or memento to lend personality and whimsy to any space.

Perfect Display

Do you love art? Open shelving is the perfect place to display your favorite artwork and still make the most of storage in your kitchen. This stunning shelving by designer Judy O'Neil Labins stores plenty of dishes while making a big statement.

Bold + Basic

Since this sparkling kitchen features a beautiful glam backsplash, the dishes are kept basic white in order to not compete with the bold backsplash.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Small Stacks

Be sure never to overload your shelves with too many dishes. A good rule of thumb for open shelving is to keep stacks of dishes small in order to keep your space looking clutter free.

Make It Yours

While simple white dishes seem to be the most popular look on open shelving, warm wooden dishware against a zesty orange wall adds a cozy look to this fun space that is anything but basic.

From: Barry Dixon

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Add Storage Anywhere

For kitchens that lack shelving altogether, open shelving is a great way to store extra dishware while also adding a major dose of style. Designers Dan Faires and Brian Patrick Flynn put this striking shelf together using pine planks and plumbing supplies for less than $250!

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Dish Decor

With a beautiful white beadboard backsplash, colorful dishes make a bold statement in this sweet cottage kitchen. Shelf hooks are a great addition to open shelving for extra storage without taking up a lot of space.

From: Kathryn Ireland

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Color-Coded Creation

And if you love color in the kitchen, color-coded dishes can be a fun way to showcase color on open shelving. Whether you use just a few hues or incorporate all the colors in the rainbow, color-coded shelves are sure to garner attention.

Photo By: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn ©Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn 2013

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