Friday, June 24, 2011

HOH: The Charm and Simplicity of Kitchens With Open Shelving

Happy Friday everyone!  This week's Head Over Heels spotlight is all about open shelving in kitchens!  I love the look of open shelving in a kitchen.  It has a comfortable 'lived in' sort of feel that makes a kitchen all the more home-y.
I know the whole open shelving idea isn't anything new to most people, but I have a fun little story to go along with this HOH post (after you get to oogle this gorgeous kitchen)....
A Country Farmhouse
My cousin Lou and his wife Heather emailed me earlier this week with exciting news... they are buying their first house!!!  Naturally, I was SUPER excited for them because of my obsession with homes and home makeovers.  They said the home is in need of some TLC and ran a few ideas by me since home decor and DIY-ing is our thing (thank you so much you guys, I love getting asking decor questions!).

Lou and Heather asked what my take was on open shelving in kitchens and if I could help sway them in one direction.  Obviously I am a huge fan of open shelving in kitchens!  We have some in our kitchen- which wasn't really by choice, there weren't any cabinets to begin with.  But I love the open shelving we have now!
I think one of the tricks to making the open shelves look chic is if your dishes and glasses match the color scheme of your kitchen. It will come off looking very intentional and well designed!  If you use hooks under for mugs it is super cute too!
If you are curious our dishes and glasses are from Target- I highly recommend, we have had for 2 years and none have broken, the quality is awesome & they are beautiful!

 Let's take a look at a variety of shelving ideas for Heather and Lou that I am totally Head Over Heels for!

 Here are some different styles of shelving and brackets ranging from industrial, to traditional, modern and contemporary.
Coco Cozy
Restoration House
House Beautiful

Fresh Home

Count It All Joy

Here are a few examples of simply removing cabinet doors and using the existing shelving.  This one is a great cost effective DIY project and the results are gorgeous!

Our Vintage Home Love- 
PS: I love how Diana used baskets in some of her shelves, this is a great way to store items that might not match the decor of your kitchen (aka Lou's pint glasses!)

Resolve 2 Worship

Simply Brookes

One last idea...
Doing a combination of open shelving and cabinets!  This way if you are on the fence you can have it both ways!
Beautiful Kitchens
The Lettered Cottage

Our Vintage Home Love-(the other side of Diana's kitchen)

One final thing to note on open shelving: If your kitchen is a little on the small side, open shelving will help to open up your space and make it feel larger!  Remember that first photo at the beginning of this post?  Would you have thought it used to look like a tiny boxed in space?  Check out these amazing before and afters!
A Country Farmhouse
Totally Head Over Heels for Trina's kitchen! 

Alright Heather and Lou... Are you getting pumped for a kitchen redo? I hope you feel inspired! Did you make up your minds about open shelving?  
What does everyone else think about open shelving in the kitchen?  Are you Head Over Heels as well?  Do you have any advice for Heather and Lou about their pending kitchen redo or as new homeowners?  Send us some comments!!!!


  1. Well, if you haven't convinced Heather and Lou, you certainly convinced me!! LOL! With all these gorgeous photos, I'm seriously thinking of taking down my cabinets and putting shelves up instead....hmmmmm.. ;)

  2. I love the look of open shelves. If I was going to do it I would do a mix of it so that I had some where to hide my not so pretty things.

  3. Ali I agree! We have full cabinets on the bottom and the shelves above the counter- my pots and pans are NOT cute :)
    Dianna- you kitchen it so GORGEOUS! I love it the way it is! Were you thinking of just doing shelves were you took the doors off? I know I always feel the itch to fix our kitchen a bit more too, but I seriously love yours (hence using 2 of your pictures)! Thanks for the comments ladies, still waiting on hearing from my cousins :)

  4. Thank you, Carla! I'm sure I won't seriously do it, although I would like to try it. But if I suggested that to my husband, I think that would be a little more than he would want us to undertake. And I do need places to hide the ugly stuff. It's nice to dream though, right?! Our homes are always a work in progress. :) I love your open shelving and the little hooks for mugs. And I LOVE your white dishes.

  5. I LOVE the look of open shelves - but I have one worry. How does everything NOT get dusty? :)

  6. Hi Carla

    Thanks for the help and the post. I feel like I got my five minutes of fame. I don't really feel inspired probably cuz I'm too overwhelmed. But I'll survive.

    Heather's mother (my mother in-law) kept bringing up dustiness of open shelving, but it's not like throwing a cabinet door on there makes it air tight. I think the idea behind open shelving (at least for me) is for utility and practicality. That is to say it is for accessible storage of dishes that are meant to be actually used. With that said, the dust can't be any more of a problem than what collects on the top of your toaster oven or coffee maker.

    I'd list my desire for open shelving as threefold: looks, practicality, and frugality - hopefully.

    We'll be picking your brain some more. Thanks Carla!

  7. You should head over to ModernCountryStyle Blog - Sarah there has just done a thing about open shelving, as part of a big kitchen series
    Caroline, Calgary

  8. Hmmm dust... Yes this can be an issue with open shelving. I know with ours the dishes we don't often use get dusty- like the wine glasses, I have to put them in the dishwasher sometimes to clean them off. I think the best thing is to only do open shelving for the dishes you know you will use a lot, then put other items in closed cabinets. Yea, can't lie about the dust thing, but we also only have about 4 or 5 feet of open shelving so it works for us!

    Caroline- I am a huge fan of Sarah's at Modern Country Style! I saw her posts about shelving, I love all her kitchen posts! I hoped my post would help out my cousins, it was crazy when I was googling open shelving how many blogs have written posts about them, I almost didn't do it, but just tired to direct it for Lou and Heather :) I think it helped!
    Anyway, this was fun following up with everyone's comments! I like the discussion going on here :)

  9. Hehhe! :) But that's true - I could so SOME open shelving w/ the things we use daily so I could get that look I like in one section. Good point!

  10. Hello Friend! Your link is wrong - 7th one down is from Resolved2Worship (I just love her, so I knew right away!)

    Happy 4th!

  11. Thanks Amber, just made the correction! The blog where I found that photo must not have given proper photo credit, tisk tisk!


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