38 Kitchen Shelving Ideas
The open shelving trend is all the rage right now, but that doesn’t mean everyone should do it in their kitchen. Check out these kitchen shelving ideas to see all of the options that are available to you. Isn’t it about time you added a shelf or two to your kitchen?
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1. Incorporating Industrial Elements Into Kitchen Shelving Ideas
If you like the industrial look, then you’ll want to embrace an open shelves design as a part of your kitchen storage solution. You can choose to have some cabinets and some open shelves for the best of both worlds, with an industrial design theme helping to make it look natural.
The best solution for your industrial shelves is to make them yourself. Start with a wood shelf that’s the thickness and length you need. Then buy black pipes and use them to build your support brackets for the wood plank.
Another option is to have all-metal shelves. Look for ones that you would typically see in a commercial, office, warehouse, or manufacturing setting. These are going to give you an authentic industrial feel.
2. Sleek and Stylish
Make your kitchen feel like a professional commercial kitchen by replacing the shelving in your kitchen with stainless steel shelves. These help your kitchen to feel bright by reflecting light, and they are also easy to take care of because you can simply wipe them down. You’ll also find that stainless steel shelving is the most sanitary option because it’s non-porous.
Make sure you only use high-grade stainless steel for your shelves. Otherwise, you risk the metal rusting or corroding. This will look gross and be a health hazard. Commercial-grade metal is also thicker and stronger, making it less likely to scratch or dent.
3. Embracing Minimalism
A floating shelf is one that looks like it’s hung on the wall without any visual way of supporting it. That way, it essentially looks like it is floating on the wall. The modern trend is to replace the cabinets with floating kitchen shelves.
Be careful if you decide to rip out all of your cabinets and replace them with floating shelves. While this looks beautiful on social media and in design magazines, it’s not very functional in practice.
The first dilemma is that there’s nothing protecting your flatware or other kitchen items from the grease and other food particles that can get into the air while cooking.
This means everything is going to be dirty all of the time. The other problem is that there’s no way of hiding the clutter. If you’re the type who has one million kitchen gadgets, this is not the kitchen storage solution for you.
4. Functional and Decorative
A shelf bracket is the support piece that gives your shelf strength and lets you mount the shelf onto your kitchen walls. But your brackets aren’t just functional pieces. Because they are visible, you can also make them decorative.
For a craftsman, rustic, or farmhouse kitchen, you can choose a wood bracket. They’ll have carved scrollwork. Modern and industrial kitchens will look good with metal brackets. They have a sleek and streamlined style with minimal detailing. Luxury or elegant kitchens usually have brackets that are gold with lots of intricate designs built into them.
5. Maximizing Storage Space
Most modern homes are built with cabinetry in the kitchen. It typically consists of base cabinets that run along the floor or upper cabinets that are mounted on the wall. Your lower cabinets will have a countertop placed on top of them, which creates the work surface in your kitchen. Kitchen cabinets are a convenient and logical method for creating storage in your kitchen because they have cabinet doors that hide anything that you’re storing in them.
If you are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, then this is the perfect opportunity to create a new cabinet system within your kitchen. Look for ways to use modern innovations to create more storage out of the typical dead space in the kitchen cabinet setup. The most common spaces in the corners are hard to reach, dark, and often become either unused or the place where kitchen appliances go to die. Instead of letting this happen, install pull-out drawers, pull-out shelves, or even a Lazy Susan.
6. Hanging in Style
Not all shelves have to mount to the wall. If you have high ceilings, then you have plenty of space for shelves over the counters that are not against the wall. If you have a peninsula-style counter or kitchen island, you have a counter with space above it to hang open storage.
You’ll need to support your kitchen shelf on all four corners. This creates a platform that’s accessible from all sides. You can then use the space to display decor or attractive cooking tools like copper pots.
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7. Efficient and Space-Saving
Is there a particular counter spot that you like to work at? Then perhaps it’s time to add a wall shelf or two above it. Then you can keep your most-used items within reach. The shelf or shelves don’t have to be big. They just need to be large enough to hold the cooking staples.
You can also use your wall shelf to create a designated workstation. This is ideal for the coffee enthusiast. It doesn’t have to be a plain straight wall shelf, either. You can have corner shelves that are triangular shaped and fit into a dead space that isn’t currently used.
8. Versatile and Flexible
Not everyone has plenty of wall space to be mounting cabinets and shelves. If you live in a rented home, your landlord may not want you making holes in the walls. In both of these situations, a free-standing shelving unit is the way to go.
To keep your kitchen feeling open, look for a shelving unit that doesn’t have sides or doors. This lets you see through the shelving unit to the wall behind. It also makes it the perfect spot for displaying some of your favorite kitchen decor. Not all shelving units need to be large; you can have a small unit that sits on your counter.
9. Embracing Openness
Maybe the idea of having all open kitchen shelving isn’t an appealing one for you. This doesn’t mean you have to completely give up on open kitchen shelves. Incorporate a single open shelf or a couple of shelves into your kitchen design.
One of the most common open-shelving kitchen ideas is to remove one of your cabinets and replace it with two open shelves. Another idea is to connect your upper cabinets with shelves above your sink. If neither of these ideas works, consider adding an open shelf mounted to your upper cabinets’ underside.
10. Contemporary Charm
If you want to create the feel of a modern kitchen, then look for unique shelving. Shelves that are connected to long metal brackets give the illusion of the shelves hanging from the ceiling. Or have a wall with slots that you can mount and move shelves on as you need. This lets you have several storage solutions for specific items, like a spice rack, glassware, mugs, or cookbooks.
If you want to have a white kitchen that looks modern and upscale, consider using alternative materials. You can have shelves that use tiles on the front and top of the shelf, or have marble shelves that blend in with your marble backsplash.
11. Organized Pantry Solutions
Most modern kitchens have a separate closet that functions as a pantry. For some, it’s a small space that’s just deep enough to hold a few shelves. For others, it’s a shallow space that opens wide with full-sized closet doors. For the luckiest of homeowners, the pantry is a walk-in space with maximum kitchen storage.
No matter what size your pantry is, the best thing you can do is make the most of the space you have available. Look for a storage system that fits the space, works for your organizational style, and can hold the things you need. You may need a series of shelves, drawers, or racks.
12. Rustic Elegance
If you want to have a rustic or farmhouse kitchen, then using reclaimed wood is a must. Look for long planks of wood that have been salvaged from old buildings. These are going to make the best wooden shelves. It’s ok if your shelves have defects or do not all look the same. This is the beauty of having reclaimed wood.
The only thing that you want to look out for is possible injury hazards such as splinters, sharp edges, or pieces of old metal hardware that can accidentally cut someone. It also helps to have pieces of wood that you can make level and flat without too much trouble. That way, you can easily stack your kitchen items on them.
When using reclaimed wood, sometimes you don’t have a lot of say in what the type of wood is or how long the shelves are. Because of this, you’ll want to get creative with the wooden shelf that you build. You may have one long shelf that runs your kitchen’s entire length or several independent shorter shelves.
13. Smart and Practical
Kitchen shelves aren’t about just creating pretty pictures or an attractive kitchen design. They’re also meant to give you additional storage space. So don’t forget to consider how your shelves are arranged. This can be on the wall, in your cabinets, or in your pantry.
To maximize your storage space, your shelves need to match the items you need to store on them. You could arrange items by size. That way, you can have a shelf for shorter items closer to the next one. Another option is to create a series of narrow shelves that each store a wine bottle on its side. This not only utilizes the space best but is also the best way to store wine.
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Kitchen Shelving FAQs
The most common thing you’ll see on open shelves are everyday items like plates, bowls, and mugs. This makes them easily within reach to grab whenever you’re preparing food. Another common use for open shelves is to keep pantry staples like pasta, oats, nuts, or spices in jars. Keep items that you cook with often to eliminate the need to stop and go to the pantry each time.
You need to consider the color and grain of the wood you’re using. Since your shelves are going to add to the design of the kitchen, choose a beautiful wood. Your kitchen is also a high-traffic, moisture, and grease location. This means you need durable wood. The best options that fit both of these needs are maple, oak, and cherry.
The thicker the shelf is, the more weight it will be able to hold before it starts to sag. Look for solid wood planks for the most durability and strength. Another solution if you don’t want thick shelves is to add more support brackets. This will give your shelf the additional strength it needs.