One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to update your kitchen is to nix some upper cabinets and replace them with shelves instead.
Whether you're budgeting for a full-scale remodel or you just want a small update, these kitchen shelving ideas will help steer you in the right direction.
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Incorporate Wooden Shelving for a Rustic Look
Floating shelves in a farmhouse-style kitchen are often made from stained or reclaimed wood, which looks great in most spaces. These wooden shelves are given some additional rustic flair with wire hooks supporting each shelf, ultimately supported by the exposed wooden beam ceiling above.Continue to 2 of 21 below.
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Alternate Open Shelving With Hanging Storage
In many instances, open shelving surrounds a range hood evenly on both sides so the entire look feels symmetrical and balanced. However, consider switching up your kitchen storage by instead opposing some open shelving with hanging storage.Continue to 3 of 21 below.
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Turn Shelving Into an Open Pantry
If you have spare space in your kitchen—whether that be a wall or even a kitchen island–but no pantry, this solution is ideal. Open shelving works best when it's only partially about design and more about function. This project will help you keep a more organized pantry, and the visibility will help you know exactly how much you have left of certain dry goods.Continue to 4 of 21 below.
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Save Money by Removing Cabinet Doors
The easiest way to update your kitchen without going through an entire remodel is to remove the doors from existing cabinets. To add more of a wow factor, consider painting the interior of your cabinets a different color.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
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A Couple of Well-Placed Shelves Go a Long Way
Many people assume when they incorporate open shelving into their kitchen, they have to add tons of shelves. This isn't the case. A couple of smaller shelves that take up the space of one cabinet will make a significant impact on the space. This idea works well for those who want the look of open shelving but less commitment in regards to cleaning and styling them.Continue to 6 of 21 below.
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Use Open Shelving to Create a Coffee Bar
If you wake up every morning in need of a cup of coffee, consider using open shelving to create a coffee bar in your kitchen. This project can be as simple as adding a couple of shelves above the coffee pot or as elaborate as the setup shown here.Continue to 7 of 21 below.
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Rethink What Open Shelving Should Look Like
Remember, open shelving isn't limited to farmhouse style. There are numerous ways you can design shelves to fit in with your specific aesthetic. For a more modern look, consider gold and brass finishes in more geometric patterns, and opt for glass instead of wooden varieties.Continue to 8 of 21 below.
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Add Open Shelving Above the Sink
In most traditional kitchen layouts, there is a shorter cabinet placed above the sink. To create a more airy feel, remove that cabinet and opt for a couple of well-placed shelves instead. This area can be an ideal storage space for dish soaps and anything you don't mind being exposed to moisture from the sink. It can also work in your favor to set shelves higher up to store glasses, mugs, and other decor you want out in the open. Many houseplants will thrive in this location.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
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Make Open Shelving Work in a Corner Space
It's easy enough to run open shelving along an entire wall and stop it at the end. Instead, consider creating a right angle and making use of the corner space, too. Since most corners are relatively hidden from view, you can use this space for microwaves and other less attractive kitchen appliances and gadgets. You can also opt for items that aren't used as often, to keep those corners covered.Continue to 10 of 21 below.
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Restyle Kitchen Shelving Often
Perhaps the most fun and challenging part about open shelving is the styling. Once you get the hang of how items group together, styling becomes easier and more enjoyable. A few tips to keep in mind:
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- Keep your color palette simple for a more streamlined look.
- Add in greenery using houseplants with differing textures.
- Group items in clusters of three.
- Make sure there is a variation of heights so your eye is drawn across the entire shelf.
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Use Open Shelving In Unusually Shaped-Spaces
It's no secret that smaller spaces require unique storage solutions. When working with a small kitchen or kitchenette space, open shelving can do wonders to add much-needed storage options—especially in the form of wooden shelves that take up far less space than bulky cabinets. This works especially well with uniquely shaped spaces, like a slanted roof or half-wall. A few floating shelves add the perfect amount of support for extra glassware and cups, keeping them in reach.Continue to 12 of 21 below.
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Get Playful With Your Decor
While minimalist styles and color schemes certainly have their place, there isn't anything wrong with adding plenty of color and pattern into the mix. Open shelving placed against a radiant backdrop, like this eclectic wallpaper, is a simple way to add a burst of color to your kitchen, while also displaying all the items you need.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
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Creating a cohesive space in your kitchen means taking balance into account. Open shelving has plenty of great attributes, but its placement and the items you choose to showcase can lead to things looking more cluttered than crafted. Using equal amounts of one shelving and being mindful of what goes on it can go a long way.Continue to 14 of 21 below.
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Open Shelving Isn't Limited to Your Walls
The words "open shelving" often evoke concepts of cabinets without doors and floating shelves—both valuable options. However, your walls aren't the only space you can incorporate this idea—your kitchen island can also lend a hand in this department. A kitchen island with exposed shelves and extra space for storage can be an absolute gamechanger.Continue to 15 of 21 below.
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Opt For a Stand Alone Shelf
In lieu of mounting shelving, why not add a stand-alone shelf into the mix? A simple multi-tier option has plenty of space to showcase decorative items, as well as smaller essentials like coffee cups and salt and peppershakers.Continue to 16 of 21 below.
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Pair Floating Shelves With Open Door Shelving
Don't feel the need to limit the types of shelving in your kitchen—there are so many options to choose from. Pairing a floating shelf with open door shelving, like this marble kitchen, is a great way to make the most of your space without sticking to just one concept.
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Open shelves are a great way to create symmetry and balance in your space. Additionally, they can work exceptionally well in creating unity in multiple spaces throughout your kitchen. The set of six floating wooden shelves shown in this kitchen already provides plenty of storage and looks great in the process. Turn your eyes over to the bar area, and you'll notice another set of the same floating shelves make an appearance there as well—creating a sense of unity in entirely separate spaces.Continue to 18 of 21 below.
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Make The Most Of Your Space
Rather than spacing out your open shelves, keeping them close together creates a cozy atmosphere that has everything you need within reach. Opting for smaller shelves to fill smaller areas, while having wraparound options for those corner spaces, keeps everything looking sleek and cohesive.Continue to 19 of 21 below.
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Pair Open Shelves With Tile
From a decorating perspective, floating shelves work well with essentially any theme. For a distinctly modern look, try pairing wooden shelves with white tile—the results feel timeless, yet absolutely chic.Continue to 20 of 21 below.
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Open shelves don't have to be abrasive or attention-grabbing if you don't want them to be. For an understated look, try matching your shelving to the color of your walls—this deep charcoal kitchen cloaks the floating shelves so well, you can barely tell they are there at all.
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Don't Knock Hanging Storage
More shelves are always a plus but don't knock the value of hanging storage options. Especially if you have pots and pans that you don't mind displaying, opting for a hanging rack that holds them all can free up some serious cabinet and shelving space while creating a unique focal point.