The trend of open shelves doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and frankly, I’m ok with that. If you like the way open shelves looks, chances are you have found a way to incorporate them into your current design situation. I haven’t gone as far as taking down existing cabinets, but I have added a few in the mix the last few years.
Open shelves can make a room seem bigger, but the task of styling them can be a bit intimidating, especially if you plan on displaying items you use everyday! With a little planning, you’ll have a charming exhibit in no time. There are so many options when it comes to shelving material and brackets. We chose a farmhouse style for the kitchen and bathroom, but a more industrial look for our pantry. I LOVE how our pantry came together, you can check it out here!
Stack and Grab
If I’m being honest, the open shelves in our breakfast nook are styled primarily for display. The dishes pictured are good china handed down from my Oma, but I have included two photos below from friends whose open shelves are functional.
If you are going to store your dishes openly, I suggest stacking a good amount (8-12 plates, bowls, etc). That way, when you use them for dinner, there is still a stack there for display without leaving a gap. Make sure to group your most used items out in front. This way you don’t have to worry about moving other items and run the risk breaking a favorite piece. Keep your most prized and layered pieces off the lowest shelf.
The Art in Open Shelving
I like to mix in different heights for interest, and this is an easy way to display larger pieces you may have. As far as color and patterns, just be sure to spread them out and keep them balanced. I chose natural wood tones, white and sprinkles of green and made sure to showcase the pieces evenly.
Non-functional is OK TOO!
I have open shelves displayed throughout our home, and I simply love decorating them. They add so much character to a space, and are quite functional. With that being said, these smaller shelves in our master bath simply display pretty items I do not grab often. Whether you choose to display breakables, collected treasures, or everyday items; open shelving can be helpful for plain ole storage! I am excited to say that I have suggested them to 2 clients, and both were open to the idea. Not only were they both excited with the suggestion, they are going to let me style them 😀 I’ll be sure to share their beauty with you for more inspo!
Already a Fan? or Not for Me!
So how many of you proudly display open shelving in your homes? Are you on the fence about incorporating some? What’s holding you back? For those of you who have open shelves, did you knock down kitchen cabinets? Have you remained happy with your decision? Is it a chore to keep them styled, or do you think it’s been totally worth having everything at your fingertips?
Author and Photos – Martha Knake
Chief Editor – Emily Schunke
Maryann Howell says
I am a huge fan of open shelves. Nothing gets hidden in the back. Everything is there when you look for it. We have had then since 1990. Back then people thought I was odd for not having upper cabinets but I have never regretted it.
Martha Knake says
I am in awe!!! I love hearing that you have had open shelves that long, because that confirms things aren’t always just a trend!! Thanks for sharing <3