There's something about shelves that make a kitchen look lived-in. Maybe it's because you can easily see and reach everyday items or that you get to showcase your quirky mug collection. After all, cooking spaces tend to be devoid of personality---but not when you've got open shelves to display bits and pieces that reflect your style.
From classy glass shelves to sleek modular shelving, the design options are plenty compared to closed upper cabinets. You can even try a theme for the shelves, such as a dedicated coffee station, a cookbook nook, or a floor-to-ceiling pantry wall to open up the space visually.
Read on to discover eye-catching and innovative kitchen shelving ideas, plus tips to style them. Trust us, shelves in the kitchen are always a good idea when thoughtfully styled.
Embrace Open Shelving
To create a spacious and modern atmosphere in your kitchen, consider incorporating open shelving. Ideal for contemporary or industrial styles, use wooden and metal materials to showcase your favorite dishes and cookware. Recommended spaces include countertops and above sinks for easy access. Combine these shelves with matching stools and pendant lights for a cohesive look.
Opt for Floating Shelves
For a clean and minimalist look, floating shelves are the perfect addition to kitchens of any size. Recommended for displaying cookbooks, decorative items, or plants, these shelves can be customized to fit any space. Combine these shelves with bold color appliances, such as pink refrigerators, or artistic elements like abstract paintings, to create a visually appealing and functional kitchen.
Maximize Corner Spaces
Make use of corner spaces with corner shelves, perfect for kitchens with limited storage. L-shaped or rounded corner shelves optimize space while adding function and style. Ideal for rustic or contemporary aesthetics, pair these shelves with vibrant cabinets, wrought iron railings, and decorative elements such as wooden buckets or ivy for a charming and practical kitchen setup.
Experiment with Adjustable Units
Adjustable shelves offer a flexible storage solution in your kitchen, accommodating varying heights of items. Recommended for kitchens with unique storage needs, these shelves can be easily customized to fit around appliances or sinks. Pair them with colorful cabinets and wallpaper, plants, or practical towel storage for a creative, functional, and eye-catching design.
Incorporate Under-Cabinet Storage
Ideal for smaller kitchens, under-cabinet storage maximizes available space. Store essential items like spices, mugs, or dishware to maintain clutter-free countertops. Combine this storage solution with sleek stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, and durable floor materials for a modern and elegant kitchen.
Design a Pantry Wall
Transform an empty wall into a custom pantry with floor-to-ceiling shelves. Ideal for organizing and accessibility, use bins, baskets, or labeled jars within the shelves. Combine this storage feature with wooden cabinets, marble countertops, and a mix of modern appliances for a warm, inviting, and functional kitchen.
Choose Elegant Glass Shelves
Add a touch of sophistication to small kitchens with elegant glass shelves. Display your best glassware, dishes, or decorative items for a visually stunning effect. Pair these shelves with sleek gray cabinets, marble countertops, and modern appliances for an upscale, stylish, and spacious kitchen design.
Integrate Built-In Shelves
Seamlessly blend additional storage with built-in shelves around windows or above kitchen islands. These shelves provide style and function without disrupting the flow of your kitchen design. Combine this feature with wooden cabinets, an abundance of greenery, and natural light for a tranquil cooking space filled with creativity and inspiration.
Organize with Vertical Dividers
Maximize cabinet storage with vertical dividers for cutting boards, baking sheets, or serving trays. Keep these items organized and accessible while maintaining a clutter-free kitchen. Pair this storage solution with warm wooden shelves, stainless steel fixtures, and ample illumination for an inviting and functional environment.
Combine Shelves with Hooks
For practical and appealing storage, add hooks under shelves in your kitchen. Ideal for hanging mugs, utensils, or pots and pans, this solution saves storage space and adds visual interest. Pair these hooks and shelves with colorful cabinets, potted herbs, wicker baskets, and brass light fixtures for a harmonious kitchen design that melds style and function.
Install a Stylish Plate Rack
To display your dishware in an organized and decorative way, consider adding a stylish plate rack to your kitchen. Ideal for wall-mounted or countertop designs, this feature complements farmhouse or rustic styles and works well with wooden or leather-accented furnishings. To enhance the aesthetic, accessorize with vases, plants, and fresh fruit arrangements.
Set Up a Coffee Station
Create a functional and visually appealing coffee station in your kitchen by dedicating a shelving area to coffee essentials like a coffee maker and mugs. Ideal for modern kitchens with bold color schemes, this coffee nook can be artfully designed with a chic marble table, wicker chairs, and vibrant flower arrangements. Use stainless steel appliances for added practicality and sophistication.
Showcase Wine Storage
Enhance your kitchen's elegance by incorporating wine racks or shelves specifically designed for wine storage. Perfect for display and organization in any modern kitchen with bold color schemes or intricate patterns, consider adding a marble countertop and stylish wine rack for easy access and visual appeal. Accentuate the space with a curated collection of cookbooks and artwork.
Utilize Pull-Out Shelves
For easy access and added organization in your kitchen, consider installing pull-out shelves in deep cabinets. Perfect for storing pots, pans, and small appliances, this simple storage solution works well in modern and minimalist spaces with a monochromatic color palette. Pair with sleek black appliances for a cohesive and functional look.
Opt for Ladder Shelves
Add a unique storage solution to your kitchen with ladder shelves. Suitable for displaying cookbooks, plants, and decorative items, these shelves harmonize with cozy, rustic kitchens featuring wooden walls and simple color palettes. Accessorize with polka dot mugs, green plants, and a stylish apron for added charm and whimsy.
Introduce Colorful Shelves
Bring a pop of color to your kitchen by introducing colorful shelves. Select a bold hue that complements your existing color scheme and works well in inviting spaces with wooden beams and sturdy furniture. Use a blue vase or other vibrant accessories to add character and enhance visual interest.
Craft a Cookbook Nook
Organize and display your cookbooks by dedicating a small shelving area in your kitchen. Ideal for serene, light-filled spaces with white walls and wooden floors, this functional nook can be personalized with bookends or decorative items. Accompany this with a charming wooden table, sleek pendant lights, and contrasting black appliances for a cohesive look.
Arrange Stacked Shelves
Create a visually interesting and functional storage solution in your kitchen with stacked shelves in various shapes and sizes. Ideal for cozy spaces with wooden accents and practical layouts, this unique storage option can be customized with dishes, cookware, and an inviting sink area for a cohesive, warm atmosphere.
Mount a Pot Rack Shelf
Combine storage and style with a pot rack shelf in your kitchen. This versatile solution works well in bright and airy spaces with minimal designs. Use it for organizing pots and pans while displaying decorative items on the shelf above. The pot rack shelf adds functionality and complements modern spaces with wooden accents and pops of greenery.
Select Modular Shelving
Opt for modular shelving in your kitchen for a customizable and flexible storage solution. Mix and match various modules to suit your space, creating a personalized storage solution perfect for modern and sophisticated kitchens. Combining functionality and contemporary style, this choice works well in well-lit spaces with wooden furnishings and decorative plants.