Is Open Shelving Right for You?

By Cristina Cleveland

open shelving // black kitchen accents
I recently took the doors off of my kitchen cabinets. After years of fantasizing about what it would be like to have open shelving in my kitchen, I grabbed a screw driver and removed a couple of screws on each hinge – voila! Open shelving. They’re not true open shelves, and you can still see the small holes that allow me to adjust their height, but for $0 and 15 minutes of my time I completely changed the look of my kitchen. And if I hate it? I can pop them back on tomorrow. I had my apprehensions, like will things get dirty? Will it be hard to keep them looking organized? What about the not-so-pretty things? Can I keep this up? As it turns out, keeping my dishes clean and organized takes the same amount of time and effort as it ever did. Emptying the dishwasher is just as easy (how hard can it be to stack plates and bowls?) and if anything, cooking and tidying is quicker now that I don’t have to open and close the doors. So far so good, but I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had open shelving – do you have any tips or advice for making it work? Or did you have a not-so-positive experience? Let me know in the comments!

open shelving // gold and copper accents // black kitchen

Mugs – My dishes and bowls don’t all come from the same place, but they all happen to match since they’re all white. The same can’t be said for my mugs (and I’m guessing this is true for most people). My quick fix for this is I’ve placed mugs that color coordinate in the front, and keep the disparate ones in the back.

Palm print – The dark colors in the inspiration photo could easily suit a fall or winter motif, but the styling still manages to look very summery. The pineapple has a lot to do with it, but a framed print like this one would have the same effect.

Glass jars – One of the best ways to give your shelves (and kitchen in general) a polished look is to store your dry goods in canisters. This is a very low cost change that can have a huge impact on the appearance of your kitchen.

Baskets – The truth is, there are going to be some unattractive but necessary items in any kitchen. I left the door on my pantry so I still have a place for those, but another great solution is using baskets to conceal them. Or, since you saved money not renovating your cabinets, you could upgrade to appliances that are aesthetically pleasing, like the Smeg Toaster.

Baby pineapple – This would make an adorable house warming gift, or you could treat yourself. I’ve seen pineapple plants at my local nursery and at Home Depot, and there is absolutely nothing cuter than the mini pineapple that sits in the center.

White & gold dishes – All of your dinnerware does not need to match perfectly, for example the inspiration image has black, white and colored crockware, but it does help to stick to a color palette. And if all else fails, you can easily find white dishes anywhere at any budget (they even have them at the dollar store!).

Chopping boards – Wooden chopping boards serve double duty in the kitchen. You can lean them against the backsplash for decor (especially effective if you’re not wild about your backsplash) and of course you can chop on them.

*Inspiration photo by Gaelle Le Boulicaut