8 Open Shelving Kitchen Ideas
Find out how to add storage and style to your kitchen with these open shelving ideas from Instagram.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Painted Open Shelving
This bright and airy kitchen from @homeonthewirral features open shelves painted gray to match the cabinets. Matching your shelves to your cabinetry creates a cohesive look, and helps elevate standard store-bought wood shelves to custom showpieces.
When using open shelves for everyday glasses and dishware, pop in a few decorative accessories like a vase or artwork to make the display more layered and interesting.
Open Shelving Storage
Her small kitchen lacked cabinet space, so she built this “pantry” with shelving units from IKEA. Now packaged food, baking supplies and other kitchen essentials are always within reach. Well-placed baskets and tidy groupings ensure the shelves look great, too.
Antique Open Shelving
Check local antique shops and thrift stores for distinctive open shelving ideas for your kitchen.
For her kitchen, @alodgeinlincolnshire installed this antique unit that holds items she uses almost daily. The piece brings old-world charm and character to her kitchen that standard shelving can’t. The mug hooks on the shelf edges are also fun and functional.
Corner Open Shelving
Open shelving placed in the corner, like this example from @offwhitehome, is a great way to utilize an awkward area that often goes unused. We also love how the wood shelves (a DIY project by her husband!) don’t block the view of the gorgeous wall tile.
Unlike traditional cabinets, open shelves provide storage without covering up a dramatic paint color, pretty wallpaper or tile.
Leaning Ladder Open Shelving
Although wall-mounted kitchen shelves are great, consider a standing open shelving unit. The leaning ladder shelf unit in this kitchen by @chez_hanny adds plenty of storage space for cookbooks, and it looks great too.
Elegant Open Shelving
For a more sophisticated look, consider an elegant shelving unit like this one from @lcinteriors. The glass shelves almost disappear, allowing the decorative accessories and dishware to take most of the focus. The sleek, modern gold framing provides an overall look that’s clean, not fussy.
Mirrored Open Shelving
These open glass and brass shelves by @jackieleislerdesign are beautiful on their own, but the mirror takes them to the next level! “One way to add drama; mount your shelving in front of [a mirror],” Leisler says. “It opens and brightens up the space! Instant magic!”
This would be a great trick in a small kitchen because the mirror makes the space feel bigger and reflects light around the room.
Single Open Shelf
If storage space isn’t a concern, a single open kitchen shelf makes a cool, modern statement, as in this space by @hanwell_house. The thin yet solid wood shelf holds a few choice dishes and accessories, creating a photogenic, streamlined kitchen workspace. Keep in mind a kitchen shelf like this one should be installed about 18 to 24 inches above the counter.