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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Shelves located above the tables (instead of hanging cabinets) visually increase the space of the kitchen and make the room brighter.
- 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.
- Beautiful serving utensils stored on such shelves perform not only their direct functions, but also serve as a decorative element of the kitchen decor.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.