Open shelves in the kitchen are becom­ing a pop­u­lar ele­ment of inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion. Now they can be found not only in tra­di­tion­al rus­tic styles — hang­ing shelves and racks can be present in the inte­ri­or with cold notes (hi-tech and min­i­mal­ism), and in the youth loft. But the most appro­pri­ate are open shelves in a naive Provence or a roman­tic rus­tic style.Open shelves in the kitchen

Style selection

The func­tion per­formed by the open shelves in the Provence style kitchen is dec­o­ra­tive. It is close­ly inter­twined with the prac­ti­cal side of the design: such shelves are con­ve­nient for con­tain­ers with spices and bulk prod­ucts, kitchen uten­sils and crock­ery. But the gen­er­al require­ment for items on the shelves is their dec­o­ra­tive effect. Glass jars of unusu­al shapes, beau­ti­ful ceram­ics and antique uten­sils will not only dec­o­rate the shelf in the Provence kitchen, but will also be able to ful­fill their house­hold pur­pose.

When installing shelves with a hid­den mount, you need to know that wall-mount­ed (hinged) prod­ucts should be entered into the orig­i­nal high-tech kitchen, min­i­mal­ism or loft, fol­low­ing the rules. In these inte­ri­ors, open shelves in sev­er­al rows often empha­size the accent wall. Even in the kitchen, they rarely car­ry a prac­ti­cal load, play­ing an exclu­sive­ly dec­o­ra­tive role.

Shelves can be placed in the form of a rack, fill­ing the entire wall or part of it in par­al­lel rows, but the solu­tion will also be good when the shelves form a lad­der. Such shelves should not be clut­tered.

Art Nou­veau wall open shelves would be appro­pri­ate if their num­ber is min­i­mal. Shelves should not be too over­loaded with items that are locat­ed on them. Unlike pre­vi­ous cas­es, func­tion­al things can also be on the shelves. But all items that are avail­able for review must be designed in a sin­gle col­or scheme.

An excep­tion can only be details that are specif­i­cal­ly designed to set accents: a vase con­trast­ing with the wall or an old cof­fee grinder, a fig­urine or oth­er unusu­al object. They should be placed in iso­la­tion from func­tion­al uten­sils.

How good are these shelves?

The advan­tages of an open shelf for a kitchen that replaces cab­i­nets are its com­pact­ness and acces­si­bil­i­ty:

  1. In the kitchen where such a rack is installed, it is no longer nec­es­sary to open the doors at the cab­i­nets in a con­ve­nient direc­tion. This saves space: you do not have to arrange pieces of fur­ni­ture so that the doors do not touch them.
  2. To make the shelf look aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing, you have to main­tain order on it. This need cre­ates the abil­i­ty to quick­ly find the right items.
  3. Shelves locat­ed above the tables (instead of hang­ing cab­i­nets) visu­al­ly increase the space of the kitchen and make the room brighter.
  4. It is con­ve­nient to place shelv­ing with­out doors in small kitchens, to dec­o­rate the bor­der of the zone with them in a room com­bined with a liv­ing room. Shelves can be placed above and below the kitchen island, in the wall open­ing, open on both sides (if a bal­cony is adapt­ed for the kitchen), it is ratio­nal to use the space around the bar counter.
  5. Beau­ti­ful serv­ing uten­sils stored on such shelves per­form not only their direct func­tions, but also serve as a dec­o­ra­tive ele­ment of the kitchen decor.
  6. If the shelves are above the desk­top or not far from the sink, then tak­ing a con­tain­er with cere­als or spices, putting a plate or cup on the dry­er is much more con­ve­nient and faster than first open­ing the cab­i­net door and then per­form­ing the desired action.
  7. Open shelves in the kitchen will cost sev­er­al times cheap­er than wall cab­i­nets. Self-pro­duc­tion of such items is not only cheap­er, but also much eas­i­er.

Cons of this solution

Among the short­com­ings not­ed by those to whom design­ers offer this option for design­ing a kitchen, an increased accu­mu­la­tion of dust is often called. But the short­com­ings are easy to fix: when you need to take some items that have already been deliv­ered or put some items on open shelves, you can brush off the dust imme­di­ate­ly, pre­vent­ing it from accu­mu­lat­ing. A pre­req­ui­site in coun­try and Provence style is the active use of dish­es that are on the shelf. But there are oth­er dis­ad­van­tages:

  1. Items placed on open racks may be splashed with water or grease dur­ing cook­ing. The same splash­es can also stain the shelves them­selves if they are locat­ed next to the sink or stove. This can be avoid­ed by mount­ing racks at a rea­son­able dis­tance from sources of splash­es.
  2. An open kitchen shelf can­not remain intact and tidy, espe­cial­ly when using uten­sils from it. Find­ing a way out is easy: to make such an ele­ment as open shelves look dec­o­ra­tive and with a lit­tle mess, you will need sets of con­tain­ers in the same style and beau­ti­ful dish­es. Every­thing that clut­ters the rack and gives it a messy look can be hid­den in lock­able cab­i­nets.

Shelf materials

The choice of mate­r­i­al for the hang­ing shelf dic­tates the style of the room. Style deci­sions in the kitchen inte­ri­or, as in any room, should be cre­at­ed tak­ing into account the rel­e­vance of the prod­uct and mate­r­i­al in the set­ting. Lacon­ic fash­ion trends dom­i­nat­ed by sparkling met­al, glass and pol­ished sur­faces will require the same solu­tion for open shelv­ing.

Kitchen shelves for high-tech, min­i­mal­ism, loft styles can be made of met­al ele­ments in com­bi­na­tion with thick glass, if these mate­ri­als are present in the design of the kitchen. Chrome-plat­ed met­al prod­ucts are also on sale, which are a lat­tice of thin rods in com­bi­na­tion with roof rails and hooks. They can hang cups or tex­tile tow­els. If it is pos­si­ble to install reli­able fas­ten­ers, then an arti­fi­cial stone slab of small thick­ness is also suit­able for a wall shelf (if the coun­ter­tops are the same).

A ver­sa­tile mate­r­i­al is wood. It will be appro­pri­ate in a rus­tic-style kitchen if the shelf is designed in accor­dance with its require­ments (carved ele­ments, aging, etc.). But strict moder­ni­ty or min­i­mal­ism will only ben­e­fit from the use of wood­en prod­ucts. The require­ment for the rack in this case: the most con­cise out­lines. Most often, even the fas­ten­ing of such shelves is made hid­den.Open shelves in the kitchen

Design Options

A manda­to­ry rule that will have to be observed when design­ing open shelves for the kitchen is the con­for­mi­ty of dimen­sions. The less free space, the nar­row­er and eas­i­er it is to make the rack so that it does not visu­al­ly reduce the space of a small kitchen. A minia­ture cook­ing area in a stu­dio or shared room may require the instal­la­tion of a sin­gle shelf in a con­ve­nient loca­tion. Most often, a kitch­enette with open shelves has 1 rack: above the cut­ting table.

In a larg­er room (about 6 m²), the pos­si­bil­i­ties for kitchen design are wider. Shelves can be placed above the din­ing table. Most often, this sur­face remains unused, but the spa­cious­ness of such shelves will free up space in the cab­i­nets above the desk­top, find unex­pect­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for dec­o­rat­ing the room and con­ve­nient­ly place cook­books. For those sit­ting at the table, the rack will not be a hin­drance. You just need to install it at a suf­fi­cient height.

Large kitchen needs zon­ing. You can use open shelves in the inte­ri­or of a white kitchen, where you need to lim­it the din­ing and work­ing areas, as space dividers. It is impor­tant to choose the right mate­ri­als for the shelves, in har­mo­ny with the decor of all parts of a large kitchen.


In nar­row aisles, an open shelf will be con­ve­nient in the low­er tier, where the door can­not be opened wide, and the hinged sys­tem will allow you to take any item with­out addi­tion­al effort. The width of the shelves is no less con­ve­nient: small ones in a small kitchen can take up very lit­tle space. On the low­er lev­el, it will be con­ve­nient to place con­tain­ers and equip a place to store veg­eta­bles, kitchen tex­tiles, bot­tles and cans of wine or pick­les.

Design solu­tions for open shelves as the bor­der of the zone in the kitchen use the space under the island, fac­ing the din­ing room or liv­ing room, floor-to-ceil­ing shelv­ing struc­tures, and free-stand­ing low struc­tures that can be used as a table or bar counter in a mod­ern inte­ri­or. Open shelves for dish­es (for plates with decor and ele­gant cups) can also be includ­ed in the kitchen set, har­mo­nious­ly unit­ing the groups of closed cab­i­nets of the upper tier.