In the past, every kitchen redesign meant putting cabinets above your countertops. Nowadays, however, shelves, especially open ones, have become the trendiest staple in every decorator’s toolkit.
Whether it’s because of its simplicity or visual appeal, we’re on board with this trend. In this article, you’ll read about the latest kitchen shelving ideas you can try out in your home.
We’ve provided budget-friendly and more luxurious ideas, as well as tips for kitchen spaces of varying sizes.
Let’s start going over some kitchen wall shelving ideas.
White on White
Cabinets and cupboards are cool, but open shelves are the hottest trend in 2021. If you don’t believe us, just look at the vast array of open kitchen shelving ideas on the internet. Why? Well, imagine never again wondering where your favorite hand mixer is—it will always be right on display!
Open kitchen shelves work perfectly if you have limited space in your kitchen area, but they’ll also look cute if you have more room for decorating.
First of all, if you have white kitchen walls, we recommend getting white shelves. If you can’t find pre-made white shelves, you can always paint whatever color they are to match the wall. Next, we suggest artfully arranging your favorite mugs, cups, bowls, and plates for the ultimate kitchen open shelving design.
With this specific look, you don’t have to worry about overcluttering—the overall impression will have a fun boho effect! While you’re at it, you can remodel your bedroom in the same boho style.
Finally, you can also hang your favorite coffee mugs on the shelves for easy access. If you’ve been dying to try out over–the–kitchen–sink shelf ideas, this is your cue to take action.
Wooden Shelves for an Organic Look
If you’re a nature buff, then you’ll enjoy the following kitchen shelf ideas. For this project, you’ll require one or two wooden shelves and a few pots, vases, cups, and kitchen utensils for decor—it’s that simple.
When it comes to the material of the shelves, we recommend only choosing solid wood or plywood. You can achieve a comparable effect if you go with another material and paint it a natural color such as dark brown, but you’ll lose the spirit of the idea.
The theme behind these wall–mounted kitchen shelves is natural and organic materials. Head to your favorite craft store, or even repurpose old wooden planks lying around in your yard. In fact, many ideas for a kitchen with floating shelves can be recreated using materials you already have around your house.
Showcase Your Cookbooks
We bet you have a favorite cookbook or perhaps a few books you love keeping near the kitchen area. Maybe you want all your beloved recipes in one spot, or you just enjoy reading while sipping your morning cup of Joe. Whatever the case might be, these open–shelving kitchen ideas will probably be right up your alley.
We suggest installing a few open shelves above your kitchen sink and cooking area for the best effect. You can store cups, utensils, cooking devices, pots, pans, and of course, your favorite books on the shelves.
For your kitchen shelves, the decoration may include notebooks, spices, and pantry items such as flour. If you want to keep it semi-discrete, you can also mix things up by adding a few standard closed shelves. That means you can keep certain things hidden from view, like the latest premium toaster you’re planning to surprise your loved one with, or your favorite snacks you’re hiding from your kids. Putting some things in cupboards leaves more room on your kitchen shelf for decoration, too.
More Organic Elements—Oh My!
If you’ve been following us for a while, you already know how much we love the look of organic elements in a living area, especially wood. However, were you aware that wood also relates to calmness and spirituality, and it’s one of the essential elements in Feng Shui?
Assuming that you want to balance out your life and bring natural elements into your home, incorporate some open shelves into your kitchen design ideas featuring different wooden materials. We suggest keeping your kitchen walls white or beige and opting for lighter-colored wood for the shelving.
If you love the look of the rustic kitchen shelving ideas you’ve seen online, you can also add a couple of dangling potted plants over the floating shelves. As the plant vines stretch down, you’ll achieve the perfect balance between organic and rustic. The only drawback with this idea is that you might find it challenging to water the plants. For a quick solution, you could also opt for faux plants.
What about the kitchen shelves and their decor? Well, in this case, we’d keep things very simple. Pile on your most-used cups, pans, and plates, but don’t add anything else.
Think Outside the Box
The internet is flooded with DIY kitchen shelving ideas. So, naturally, we wanted to include some options for people who like to think outside the box and create something unique from their storage area. One excellent way to do this is by either purchasing a few open shelves of different shapes and sizes or constructing your own.
Now, if you don’t think you’re talented enough to create personalized open kitchen shelves, worry not because countless tutorials can help you out.
Moreover, you can find heaps of open–kitchen–shelves decorating ideas for DIY projects. For instance, mix and match different frames (these can be shelves made from varying materials, too) and install them over your kitchen counters.
With these kitchen shelves and your decorating ideas, you’ll be the talk of every friend group. To add more personality to them, you can put your favorite books, coffee makers, kettles, and virtually anything else you might want on display.
Add Plenty of Warmth
With the weather getting cooler, you’ll want to add a good dose of warmth and fall coziness to your kitchen area. So, why not try out shelving ideas for the kitchen that incorporate warm, fall colors and interesting details?
For example, try adding red, burgundy, or deep plum-colored decor items, mugs, cups, pictures, and plates. Some people believe colors can influence behavior, and that maroon decor, for example, might boost your appetite levels.
You can also opt for wicker baskets if you want to make your kitchen area even more cozy and homey.
However, keep in mind that these kitchen wall shelf ideas look best when combined with dark walls. If you have a brick wall or a wallpaper that looks like brick, this aesthetic will look phenomenal. Nevertheless, even if your walls are in a lighter shade, some of these kitchen shelf decor ideas will surely work.
On the downside, if you don’t like clutter or things looking crowded, this aesthetic might not be the best choice for you. To make it look more minimalistic, stick to a few staple pieces and your favorite mugs in warmer shades.
Back to Black
Let’s return to the classics—and there’s nothing more classic than black. No matter how much we love color and intricate designs, there’s no doubt that some kitchen cabinet and shelving ideas are charming precisely due to their simplistic nature. For this basic but fabulous aesthetic, we suggest sticking with all-black elements or a combination of black and white.
First, let’s look at how you can spice up plain open shelving kitchen ideas with black. Begin by repainting the cabinets and the shelves black. This look is perfect if you have crisp white walls, because the contrast will look stunning. In just a few manageable steps, you’ll get an elegant and chic kitchen space.
You can also hang your favorite black, white, or gray mugs from the shelves for quick access and an added aesthetic touch. However, we’d stay away from this idea if the kitchen walls are black—you’ll probably end up feeling like you’re cooking in a cave.
Additionally, if you are looking for less intense kitchen cabinet shelving ideas but still like the look of dark kitchens, you can paint the shelves a dark brown instead of black. This will give them a similar effect without overwhelming the space with dark hues.
Make It Industrial
Simplicity and natural materials are all well and good, but nothing brings a touch of luxury to a space like gold and copper hues. Kitchen shelf decorating ideas for achieving an industrial aesthetic build on this concept in the best way.
We’d start by designating an area where you’ll install a few open shelves. When it comes to the material of the frames, you can get creative. However, with this look, we’d suggest opting for wood or similar organic materials, but use metal holders for them.
Now, here’s the star of the show—the pipes. After installing the shelves, connect them strategically with pipes you previously spray-painted gold, copper, or bronze. This open–shelf kitchen design will transform your area into a fancy steampunk-inspired kitchen.
As for what you’ll place on the shelves, well, this is up to you. Many professional home decorators choose kitchen shelf decor items such as utensils, kitchenware, mason jars, and potted plants. You can also hang a couple of lightbulbs for a stripped-down but whimsical feel.
Clean and Crisp
With all the crazy and unique kitchen cabinet shelf ideas, those looking for utilitarian and clean designs might feel left out. Worry not—we’re here with something trendy yet straightforward for you. This idea works best with a larger kitchen area because you can easily install different cabinets, cupboards, closed shelves, and open shelves to create a coherent look.
Start by picking out the exact placement of your modern kitchen shelves. Ask yourself: “Do I want the open shelves to be above the sink or in the corner?” Next, get started with the project.
As for the color, we’d suggest sticking with the basic theme—choose beige, taupe, or white. If you’re looking for more daring kitchen corner shelf ideas, here’s a tip: Mix an open shelf with a closed cabinet. If basic is more of your thing, go with a double cabinet with plenty of shelves inside. Unlike the previous options, this choice doesn’t include a slew of decorative elements. Instead, choose a few key pieces to place on convenient surfaces, and keep the clutter to a minimum.
Keeping It Even Simpler
As the name implies, minimalist kitchen areas are all about simplifying things and getting more done with less. Integrated appliances, sleek lines, and understated colors define these kitchen spaces.
If you consider yourself a minimalist, here’s a simple kitchen shelf design you’ll love: Keep your cupboards and cabinets above your cooking space, but skip the bulky open shelves. Instead, install a few smaller shelves suitable for storing your favorite coffee and teacups above the stove or sink—nothing more and nothing less.
This minimalistic approach is one of the most popular shelf ideas for any kitchen for a reason. First of all, you won’t have to deal with the dust on too many open shelves. Also, since the open shelves are big enough for a few cups and mugs, your essentials will still be within easy reach.
As for the kitchen cabinet shelf ideas, things are pretty straightforward: Install them above your countertops and fill them with all the items you don’t want on display.
Overall, there are countless kitchen shelving ideas for you to consider for your next remodeling project. As you might assume, you don’t have to shy away from open shelves—they make your utensils, cups, and appliances more accessible. For example, you can have your favorite juicer right in front of you when you need a breakfast pick-me-up.
If all else fails, just remember—your kitchen, your rules.
What do you put on open shelves in the kitchen?
You can put anything you want on your open shelves, from your favorite dishes to your most-used appliances or latest reads. However, remember that whatever you put on your open shelves will be displayed for everyone to see.
So if you don’t want your family members or house guests to see some of your decor items, spices, or plates, better keep these in the cabinets.
How do you make open kitchen shelves look good?
You can make open kitchen shelves look good by choosing a high-quality material for the shelf itself and picking the right items to display. For example, shelves made from a cheap material or frames that aren’t painted carefully can look sloppy.
Also, make sure to avoid showing overly personal items in case the wrong person sees them. Other than that, there’s nothing else you have to worry about.
How deep should kitchen floating shelves be?
A minimum depth of 10 inches is required in most kitchens. So if you want to keep dinner plates, pots, or other bulky objects on your shelves, this is an important measure to keep in mind.
Is open shelving in the kitchen a fad?
Open shelving is very “in” right now for 2021, but every trend runs the risk of going out of style. Nevertheless, if we were in your shoes, we wouldn’t worry about this. Why? Because these kitchen shelving ideas are here to stay for a long time.