Kitchens: What You See is What You Get

When designing (or re-designing) a kitchen, don't forget to consider open shelving.  These systems not only make kitchens feel more open, larger and brighter, they also allow your collection of tableware to serve as usable art, in a casual and approachable sense. Even more, they're certainly budget friendly.  As with any design element, it's all in the details - be sure to think about brackets, the material, and the size of the shelves, as well as what you put on them. 

Here are some stellar examples:

The open shelves here allow the kitchen to feel larger and more airy - doesn't the whole space seem to breath so peacefully? (similar shelf here)
Designed by Molly Fray Designs

I chose this image because, unlike the previous, the shelves seem completely un-styled - just stacks of plates and a cluster of mugs.  My biggest fear about open shelves was the thought that I would need to 'style' them every day, but this shows that even stacks can be completely beautiful in creating a comfortable setting. 

Instead of installing bulky cabinets to hide her beautiful collection of off-white tableware, interior designer Lauren Liess decided to show it off!  My favorite things about this room are the contrasting black brackets (similar here and here). And - could the chalkboard fridge possibly be more amazing? I totally envy that boy!  
Designed by Lauren Liess Interiors

Orange is the name of the game in this deliciously warm kitchen, and the open shelves (painted yellow inside) break up the would-be monotonous color.  It's pretty perfect, no?  Also, I love how the shelves are used for cookbooks and spices instead of simply tableware -  this adds color and visual interest.  
From Live.Love.Create

OK fine, I'll admit it - I chose this kitchen first because I loved the tile, and second for the shelves (But can you blame me?  These tiles are fantastic!  They are called Nottingham and are made by Ann Sacks).  I love the one simple shelf and how it continues the line of the hood to break up the height of the wall.  

A few tips to remember:
Tableware, cookbooks, spices, etc. are best - try to avoid food
- Allow everything to breathe visually - space between objects is important
- Plates (heavy) go on the bottom / glasses (light) go above
- A colored background provides contrast and can highlight the style of your dishes
(Derived from Apartment Therapy)

Good luck!


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