When we tore apart our perfectly fine, but utterly boring kitchen, one thing we knew we wanted were open shelves.
We love the classic, casual, slightly industrial, slightly country look of shelves and it remains one of our favorite parts of our kitchen.
There are a few regular questions people ask about living with open shelves in the kitchen, so I’m here to answer. Here are the top three questions:
1. Do the dishes get dusty?
Yes. They do. But not any dustier than anything else in the house. We use most of what lives on the shelves on a fairly regular basis, so the dust doesn’t accumulate too much. I just wipe them down every week or so (who am I kidding … it’s probably more like once a month) with a damp paper towel and that takes care of it.
2. How do you keep the stuff on the shelves looking nice?
This is totally personal preference, but I like to group like items, and keep everything neutral.
Our everyday dishes are white (see the stacks?) and glassware is clear, which looks nice neatly arranged on the shelves. Mixed in is lots of white serving ware (most passed on from my m-i-l who is a professional thrift-store shopper) and old silver bowls and trays.
The bottom shelves are filled with regularly used dishes and in zones that make sense to our kitchen. The coffee cups sit near the coffee maker; the plates are near the dishwasher for easy unloading; the glasses are grouped together near the sink and beverage refrigerator.
The top shelves are a bit more decorative with cake plates, white pitchers and vases, but are still items that get regular use.
Varying height by leaning silver trays up against the wall, or stacking salad plates on a cake stand give a bit of interest and keeps the eye moving around. There’s no perfect way to style shelves, but keep playing around, moving things, propping things, arranging until it appeals to your eye.
3. Where are the shelves and brackets from?
When looking for shelves, we were wanting simple and modern to balance out the cottagy look of the bead board paneling. We bought the metal brackets from IKEA which were both inexpensive and just the look we were going for. There are a few options of shelves also from IKEA, but we went with the birch wood veneer and then sanded and painted them with the same oil-based paint as the lower cabinets. They have held up very well.
If we were to do our kitchen again, we would definitely go with open shelves again. They feel light and add character and provide easy access to our everyday dishes.
What do you think of open shelves in the kitchen?