35+ Clever Open Kitchen Shelving Ideas To Maximize Your Storage Space

Last Updated on June 4, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

The modest kitchen shelf is a décor that may be used in a variety of ways. Kitchen shelves combine aesthetic and functionality by serving as a place for resting for eating staples such as plates and cups, as well as decorative things such as artwork, plants, and vases. Kitchen shelves may be more of a need than an alternative if you reside in a limited area.

If constructed properly, they may give much-needed space and perhaps eliminate the need for pricey cabinets. But, as a quick Google search on “kitchen shelf ideas” reveals, there are a plethora of alternatives when it pertains to shelf type, décor, placement, and other factors.

To help you get through the clutter, we’ve compiled a list of 35 of our best kitchen shelving ideas below. Ideally, one of these stunning kitchens will encourage you to add a shelf (possibly multiple) to your very own kitchen.

best open kitchen shelving ideas

1. Decorative shelving

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Once it comes to storing equipment, not everything has to be concealed. In reality, stylish kitchen shelving solutions and ideas may drastically improve the appearance and feel of your kitchen.

A grouping of basic hovering shelves works especially well in a kitchen with a lot of enclosed cabinetry taking up valuable area and room along the walls.

They give visual appeal while also assisting with the maintenance of clean worktops. If you want to use open shelving to store everyday objects like plates and cups, it’s ideal to put it slightly over eye level and within easily accessible space.

2. Keep things interesting

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Source: Sharon Santoni

Shelving doesn’t necessarily have to be functional; it may also be utilized to display oddities and collectibles. Mix major classic pieces with a collection of lesser objects.

Contemplate the form that the materials make when grouped together, and experiment with form and color to keep it interesting.

Filling glassware lidded containers with colored accessories, whether useful or ornamental, will make them appear more appealing. This type of shelving will fascinate both your visitors and, most likely, yourself.

Adding decorations and decors with a unique flare is the objective to achieve with this one, and you will never go wrong with it.

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Source: The Well Co.

3. Coherency should be on point

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It’s critical to keep everything orderly while exhibiting objects on open shelves. Items organized in clusters or in rows of fours, fives, or sixes as illustrated in the monochrome kitchen above, will keep the shelves appearing orderly.

A well-organized and carefully thought shelving will make your kitchen appear more elegant and professional.

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When deciding on the overall style, consider whether you like the shelves to be constructed of a statement-making material, or whether you need them to play a supporting role and let your exhibit do the talking.

Just make sure to not stress too much about making it perfect and to have fun while you’re at it.

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4. Intriguing shades

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Source: Jan Baldwin

Selecting a color palette for your kitchen has become such a personal journey that no one understands for sure if we all perceive the same colors. Experts feel that current styles have a natural impact on the hues you pick.

Ensure that your choice will complement your kitchen in general to avoid unnecessary collisions of colors that don’t exactly match.

Hue in a kitchen, whether on cabinets or shelves, should endure at least 5 years, therefore, go beyond current kitchen patterns and pick a shade that will make you happy in the long run.

If you’re looking for a striking hue to accent to your kitchen shelves, search no further than Pantone’s Shade of the Year for 2022.

5. Hidden behind a door

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Your kitchen shelves do not always require to be open to the public. Kitchen storage options can be hidden behind sleek doors.

To create the illusion of a naked wall, choose slab panels that are fully flat and color them the very same shade as your wall.

The calm inside of a cabinet in this lacquered kitchen has a display of Japanese-style monochromatic pottery and wood artisan pieces. It is simplicity and elegance at its finest; literally everything you need is you are a minimalist seeker.

6. Organic Hardwood Materials are the way to go

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The underlying beauty of these modest shelf brackets is how quiet and traditional they are.

The natural wood shelves throughout this kitchen nook provide so much comfort, reflecting the distinctive cabinet handles on the right.

In the boards covering the walls, you’ll notice a second sort of wood—a paler, almost bleached version.

This surprising juxtaposition adds another dimension of visual appeal to the room, all while maintaining a fresh, organic attitude that is sure to include into your future project.

The look of this shelf is perfect for people who like neutral tones that are easy to the eyes.

7. Dry products should be kept out in the open.

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Keep your baking and cooking supplies in glass containers and cylinders if you are a passionate chef or baker who enjoys nothing other than trying to whip up an excellent view for friends and family.

A beautiful kitchen pantry suggestion is to showcase these on an open shelf.

Not only do these look better than they did in their wrapping, but they’re also easier to find when you really need them, so you can keep track of what you’re running short on so you’re rarely caught unprepared in the middle of a bake.

Glass jars are definitely the trend these days and you probably know why.

8. Mirrored panels can be used to increase the feeling of spaciousness in a room.

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These crystal shelves are suspended from a reflective panel backing, giving the impression of a larger kitchen.

The use of a single rod of hardwood to carry each shelf creates a clean aesthetic that lets the things on each shelf to speak for themselves.

Displaying largely glassware is also a good idea since more natural light may travel between them, contributing to the kitchen’s bright and airy vibe.

The usage of aqua blue decorations and seashore signage adds to the coastal mood.

9. Make it black and white.

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Maintaining a consistent color palette is one method to help your kitchen look beautiful and not too cluttered.

With plain walls that are gray, black metal shelving for recipe books and food periodicals, and ivory shelving with dark brackets, one homeowner has selected a monochromatic scheme for all of her tableware and storage bins.

The speckled tiles offer interest without becoming too overwhelming as they’re all the very same two colors, allowing the herb pot to stand out.

10. Work in a Japanese-Scandinavian style manner.

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Source: Remodelista

The Japandi movement, which combines Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, is still popular in interior design.

Choosing a shorter kitchen shelf provides for a more thoughtful presentation of your most prized or most-used goods, thanks to its clean lines and forms and powerful use of black.

If you’re low on room inside your personal kitchen, having almost all of the wall height instead of breadth is a smart option, and fluted glass container jars complement the Japandi aesthetic wonderfully.

11. To trim a backsplash, use shelving.

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A neat separation has been formed along the exterior of the sparsely decorated kitchen by interjecting up a wooden rack against the base of this marble backsplash.

The lengthy floating-style shelf complements the rough marble wonderfully and provides a space to exhibit paintings, flowers, and neatly placed crockery.

Despite the fact that there is room for one more shelf over it, the owner has chosen to keep it simple and allow the design’s minimalism to be a feature.

12. Make a plan.

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Source: Ella Claire

Decanting your culinary materials into tidy matching jars gives you a sense of accomplishment and lets it easy to see if you’re out of any items.

Organizing the content of your shelf by getting similar canisters will give it a really beautiful look you will surely adore. 

Your dry products will be preserved airtight along with it looking neat on your shelves. Although this sort of shelving does need occasional dusting, we believe the aesthetic benefits outweigh the additional effort. Also, who would complain about dust when you have an attractive shelf?

13. Coordinate with your worktops to create a cohesive look.

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If you’ve picked a lovely wood for your countertops (and tile backsplash to match), use the similar wood for your shelving to create a more balanced design.

The combination of duck egg blue and chocolate brown is always a winner. Consider how much you’ll want to place upon those shelves if you go with colored tiles.

The tableware and other objects have been chosen carefully to complement the wood and tile tones.

14. Make a presentation

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Showcase artwork, along with appealing food packaging, jars, and tins on an elevated shelf just above a backsplash.

Storage space does not have to be strictly functional; here, framed pictures with a culinary theme bring flare to the area.

Beautiful tins may be used as cutlery holders, and vintage glass bottles can be used as flower vases.

Explore with decors you can find at your local stores or online and envision it sitting atop your shelves. Be creative and have fun with it.

15. Make the most of an underutilized space.

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Kitchen nooks must never be overlooked. As shown above, they provide a hidden storage space and are a perfect spot to showcase enamel tableware, cookbooks and copper accessories.

Build shelves which fit snugly within two walls to make the most of even the smallest areas.

These nooks and crannies will save you valuable space while also offering adequate storage space for storing and putting away your kitchen equipment when it is not in use.

16. Make it to your specifications.

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Utilize the entire length of a wall with custom shelves such as this one, which combines display shelves with niches to showcase attractive things while also concealing common clutter.

Plus, with distinguishing features, it’s simple to match it to the room’s decor with subtle features like wooden coving or trimmings or integrate this in with the wall by selecting a consistent color.

17. Take into account standalone shelving.

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A bookshelf or storage unit may now be found in a variety of dimensions, textures, and colors, and can also be customized to match your existing décor.

It’s a priceless type of furniture that may be placed in any part of the house.

Opt for mismatched designs to add a bit more flair to your wall, and there are several thinner versions available for tighter areas, great for bursting across two windows.

Do not even feel obligated to use these just for literature; they also make an excellent display cabinet.

18. Construct a Bright Spot

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The majority of built-ins are meant to fit in, however these are meant to stand out. The cooking and eating areas are separated by an unanticipated burst of color, infusing just enough fun into this efficient design.

There’s really no greater shelf-update choice than a new coat of paint in a modern and on-trend color like iridescent blue when it comes to “hit for your buck.”

There’s really no greater shelf-update choice than a new coat of paint in a modern and on-trend color like iridescent blue when it comes to “hit for your buck.”

Choose vibrant colors that will surely bring your entire kitchen to life as it makes the focal point of the room. 

19. Arches should be added.

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Archways in architecture, such as this one, are highly sought for. Unless you’re lucky, you could locate some as a relic from previous kitchen decor, such as above the sink or as a substitute for a cooktop range.

If that’s the situation, you have free reign to turn the flair into a bookshelf focal point.

Arches are definitely a take on classic designs that can make your kitchen area the next favorite place to be at your house.

20. Consider a Tiered Look.

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Recently, people have seen an increase in the number of ladders that are styled like shelves rising up—or shall they say, coming down.

People love how it looks like a posh luxury hotel bar, and you should be here for it. While creating against natural materials or granite slabs, they are a terrific option, and the shelves may be designed to reflect the organic characteristics beneath.

21. Contrast Cooking

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Many people love a dark, theatrical kitchen, however when monochrome just won’t cut it, this contemporary take upon this high-contrast style is a certain winner.

First from black open shelving below, to beautiful white wood shelves in a hyper minimalist floating form lead the eye above.

22. Create a Stylish Gallery

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If your backdrop is a stunning expanse of marble, then you don’t want anything to block the view, which is the reason why this one ultra-long hovering shelf is ideal.

Against this stark, simple surface, everyday things are transformed to artwork. 

A kitchen with shelving that is straight out of a museum because of its masterpiece-like layout should be on everyone’s kitchen goals!

23. Make a nook for cubbies.

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Is a cubby a rack or something more akin to a cabinet?

Whilst you mull over that topic, we’ll head off to the construction store to purchase some gorgeous wainscoting to serve as the background of our cubbies in the kitchen—because the actual point here is that providing a pop of contrast with texture is the method to do.

Gorgeous cubbies surely are a must-have.

24. Make a Clean Sweep Design

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Changing all of your outdated cabinets with clean lines of shelves, on the other hand, may add a real major statement that will strengthen your kitchen whether you’re ready to brush a Swiffer through things every now and again.

 Of course, having a consistent color palette, such as the fashionable clay tones shown here, serves to tie the overall design together. This idea is both luxurious and sleek. 

25. Slightly Weathered Shelving in the Nooks and Crannies

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These properly sized and positioned shelves transform an otherwise worthless corner into a wonderful location for cooking equipment, decoration, and other necessities. Such white shelves, which have a somewhat aged appearance, go well with a rustic-chic aesthetic. 

If anyone decides to make these shelves personally, you may experiment with the amount of distressing you apply and even use colorful paints.

26. Staggered Multi-Depth Shelving

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Utilizing the only area you require for open kitchen shelving is one of the greatest solutions. Each shelf in a cabinet is the same size, resulting in awkwardly piled dishes and unreachable rows.

Meanwhile, free shelving will surely allow you to construct storage space that is precisely the proper length for your dishes, glasses, and other kitchen necessities.

27. Simple Shelves for a Relaxed Environment

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These kinds of shelves are ideal for times when you hope you have a little extra room.

You’ve added many more feet of surface area for adornment and storage which would have otherwise remained unused with the installation of these short but sturdy shelves.

If you choose to employ shelves for open storage, you’ll see that the possibilities are unlimited.

28. Curved Sink Shelves with a Vintage Feel

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These lovely circular shelves hang neatly over the sink, alluding back to the times of the past, and are best suited for items that will bring you joy while cleaning dish after dish.

These floating shelves add charm to any kitchen and are ideal for displaying your treasured plants or trinkets.

29. Natural Wooden Shelves, Rustic and Elegant

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These rustic but groomed natural wood shelving are a terrific alternative if you’re seeking for beautiful open kitchen shelving. These straightened shelves both are ornamental and useful, preserving the wood’s lovely natural curvature.

Add real plants to highlight the attractiveness of the naked wood when utilizing such a genuine and woodsy choice.

30. Decorative Wrought-Iron Mounted Shelves

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These large shelves are supported by beautiful black iron bracing. Selecting this choice provides you with the stability of a sturdy shelf while also adding a nice ornamental accent.

This choice is ideal for houses with a vintage feel, and it can be combined and combined with other iron or wood hues to complement your decor.

31. Shelves with a Simple Design Fit Right In

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If you want the contents of your kitchen rack to pop out, open kitchen shelving is ideal. They may, however, be cleverly utilized to give the convenience of shelves that are open while keeping decorative subtlety.

With predominantly clear glasses, these hovering shelves fit in so perfectly with its brick stone backdrop that they almost disappear. 

For good reason, minimalist design is popular in house layouts these days; it’s sleek, modern, and extremely lovely.

32. Shelves with a Traditional Feel

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These basic and compact white flat shelves are an excellent option for the kitchen. Brilliant whites usually brighten up a room, and putting shelves in this hue will give whatever you put on them new life.

The incorporation of the traditionally coiled iron supports adds charm while also providing structural integrity.

33. Shelving on a blank wall that saves space

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When you’re confronted with an empty wall, it seems as though the options are limitless. Adding useful shelving is one of the better solutions.

For country shop appeal and efficiency, this innovative shelving concept includes two lines of classic shelves above and then includes fun and imaginative basket storage below.

34. End Shelves with a Twist

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You may be stuck with miles of blank wall surface when your cabinets run out. Why not use that area to display beautiful curving corner shelves?

Not only is it simple to add extra shelving in between the side of the cabinet and the wall, but it also improves the feel and look of your kitchen.

35. Gorgeous Shelves for the Pantry

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The elegance of a pantry that’s well-organized may be appreciated by anybody. With these basic and sleek shelves, you’ll be motivated to create an easy and tidy place for yourself.

This technique, which extends from the ceiling to the floor, helps to store it all from breakfast to dinner dishes.


Kitchen shelves not only make your life simpler (you can finally see anything!), but they also give you a place to display your favorite utensils, tableware, and decorations. Overcrowding and dropping cups to the recesses of the cabinet are no longer an issue with open shelves. Rather, everything you require is immediately accessible and visible.