Tips and Tricks for Styling and Organizing an Open-Shelf Kitchen

Every homeowner dreams of having the most gorgeous, airy, and state-of-the-art kitchen. The past few years have given rise to farmhouse-style kitchens that give the homiest and most intimate of feels, without sacrificing space and storage. At the heart of this style is the open shelf, also known as floating shelves.

But just because open-shelf kitchens have been all the rage lately, it doesn’t mean everyone manages to do it well. There is a method to make them look beautiful and elegant because one misplaced item can instantly make the whole thing look like an unbalanced, disorganized mess.

If you’re opting for an open-shelf style for your kitchen, here are some tips and tricks for styling and arranging it in an elegant and balanced way:

modern styled kitchen

Style around a focal point

When it comes to styling or designing a room, the first step is always to identify the focal point, or the one area that first draws the viewer’s eye, and to design around it. For example, in living rooms, the focal point is often the fireplace, while in the bedroom it’s the bed.

For your kitchen, why not make the sink your focal point? You can work closely with the residential plumbing specialists to ensure that there is symmetry and balance around the sink, making it the perfect focal point through which everything else will be styled and designed. There is nothing more jarring than an awkwardly-designed space, and no amount of paint or styling can hide that kind of mistake. If your sink is by the window, then it will be even easier to surround it with perfectly symmetrical floating shelves.

Do not skimp on closed storage

The key to having a sleek and elegant open-shelf kitchen is to ensure that you have enough hidden storage for all your kitchen equipment. Having open shelves doesn’t automatically mean you have to store every single item or equipment on those shelves. Think of the floating shelves as more of an aesthetic choice instead of a functional one, and invest in more closed or hidden storage for everything else you need to keep.

Be intentional with your choices

To style an open shelf, we need to learn the art and discipline of editing. This means that not all of your pretty items need to go up there. Here is a step-by-step guide to choosing which collection of items will go up on the open shelves:

  • Make a thorough assessment of your dishware collection and just take out the ones you actually see yourself and your family using on a day-to-day basis. This includes plates, mugs, glasses, bowls, spoons, forks, chopsticks, and butter knives. The first step is to identify which types of dishware you will use and go from there. This includes thinking about how many of these utensils and cutlery you see yourself using, so think about the number of your family members and how often you eat meals together.
  • Mix your kitchenware with other items, such as candlesticks, some cookbooks, a potted plant, and other decorative accents that look great with your kitchen’s color palette. Some framed artworks may also look nice, depending on the size of your shelves.
  • Next is to organize your shelf according to the order in which you use the items. Reserve the highest shelves for the items you don’t use as much, such as your fancy glassware and the artwork. The decorative elements that are just for display purposes also need to go on the top shelves. Make sure that the items aren’t too stacked so you don’t run the risk of causing an avalanche whenever you’re pulling an item out of them.
  • Play with size and scale. While you may benefit greatly from considering a clear theme and color palette, you can play with the rest of the visual factors, like the size and shape of your items. Consider adding some wood cutting boards of various sizes and shapes, as well as vases also of varying shapes and sizes, and spread them out across the floating shelves. In between the bigger pieces, add some smaller ones to create an effortlessly layered and collected visual effect. Don’t forget to add some spaces in between items so that your shelves don’t look too cluttered or busy.

The way your open shelves are organized or arranged can make or break the entire look of your kitchen. Take your time, look at the shelves from all possible angles and vantage points, and feel free to edit as you see fit. You’re the one who has to look at the shelves every day, so make sure you like what you see.

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