Matt or glossy, contemporary or rustic… kitchens come in many styles but nearly always consist of lower cupboards, worktops and, predictably, upper cabinets.
Open shelving is an emerging trend that we see steadily taking over from the upper cabinets, as people take the opportunity to show off their favourite dinnerware, create seasonal displays and add interest to an area that would otherwise flaunt nothing but cupboard fronts.
See below for a collection of creative shelf uses in a range of different kitchen styles:
Turn up the style
Black, gold and white reign supreme in this highly styled kitchen-living area. Not forgetting the bold pops of red in the form of ceramics and dining chairs… Our favourite element of the whole kitchen has to be those shelves though; immaculately arranged into colour-themed groups, cups, glassware and dishes are elevated to dizzy heights by the vertical shelving units.
Are your eyes first drawn to the bar stools with their sheepskin rugs, the parquet flooring or the marble that seems to cover all surfaces? There’s so many competing elements that come together to create this fascinating kitchen design, but the overall impression is incredibly effective! The sleek shelving floats above the marble splashback and is painted to match the cupboard fronts for a seamless and tailored appearance.
There is something so calming and serene about this kitchen - we can’t quite pin it down. While it could be the monochrome colour palette, the natural light, or the precise attention to details throughout the design… we have our suspicions that it’s the power of a perfectly styled shelf that really does it!
The art gallery
Paired with a heritage dark green swatch on the walls and cabinet front, the balconied front of the shelf holds an impressive artwork collection in place. Striking white marble is used seamlessly on the worktops and splashbacks to create a contrast, while the touches of brass bring an antique-feel kitchen up to date.
Oh deer. You said it… Although at first glance you may wonder what exactly is going on in this kitchen design, appreciation grows on you as you study the unusual scheme. Perfectly embracing the trend of making the kitchen a living space, the anthracite cupboard fronts are set off by wallpaper, mirrored mosaic tiles, paintings and taxidermy – as you do. The shelves are really the defining point of this eclectic design; using neat rows of glass ware and ceramics to retain a kitchen feel, and then going wild on the top shelf!
Some serious home bar inspiration here… A backlit marble wall, a sculptural glass holder, and stunning honeycomb shelving in an art-deco style. It’s got us drooling even before we get to the bottles… One a more serious note, this kitchen display perfectly proves the power of shelving in creating extraordinary displays from what might otherwise be mundane commodities (champagne etc.), and hugely vamping up the style game when it comes to kitchen designs!
When you’re blessed with a marble countertop and splashback, what could be more natural than for a marble shelf to grace an alcove? This simple design could just as easily be used to display kitchen memorabilia such as small olive trees, chopping boards and bread baskets… or perhaps to display family photographs or recipe books – whatever suits your kitchen and style!
Exuding old-world charm with farmhouse details and plenty of natural wood, this tasteful kitchen draws from vintage designs to capture the aged feel. From the Kilner jars to the retro mixer, from the bare lightbulbs to the shelves inspired by the iconic kitchen dressers of old… It’s the simple yet effective shelf design that really caught our attention; with its designated areas for hanging mugs, and shelving for freshly made jams and preserves, it’s a practical and decorative addition to any traditional kitchen design.
Meticulously designed, this kitchen has a bright and modern ‘scandi’ appeal. It’s light wood and white finishes are set off by several matt black elements, giving it a crispness that is only strengthened further by the clever use of open shelving… This kitchen perfectly disproves any opinions that open shelving makes a kitchen look messy or unorganised!
A striking and unusual pairing of copper and brass touches with royal blue cabinetry makes for a memorable kitchen scheme! Appearing all at once slightly dated and yet bold and fun at the same time… The white metro tiles and the use of open shelving instead of upper cupboards allow the kitchen to breathe, and prevent it from becoming too overpowering or intense in style.