I have done a basic post on open kitchen shelving before, but because it is one of the more commonly asked about elements of our apartment I thought I would touch on it again. Before moving into this apartment, I had never lived in a place with open kitchen shelves. At first I thought it would look messy (and it did for a while), but now it is one of my favorite aspects of our kitchen and I find it much more functional than traditional upper cabinets.
We did not install these shelves. They came with our apartment and sadly the landlords don’t remember where they were sourced from. At first I thought they were a bit cumbersome with the bracket – opposed to a clean line floating shelf. However, because the natural wood material is used on both the shelf and the bracket it adds a lot more interest. This could easily be recreated with a custom cut piece of wood (I have had this done at a local lumber yard) and a simple bracket set like this. You could also do a ready made shelf and source a bracket in a similar wood tone. If you prefer the floating shelf look with no exposed bracket, something like this option would be beautiful!
Since these shelves are functional and have to house a majority of our everyday dishes I don’t really style them. They used to look pretty messy because the dishes I had weren’t cohesive and I stacked pieces too high on the top shelf. Now almost everything is white, cream or glass which compliments the wood tone nicely and doesn’t feel too heavy. I also like to mix in some horizontal cookbooks for varying height and offsetting the sea of dishes and glassware.
Not once have I wished we had closed upper cabinets. I love being able to see all of our dishes and it has made me much more intentional about the pieces we have. I would be sad to stow my pretty glassware or ceramic bowls behind a solid door. My best advice if you are transitioning to open shelves – edit what you own. Not every last bowl and glass needs to make the cut and you will end up utilizing so much more by paring down.
get the look
photos by Torrey Fox