Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Open shelving in the kitchen can be quite charming, but it’s not without its faults. Since everything is out on display, you can’t just shut the door to hide a mess. You’ve got to keep things neat and tidy … or maybe not if you don’t care that it looks messy. On the flip side, open shelving allows you to display beautiful dishes or collectibles.

Coastal Living Kitchen

Open shelves let you display cute and colorful dishes!

Such an easy way to add color in a white kitchen.


Traditional Kitchen by Excelsior General Contractors Erotas Building Corporation

Of course, if you don’t want to worry about tidying your shelves, you can just keep them sparsely populated like you see in this farmhouse style kitchen.


Farmhouse Kitchen by Philadelphia Media & Bloggers Sara Bates

If you decide to add open shelves in your kitchen, don’t feel like you have to go all out and put them everywhere. This quaint kitchen shows you can marry open shelves with traditional cabinetry.


Contemporary Kitchen by San Francisco Design-Build Firms Nerland Building & Restoration, Inc.

Paint the wall behind your open shelves to pack a punch of fun color. When choosing the paint, keep in mind the color of the items you’ll be placing on the shelves.


Kitchen by Birmingham Architects & Building Designers Erdreich Architecture, P.C.

Floating shelves create a modern vibe in this contemporary style kitchen.


Craftsman Kitchen by Portland Kitchen & Bath Designers Craftsman Design and Renovation

Warm wood shelving makes this kitchen feel cozy and inviting.


Kitchen by Stillwater Interior Designers & Decorators Kelli Kaufer Designs

White shelves on white walls look pretty too, with touches of silver here and there. One drawback of open shelving is that you have to keep things dusted and grease-free. It doesn’t take long to dust though.


Traditional Kitchen by Ottawa Kitchen & Bath Designers Astro Design Centre

I love the open shelving in this kitchen. It looks like a bookcase of sorts.


Industrial Kitchen by Columbus Photographers Julie Ranee Photography

Industrial style shelving is quite charming in the kitchen.

It has farmhouse appeal due to its utilitarian nature.


Eclectic Kitchen

Still can’t decide if you want open shelving? Why not try taking the doors off the upper cabinets but leave them on the lower ones? You can easily put the doors back on at any time!

Open Shelving in a Farmhouse KitchenAnd here’s some of the open shelving in my kitchen!

So what do you think? Are you a fan of open shelving in the kitchen?

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  1. The open shelves are so beautiful, I adore the look Between the dirt road and the plowing of the fields around my house it is already a constant challenge to keep my home clean. Do any of you have similar struggles and can offer suggestions?

  2. Love the look of open shelves in the kitchen,but give me glass front cabinets any day. Too hard to keep open shelves clean.

  3. This is a really cute look, but really not for our house.
    We are a pet family, and between the cat who loves to climb, and the great dane who sheds an entire dog’s worth of hair in a day, this would be a health and safety nightmare!
    I love pretty things on display, though, so we switched out some regular cabinet doors for glass ones.
    Thank you for another lovely, inspiring peek!

  4. I love the look but our kitchen is very small and I needed the ‘hiding’ places for the things in my cupboards. I did go with 2 glass doors in our reno though and a lovely open shelf above the window between the cabinets which I use for display. I must re-vamp that again one of these days. I love how you decorate your open shelves in your kitchen, Jennifer. Pamela

  5. I love my open shelves. They’re very charming, and my mixing bowls and things I need are withing easy reach. Things do get dusty, but most of the things on my shelves I use all the time, so they get washed. The things I don’t use all the time collect dust, but I can’t even see it unless I get really close to the items. Honestly, we’ve had open shelves in our kitchen for two years now, and there are items on the shelves that I haven’t dusted in two years, and like I already stated, you can’t really see the dust unless you get up on a chair or stool and look closely. And when I do decide to dust the items on the shelves that I don’t use all the time, it only takes a few minutes to dust. 10 minutes at the most maybe.

  6. I have one spot of open shelving using 3 white floating shelves from IKEA. The upper two stay pretty neat with display type glasses and platters. The lower gets cluttered but the dishes are all the same color so it doesn’t look bad.

  7. I’ve done open shelves before and am about to do it again 🙂 I much prefer it in a kitchen than open cupboards; not only can you see what you want to get off the shelf but I seem to be able to store more on the shelves 😀 I also like the odd cupboard underneath to be open too.