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How to Style Open Kitchen Shelves

When it comes to designing the perfect kitchen, you want a mix of functionality and fun. Since family and guests often end up gravitating to the kitchen, no matter the intention, then it’s only right that you should want your kitchen to express some of your personal style and have elements that go beyond the basic cabinets and cupboards. Open shelves are a great way to add some style to your kitchen, while still keeping your kitchen functional and convenient to use. When you turn to a custom home builder in Jacksonville FL, like Glenn Layton Homes, you can be sure you’ll get a kitchen that is functional and stylish.

A trend that has been growing consistently over the years is floating shelves in the kitchen. They add a lightness and airness to the kitchen, when too many cabinets can seem heavy and overwhelming. Still, for real convenience, it’s best to create a combination of regular cabinets and open shelving. After all, there’s always some stuff you don’t want on display, and open shelving does require more cleaning, no matter how strong a hood you have over your stovetop. Still, there are plenty of ways to make the most of open kitchen shelves that will make them look like they’ve been styled by a pro.

First off, go through your dishware and glasses to find the pieces that you use the most often. These are potential items for open shelves, because as they’re used often, they’re less likely to gather dust, plus, they’re easy to reach when you need them. However, keep the items limited to the number you use in a day, such as glasses, plates, and bowls. You don’t want overwhelming piles, because they are more likely to gather dust and just look heavy, ruining the whole point of airy shelving.

In fact, you don’t have to display all of the items you use daily. Certainly, skip the kids’ tableware, unless it’s particularly charming and avoid anything with chips or that just doesn’t have that much visual appeal. Feel free to mix in other kitchen items besides the obvious bowls, plates and glasses. Cutting boards, bread boxes, cute salt and pepper shakers, and special serving dishes with style can add a fun element. However, you don’t even have to stick with kitchen items. Add in some potted plants, along with art prints, decorative tiles, and decorative jars.

You may also want to focus on items that complement your kitchen’s color palette. Bowls, glasses, vases, plates, and some flowers, all in colors that enhance your kitchen’s colors are a great way to add style. You can always use the open shelves for those special items and keep your daily items stored in cabinets. Create your own colorful vignette with special bowls, glasses and an art print or two to create an eye-catching display. Open shelves are also great for antique pieces that may have been passed down through the generations. You don’t have to display everything, but could use special plate display stands for particularly nice dishes.

Finally, keep scale and size in mind. You don’t want your shelves to be filled to the brim with items. That will just look cluttered and defeat the purpose of open shelving. If you use multiple shelves, make sure there’s a sense of balance, so that one side isn’t full of small items, while another side of shelves has all of the large items. Mix and match to create more balanced displays and never be afraid to edit and take things out of the display. You can always change things up during the seasons.

Glenn Layton Homes, a custom home builder in Jacksonville FL, has extensive experience in creating an array of stylish kitchens. Our team will work with you to create a kitchen that allows you to work easily, but still put your own personal style on display. After all, open, airy, coastal home designs are our speciality and that easily translates to the kitchen, as well.

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This post was written by Glenn Layton Homes

One of Glenn Layton Homes’ proudest moments was opening the doors to the HGTV Smart Home 2013! Join us as we take a look back on the most memorable spaces inside this coastal dream home.


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