Friday, February 25, 2011

DIY: How to Display Items on Open Shelves in Kitchen

A friend inspired me to write this post. She and her beau recently bought a fixer-upper and they are in need of remoldeling the kitchen - on a budget. She asked me if it was reasonable to put in open shelves in lieu of upper cabinets. And, yes you can! But since you can't just shove things in a cabinet and shut the door to make things appear clean and neat, you have to be a bit more organized yourself. There are some simple tips to help you get organized:

Tip #1
Arrange items in groups of similar colors, shapes or patterns.

In One of Martha Stewart's kitchens (I wonder how many she has?) white dishware unifies the look.   via Remoldelista
Tip #2
Arrange in groups of similar items; glasses next to glasses, spices with all spices, cookbooks all together . . . you get the picture.
Good looking brackets make this simple space spectacular. You can also hang similar items on the wall below your groupings as they have done here. {Via}

Tip #3
Dust frequently. Open shelves gather more dust than cabinets with doors. Only put items that are used frequently or have good visual value. Remove items and dust shelves once a month or use a light feather duster to dust more frequently in between items leaving major cleaning less needed. Metal shelves require less maintenance due to less surface to collect dust.
Open, metal shelves are durable and don't gather nearly as much dust and are available at many home centers and department stores. {Via}
Tip #4
Invest in a lot of the same storage containers or canisters. Clear mason jars are inexpensive and plentiful. Jars of flour, cereal, rice and the the like look great in clear jars. Baskets are a great way to throw a bunch of miscellaneous items together.

Source Unknown

A row of baskets gives visual grounding to these shelves and hold items that may otherwise be cumbersome. {Via}
Silverware is easily accessible and looks good in glasses or jars. If you have small children,  put up high out of reach. {Via}
Tip #5
If you are going to put food products out in their containers, place so that all labels face forward. They will be easy to find and looks more organized.

Tip #6
When storing kitchen items on open shelves take time initially to arrange everything designating specific spaces for each grouping. That way everything has its place and there's no thinking about where it goes; you already know. I do this with my cabinets and I have doors - it makes putting away items easy; there's always enough space and the whole family knows where it goes because it's obvious.



Open shelves work well in country kitchens . . .
. . . and modern kitchens. {Via}


  1. Very nice!

    What does *your* kitchen look like?

  2. Our kitchen was remodeled about 8 years before we bought the house and they did a nice job, using materials and colors that I like; slate backsplash, olive green slab granite with black specs and hickory cabinets. But, we have upper cabinets and no open shelves except for two smallish ones that house cookbooks along with a few ceramic display serving pieces.


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