Open shelves seem to be both the favorite to have and hate on at home these days. On one hand, their open form helps rooms feel lighter, brighter and airer. But on the other, their lack of doors means things on them gather dust and grease (in kitchens) more easily, and they require a bit of regular tidying to keep them looking sleek and organized.
I hated on them for a while, until we moved into our house and realized how heavy the closed shelving looked on the wall. A few days later the cabinet came down and an old work bench went up in the form of three open shelves (see ours after the jump!). The openness encouraged us to pare down to the pieces we really use and donate the rest and, despite not having a strong stovetop fan, we haven’t had any problem keeping them grease-free. So now I’m fully a convert. While I agree they may not be for everyone (I can see how low open shelves might be tough for families with pets or little ones), in the right space, they are just the ticket for opening up a smaller area and letting the shelved objects shine. So today I’m celebrating 15 of my favorite open shelves. Hopefully they’ll inspire some redecorating at home! xo, grace
Top image: The Jersey Ice Cream Co. used salvage wood to create open shelves in this kitchen project; Middle image: Loyal Supply Co. in Massachusetts created a bold peg system to hold their open retail shelving; Bottom image (directly above): Dana and Chris’ Hudson Valley home contains a full wall-length of open shelving to store the family’s kitchen supplies and machinery.
I love the copper pipe rods that support these sleek white shelves in this Tacoma, Washington home.
The blue cabinets in this Brooklyn kitchen pick up the warmth in the room’s open salvage wood shelving.
Probably my favorite floating open shelves we’ve ever run: these almost invisible floating record shelves in Monterey are the one break in pattern here (they’re not in the kitchen), but they’re my absolute top pick. I love the way this lets the albums really shine.
Our Hudson Valley kitchen said goodbye to a heavy Victorian cabinet with curtains (that was not original to the house) and embraced open shelving that lets us focus on the everyday glasses, cups, plates and bowls we really use (mostly from IKEA, CB2 and a few older family pieces).
Eva’s kitchen makeover combines soapstone, found branches and salvage wood open shelves and countertops.
If you’re open to making your own shelves, this DIY floating shelf project is a great way to display treasured objects without sacrificing natural light.
Scott’s San Francisco kitchen uses classic metal IKEA shelving to free up wall space in a small room.
The Emersonmade homestead proves that open shelves don’t have to be minimal and modern, they can feel textured and traditional, too.
The open shelves in this Portland home serve as practical shelving and a great way to display beloved art pieces (where they’re high enough to not be at risk from the sink water!).
Bright green cabinets are the star of this Louisiana kitchen, where open shelving allows the rest of the space to feel open.
This Connecticut home turns a small kitchen corner into a sleek storage space.
This southern home uses dark paint to turn open shelves into tiny backdrops for special cooking vessels.