There’s a type of kitchen design that’s bold, daring, different. It matches Scandinavian exposed brick walls, and complements black-tiled surfaces, feature walls and white-washed wooden panels. What are we talking about? Open kitchen shelving, of course! Our top forty picks show how the right shelving design can create an inspirational kitchen interior. Add art to your shelving, by striping mustard over the top. Go geometric, with an acrylic C framing roughshod wood. Go for the look of a New York eatery, with elongated shelves propping up white tiles and hanging saucepans. Forgo full cupboards in your kitchen, with these forty professional looks.
Visualizer: Vu Tan
Evoke a feeling of zen with your open shelving. Two light wooden panels upon a natural floor hold a variety of lengths of shelving. Easily moved by replacing shelf holders in different drilled holes, they hold a range of ornamentation – not your simple pots and pans. Stencilling in a kitchen clock, industrial-style lighting diamonds and stool legs mimic their lines.
Visualizer: Svoya Studio
Don’t have enough space for an ornamental wall? Get out your crockery instead. This white and wooden block kitchen offers rows of plates and cups in white and transparent glass. An upside-down table adds another layer of shelving – and an element of surprise.
Visualizer: Deer Design
This compact kitchen only shows its feature pieces. As wood and chrome create a modern surround, pops of colour in spice jars, herbal teas and 18 bottles of matching red create a space of interest. A unique faucet in wood and potted African violet add finishing touches.
Source: Leicht Kitchens
Feel your kitchen is much too white? Stripe marmalade orange down its middle, like this quirky kitchen. Showcasing artwork and crockery in white and yellow, non-matching necessities are banished to the right.
Architect: i29 Architects
Sometimes shelving isn’t the main feature. This white acrylic C makes shapes while cooking, holding white plates and glasses below. A plywood wall behind makes an ideal rack for spices.
Designer: Elizabeth Roberts
Use your open shelving to introduce a new surface. This white, charcoal and chrome kitchen links to the corridor behind in wood. Extra ledges hold dinner centrepieces and rustic shot glasses.
Visualizer: Nickolay Morhunov
Open shelving can act as a frame. Painted olive green with a marble splashback, two cases of open shelving subtly fill the space. Gleams of chrome in kitchen knives and a standing oven offer shine.
Open shelves instantly update a classic country kitchen. This blue beauty excels with clean white plates, teapots and cups adorning its panels. A few beige benches and sprigs of green help tie the palette in.
Source: Alice Lane Home
There’s no need for shelving to disturb your décor. Framed in wood and finished with rough plaster, rows of thick white benching stand out only when they want to. Double green beer bottles shout out top left.
The smaller home can save space, by using open shelving. This apartment fuses the kitchen and living room, using items in the bookcase to mark out the areas.
Visualizer: Aleksandr Taran
Have a black and white kitchen you’d like to accessorize? Using many methods of utensil display, this darker space lifts its common bowls and cups on a shelf up high. Indoor herb planters add another level, while a pot chills on the knife rack.
Open shelving can add kitchen finesse, a job made easy by this acrylic kitchen. Both reflecting and generating LED and pendant lights, its signature shade colours two elongated shelves.
Display your kitchen wares on a cascading bookshelf. This black and light-wood kitchen makes large cubbies for copper, white and earthenware items. A mini shelf in the splashback ties the theme in, with a row of cups in black.
Visualizer: Design At Sketch
The blackest of black kitchens can afford an open shelf. Decked in the shade from top to toe, this classy cooking space opens up three cupboard panels to showcase its fare. A glass fridge panel offers a fresher peek.
Fill a white space with clever open shelving. This clean, classic kitchen accessorizes only with chrome, in a row of four stools, a triangle kettle and tens of identical shelves for knick-knacks.
Designer: Studio McGee
Unique kitchen bar stools aren’t this kitchen’s only feature. Matching walnut Cherner Counter Stools are six rows of open shelving, propped up on white tiling. White and wooden utensils tie this rustic home together.
The white lines of these open kitchen shelves make light wood look pink. Bearing spaced-out ornaments, spices and potted glass jars, this minimalist feature makes a subtle style statement.
Visualizer: AM Studio
Have a Scandinavian kitchen decked with white tiles? Rows of white open shelving can polish the scene. Loaded with white and wooden elements matching the cutting boards and table, five hanging pendants light the items on display.
Visualizer: Natalia Okolus
Can’t keep your hands out of cookie jars? Place them on high, as in this Scandinavian kitchen. Black cabinetry and pastel crockery make the scene come alive.
Open shelving need not only be for crockery. This white and bright example for Scandinavian kitchens pairs polished wooden shelves with an array of potted plants. Water catchers stacked in waiting and a decorative watering can show a passion for greenery.
Take a functional approach to your kitchen shelving. These six wooden panels provide six cubbies, as cacti and fern planters drape effortlessly off the sides.
Visualizer: Angela Gabruskaya
Sometimes it’s the contents, not the shelves, which garner the most attention. In this kitchen’s case, a row of dark-toned unique wine glasses draw in discerning eyes.
Visualizer: Algimantas Raubiška
Want a large kitchen – but one to hide away? This kitchen’s wall of open shelving creates enough space to brush its functions to the side.
Build your shelving into places unexpected. These charcoal-painted planks twist their forms around outer walls and corners, extending matching ornaments to create an artsy space.
Visualizer: Golovach Tatiana and Andrey Kot
The apex of industrial-style kitchens is the New York loft. This kitchen aces the look, with metal open shelving providing glitz and a home for ceramic jars.
Visualizer: Armando Ferriani
Modern grey kitchens need not be boring. This Tetris-style design proves the point, with oscillating shapes and terracotta open shelving centring the eye.
Visualizer: Amr Moussa
Dream of white and wood kitchens? This example builds shelving into its framework, hosting dozens of wine bottles, monochrome pots and plates.
Visualizer: Egor Ignatiev
Open shelving takes it up a notch – when lit by LEDs. This high-class bar-look kitchen shows off a grand liquor collection, with a hint of wine storage.
Visualizer: Адилет Зулпукаров
Open shelving doesn’t have to be high. This unconventional kitchen houses wine glasses and spice jars in ledges underneath.
Visualizer: Anna Kolezneva
The hipster can’t go past this monochrome kitchen. Decked out with school chairs, a blackboard and bike, simple wood-on-white ledging shows off teapots and spices.
Visualizer: Denis Krasikov
Building an industrial kitchen? Clad in stainless steel from top to toe, this kitchen’s two open shelves escape the busy clutter.
Visualizer: Salih Gocmen
Scandinavian kitchens quintessentially house open shelves. Scandinavian-style chairs and a brightly-coloured cabinet take this kitchen’s focus, while mismatching wooden shelves bear bowls and plants.
Source: SCIC Kitchens
Make open shelving your kitchen’s centrepiece. Mustard yellow highlights treasures in these five shelves, which form the background to an art deco kitchen.
Designer: MW Architects
Don’t want to show it all? Block off things not beautiful with a few closed cabinets. Pops of sunshine yellow and teal in this 70’s space make the mysterious seem artistic.
Designer: CHT Architects
Open shelving need not hog the limelight. Opened and closed, these two rows fade in the background behind two statement kitchen pendant lights.
Visualizer: Olga Podgornaja
Items in open shelves can reinforce your colour scheme. Here, eye-catching charcoal and beeswax yellow are reflected in similarly-hued coffee mugs, mustard packets and ornamental fruit.
Visualizer: Vladimir Donchenko
Get industrial with your kitchen shelving. These two white-lined ledges hold heavy-duty cups and a modern fruit bowl, cueing the kitchen’s yellow frame and feature grated wall.
Visualizer: Michel Amorim
Stacked shelves don’t always mean clutter. A busy example for yellow accent kitchens, this jam-packed space uses open shelves to accentuate its eclecticism, not hide it away.
Visualizer: Paulo Rosario
Pare your shelves down to the basics. A wooden panel partitioned by black iron illuminates wine glasses, bottles and pitchers.
Visualizer: Tu Nguyen Hoang
Only have a little wall to play with? Make the most of open shelving, with a stripe of LEDs beneath.
Having open shelving in your kitchen is an opportunity to display your best items – not reveal your worst. If you need to add to your collection, we’ve got a broad array of coffee mugs, teapots, wine glasses, knives, cutting boards and kitchen gadgets we can point to. Check them out below.
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