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How to Style Open Shelves in Your Kitchen

Hi friend! If you’ve followed along here for a while, it’s no secret that we love to design kitchens with open shelving. Incorporating open shelving in a kitchen renovation plan can make the space feel larger and is perfect for displaying some of your favorite kitchen accessories to create a statement and showcase your style. If you are contemplating the open shelf look for your own kitchen or have an open shelf concept but are intimidated on how to style them, I’m sharing my 5 go-to steps when decorating open shelving.

1. Create a Color Palette

Start by clearing off your shelf to create a clean slate, then brainstorm a color palette you would like to incorporate throughout your shelves. This will give a cohesive look across the kitchen and help with selecting only the items that fall within the scheme. By limiting the colors you use, it provides a roadmap for the rest of your shelves. When styling open shelving, I tend to use a lot of white and glass for everyday essentials and incorporate my chosen color scheme with accessories.

2. Shop Your House

Once you’ve cleared off your shelves and brainstormed a color scheme, take inventory of all the pieces you have and sort items by size/type (small plates, large glasses, pitchers, etc.). Gather together your cookbooks, trays, candles, artwork, canisters, and other decorative accents that coordinate with the color palette. I love filling glass canisters with dry goods like oats, pasta, or lentils. The best part is, you probably already have these in your pantry and it serves as such a fun and inexpensive way to add texture!

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3. Mix It Up

Now that you’ve sorted and gathered kitchen accessories and décor from around your home, it’s time to start putting the pieces together. Don’t be intimidated by this step! Just like a puzzle, it takes a little time to play around with the different pieces to see what fits and what doesn’t. Generally, I will use items of different heights and shapes that vary in size and scale. Be sure to leave breathing room so the shelves feel organized and visually calming. Open shelving is meant to emulate an open and airy style.

4. Be Practical

Function is key. After all, this is your kitchen! When decorating your open shelves, keep essentials and everyday items such as plates, bowls, glasses, coffee cups within reach for quick access. One thing to note during this step - avoid placing too many small items together on a single shelf. Placing all of your glasses, bowls and plates on a shelf can potentially make the unit look cluttered.

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5. Add Some Greenery

Now is the time to add some life to your shelves! Whether you prefer faux or real, pick out a stylish pot and add the greenery of your choice. Incorporating plants on open shelving adds warmth, texture, and dimension. Potted plants also provide an opportunity to use a fun pot with a pop of color or pattern to further carry out your color scheme.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations with items around your home! It’s totally normal to take a couple tries combining items on your shelves to see what works and what doesn’t. I recommend taking photos of each combination you create on your shelves to reference back to as you are finalizing the design. Open shelving in a kitchen is meant to make a design statement, allowing you lots of creative freedom to experiment with both kitchen accessories and decorative pieces.

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