Open Kitchen Shelving

How To Style Open Kitchen Shelving

I am beyond excited to finally be sharing our open kitchen shelving on the blog! This is one of my favorite parts of our recent kitchen renovation and DIY’s that we have completed to date. I’ve wanted open kitchen shelving for years, so to finally have this in our kitchen is a dream come true for my shelf loving heart!

Kitchen With a View of the Pantry

While this part of the kitchen renovation was just recently finished, I have already styled our open kitchen shelving two times! You can view the first photos I shared of our new open kitchen shelving here, in our summer home tour.

This past weekend as I was playing around with the décor on our open kitchen shelf, I thought I would share with you a few tips that help me to create visually appealing open kitchen shelves.

Open Kitchen Shelving

The best part about these tips is that they are universal. They should not be limited to the kitchen or to a specific design style. These tips can be applied to any open shelving, in any room, regardless of personal style.

Decorated Kitchen Shelf
Kitchen Shelf & Cabinets

Tips on Styling Open Kitchen Shelving

  • Combine old and new objects.
  • Use items of varying heights.
  • Add layers to create depth.
  • Stick to a color palette.
  • Add natural elements.
  • Mix materials. Wood, glass, metal, linens are just a few examples.
Kitchen Shelving

1. Find Anchor Pieces

The easiest way for me to style a shelf is to start with the anchor pieces. Anchors are items that first catch your eye, they are usually the largest objects, and they help to create balance on the shelf. For these shelves, the anchor pieces I used were, a group of cookbooks and a silver trophy.

Group of Old & New Cookbooks

I placed the group of cookbooks in the center of our shelf. Adding the tallest cookbooks in the middle of the grouping with the smallest cookbooks on the outside.

When I add books to a shelf, I make sure that they are not lined in uniform. Some books are forward on the shelf while others are further back. I also have some books with the spines facing forward, and others with the spines facing backwards. This all helps to add texture and depth to the shelves.

Silver Trophy & Green Pears

The other anchor piece I added on the right side of the shelf was a large, vintage silver trophy. I turned slightly so that the handles would be visible from all angles. And, I made sure the trophy inscription was facing forward (it adds so much character to this vintage piece and the shelf)!

Pears on White Dessert Plates

2. Keep to a Color Scheme

I love a neutral color palette. I am drawn to woods and whites with a small pop of color (depending on the season). Whatever your personal preference, stick to a color scheme to keep your shelves looking neat and cohesive.

Kitchen Shelf

3. Create Layers & Add Height

This tip is essential to creating a shelf that has depth and interest.

Corner of the Kitchen

Create layers on shelves by having some items pushed towards the back and other items toward the front. I also like to lean objects against the wall, stacking pieces to created a layered look. This creates depth and keeps the shelves from looking flat, dull, and boring.

Pitcher of Wooden Spoons

Add items of varying heights. This helps the eyes to move from piece to piece on the shelf, creating visual interest. If something isn’t tall enough, don’t worry! Add a stack of dishes or bowls beneath the item to make it appear taller.

Pears in Cloche

Instead of just adding a group of pears to the shelf, I placed the pears on a stack of dishes to give them height. Not only do the stack of dishes add height but they also add layers.

Vintage Trophy & Pears

4. Mix Materials on Open Kitchen Shelving

Mix a variety of cohesive materials on open kitchen shelving for visual interest.

Country Pear Candle
Cozy Farmhouse Kitchen

5. Use Groups of Odd Numbers

It is scientifically proven that our eyes are drawn to groups of odd numbers!

I like to group similar items in 3’s, but any group of odd numbers will keep the shelf visually appealing.

Pears & Vintage Silver Trophy
Open Kitchen Shelving

6. Decorate With Natural Elements

Natural elements are super simple way to add texture and visual interest to open kitchen shelving.

Kitchen Shelf

On this shelf, I added fresh pears and fresh hydrangea stems (cut right from our yard). Two of my favorite natural elements to decorate with, especially in late summer.

You do not have to use fresh natural elements. Faux fruit and faux/dried floral stems are great options as well. They can be just as beautiful and will last much longer. Afloral is my favorite go-to online shop for faux florals.

Cloche With Pears

7. Make Open Kitchen Shelving Cozy

Create cozy kitchen shelving by adding new and vintage pieces to the shelves as well as decorating with pieces that are special to your family.

Farmhouse Style Kitchen

On our kitchen shelf, I used a mixture of new and old cookbooks. I also added a page from one of my old Julia Child cookbooks to the new gold frame leaning against the wall.

Silver Urn With Fresh Hydrangea Stems

For another layer of coziness, I used our wedding china dessert plates underneath the group of pears. Small, simple touches like this are what make a home feel extra special and cozy.

Candles add coziness too! Just make sure the flame of the candle it not too close to the ceiling or any other pieces on your shelves (my hubby is good at reminding me of this…insert eye roll). This country pear candle from Antique Candle Co. is one of my current favorites!

Pears & Wooden Spoons

8. Step Back & Take a Break

There are so many times that I become frustrated styling a shelf and I have to remember to stop, step back, and take a break. Styling a space doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes it can take days of looking, moving, and tweaking a space to get it styled just right.

Neutral Farmhouse Kitchen With Open Shelving

If you find this happening to you, remember to give yourself grace. If you feel frustrated, take a break or move on to something else. This will allow you to clear your mind and when you go back to the space you were styling, you will have a fresh outlook and new ideas!

Open Shelving & Green Pantry Door

Final Thoughts on Styling Open Kitchen Shelving

Remember when styling open kitchen shelving that it’s your home you’re decorating, and you should style your shelves the way you like! These tips should only be used as a guide. And if these tips aren’t for you, that’s fine! Your home should always reflect you and what you love. Decorate your home with pieces that are meaningful to you to create your own unique version of a well-loved home.

Kitchen Shelving
Open Kitchen Shelving

Shop the Décor on Our Open Kitchen Shelving

You can shop most items I have styled on our open kitchen shelving, here. The glass bon bon jars on the counter can be found, here. Shop my favorite candles, here.

Neutral Farmhouse Kitchen

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

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How to Style Open Kitchen Shelving

Patriotic Decor

Simple Summer Patriotic Décor

4th of July is just two short weeks away and that means it’s time for me to add a little summer patriotic décor to our home! The 4th of July is one of my most favorite holidays out of the entire year. It’s a time for us to gather with friends and family to celebrate the birth of our great nation. Celebrations include parades, concerts, cookouts, fireworks, and time off of work to relax. My favorite part of this holiday…gathering with family without the expectations of gifts. 4th of July gatherings are all about enjoying one another’s company with delicious Americana food, and a few loud fireworks to end the night. That’s it, there are no other expectations other than having a good time!

Simple Summer Patriotic Decor

Once I realized that 4th of July was right around the corner, I got the itch to add in some simple summer patriotic décor to our home and specifically this glass cabinet. As someone who loves an all neutral décor palette, I like to add just small, simple touches of red, white, and blue for summer. Patriotic décor does not need to be over the top to be impactful. A simple addition of a blue ribbon, or a red flower, or an old historical book are all you need to decorate your home for the 4th of July.

I have more patriotic décor ideas in our summer home tour, you can check that out here.

Vintage Demijohns
New & Vintage Books

The simplest way to add summer patriotic décor to any home is with the flags. So simple and easy, right?!

I grouped two medium sized flags and placed those in the vintage demijohns on top of the cabinet. I grouped two to three smaller flags and placed those into the glass jars inside the cabinet. The red, white, and blue of the flags add just the right amount of color to this otherwise neutral corner.

Adding newer flags to vintage pieces helps to add character and coziness to our home. You can purchase the flags in our home here, and here. When purchasing any flag, make sure to buy flags that are American made!

Patriotic Decor

I love the flags next to this vintage book, “Pennsylvania Superior Court Report”. It gives me all the historical, patriotic feels! Our bookshelves are always a mixture of new and vintage books. It is such a great way to incorporate new with old, which is one of my favorite ways to decorate!

Patriotic Decor

Baskets add another layer of texture to shelves, cabinets, or any area of your home. The texture of the baskets inside the cabinet play off of the texture of the demijohns on the top of the cabinet.

Shelf Styling

I placed a few faux Queen Anne’s Lace stems inside the baskets. Queen Anne’s Lace is such a beautiful (and underrated in my opinion) flower and reminds me of summer! More faux summer flowers you could add into your patriotic décor could be; hydrangeas, geraniums, or poppies .

Simple Patriotic Decor

Ribbon is another way to add simple patriotic décor to your home. I tied a blue & cream stripped grosgrain ribbon to the handle of one of the demijohns. I simply tied the ribbon into a bow. Then kept the tails of the ribbon long to drape down onto the cabinet. To me, ribbon makes everything more beautiful!

If you have a wired ribbon that you love but don’t love the wire, check out this reel on Instagram on how to remove it.

Patriotic Styling

Finally, I added blue & white quilts and blankets to the bottom shelf of the cabinet. I love that we can easily pull out a blanket to cozy up on the couch or grab a quilt for a picnic or a trip to the beach.

Simple Patriotic Decor
Summer Cabinet Styling

For more simple summer patriotic décor, check out this blog post with patriotic décor ideas along with a few fun patriotic food ideas too!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

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Simple Summer Patriotic Decor
Candles

Tips for Perfectly Styled Shelves

One of my favorite hobbies/activities is shelf styling. If there was a job that I could apply for that was solely shelf styling, I would apply to it and would want to go to work everyday. I am not sure why it gives me such a thrill to styles shelves! It could be that I enjoy the thought process that goes into shelf styling. I can think about and obsess over an area that I want to style for days, which helps to keep my mind busy and distracts me from other, anxious thoughts that like to creep into my mind. It could be that changing the décor on a shelf or a cabinet can instantly change the look and feel of a room without moving any furniture. Or it could be that I just have fun moving this item here and that item there until the perfect balance is achieved. No matter the reason, I love it! However, I know that not everyone feels the same way. In this blog post, I am sharing a glass cabinet that I recently styled along with a few pointers for you to follow if shelf styling is intimidating for you. You will notice a common denominator in most of my tips. Visual interest. The key to perfectly styled shelves is eye movement. You want the eye to move up & down, focus in on textures, and to move between groupings & layers. My hope is that you are able take this tips, put them to use in your home, and to take away the intimidation that you may feel so that you can have beautifully styled shelves in your home too!

Add Texture

Texture adds warmth and coziness. Glass, baskets, books, plants, blankets, pillows, candles, and wood are all examples of different types of textures that will add visual interest to your shelves. Mix your textures on each shelf. One of my favorite and one of the easiest ways to add texture to a shelf is by adding books. Books are usually something we all have in our homes, right?! I like to style books in groups. Books can be grouped together going vertically across a shelf, like I have done in the top shelf of this cabinet. Or, books can be grouped together laying down, with something placed on top, like I have down on the bottom shelf of this cabinet. My secret to book styling, is to alternate the books with some of the books showing their spine, and others with the pages facing out. This is a simple and easy way to add texture to any shelf.

Group Objects Together

Objects grouped together are visually appealing. Specifically, groups of odd numbered items. (This is actually a scientific fact!) I always like to group items in either groups of 3 or groups of 5. Odd numbers force our eyes to move around the grouping, and thus gives visual interest. Take the top of this cabinet as an example. I grouped a glass vase, a basket, and a candle together. A group of three items. Each item with it’s own texture and all of varying heights. Notice how your eye moves around between the three items? That is exactly what you want the eye to do when looking at your shelf!

Add Height

Each shelf should contain items of varying heights. This will draw the eye up and down. If you have too many small objects on a shelf it can make the shelf look cluttered. Too many large objects and the shelf becomes overwhelming. To make your shelf appealing, layer a couple of smaller objects with larger ones. You will notice each shelf I styled has items of varying heights. If something is too small, you can always add height by placing a couple of books beneath it, or by placing on a stand, or inside of a cloche. The glass vase on the very bottom shelf on the left side was a little too short. I placed a stack of books beneath it, and presto! It gave the vase the height it needed.

Layer

Layers add depth and dimension to your shelves. Your shelves will become three dimensional instead of one dimensional when you layer pieces together on a shelf. Place a small picture or piece of art in front of a larger piece of artwork as I did on the middle shelf. Or similarly, place a larger vase behind a smaller one. I layered artwork together towards the back of the middle shelf placing the larger artwork behind the smaller one. Placed a cloche (with a small object inside) in front of the art, and then placed a smaller object in front of the cloche. Layering all of these pieces and these small touches create a much bigger impact on your shelves and will make them pop!

Balance

Even though each shelf is styled individually, you want to think about the bigger picture when styling each shelf so that your cabinet or bookshelves are balanced and cohesive when you are finished. This means alternating groupings, alternating your layers, and mixing textures. On the top left side of the cabinet, there is a basket with a green plant inside. You will notice I have the same basket with the same plant inside on the bottom right side. This is an example of balance. Top and bottom, left and right. Play around with the items on your shelf paying attention to the other shelves to ensure your eye bounces between each one of the shelves. If that happens, you are on the right track to achieving balance for entire cabinet or bookshelves!

Gather Ideas

Do not be afraid to gather ideas and inspiration from other people, stores you may visit, magazines, social media, or from designers whose style you love. I always find inspiration from Pinterest, other home décor bloggers, and many other places. When I see something I like; I pin it, or I take a screen shot to refer back to later. Doing this helps me to think of ideas that I might not normally have or gives me permission to continue on with an idea that I know might work based on something similar I’ve seen. It’s ok to take someone else’s idea, add your own twist to it, and make it your own.

I hope you are able to take these tips and use them in your own home! Shelf styling can be scary and overwhelming but when you have the right tools, a little bit of time, and some creativity your shelves will be beautiful and the envy of the town (yes, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean!). Remember to always decorate your home and your shelves with pieces you love. Doing this will make your house a cozy place that you will want to come home to. Do you love styling shelves as much as I do? What are some of your favorite pieces to decorate a shelf with? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.