Few interior design ideas can split the room quite like open shelving: If you’re starting from scratch, open shelving may be a less expensive option than cabinetry—and it offers a lighter, brighter option for anyone that’s sick of boxy floor-to-ceiling pantries. But unless you’re able to commit to keeping open shelving clean, tidy, and uncluttered for a lifetime, it can be hard to maintain.
Sure it’s probably a pain to dust, but here’s one unintended benefit: It’s much easier to stay organized and keep clutter from accumulating behind cabinets when it’s in plain sight. If your lifestyle allows for it, open shelving can be the design trick your space needs to open it up, as well as put your aesthetic chops on display. Ahead, nine smart, stylish open shelving ideas to incorporate into your space.
Show Off Your Green Thumb
Who says open shelving is exclusively for dish- and glassware? Show off your ability to keep rubber plants alive with an open shelving plan dedicated to your foliage.
Open It Up
Remove upper cabinets to open up any small space and let light in—as well as have more room for taller appliances.
Let Love In
Don’t be afraid to use open shelving to display memories. Here, a Chicago-based interior designer removed her upper cabinets and installed Riad tile and open shelving to make room for kitchen essentials and beautiful photos.
Tack some hooks onto your open shelving for even more added storage for your coffee mugs.
Here’s proof that open shelving isn’t limited to country-style homes with rustic aesthetics:
If you’re not up for an entire remodel, don’t bother taking the entire cabinet down. Instead, just take the front-facing cabinet off the doors and adjust any shelving accoutrements to your style, like the rustic lean seen here.
Think Outside The Kitchen
Don’t limit your open shelving ideas to your kitchen: Think about ways you can incorporate the design element into other parts of your home like your bathroom or pantry.
One commenter’s thoughts on this layout sums it up quite nicely: “Many well-chosen items are what bring life, soul and personality to a kitchen. And when you are a bit of a foodie like I am, there is great joy to be had from simply seeing on display some of the elements that help pull together a delicious meal.”
Use Dead Space
That space above the doorway? You could probably go decades without giving it a second thought—until you see this. Instead, use it wisely by adding in a stable shelf to house items you don’t use all the time, like good China or decorative bowls.
Thinking about trying open shelving in your home? Tag us in your next DIY project and we’ll happily offer styling suggestions!