Open shelving is a simple way of providing useful additional storage and can look beautiful when styled well and used efficiently. Open shelving can be an inexpensive way of transforming a space and can work particularly well in kitchens and bathrooms.
It's crucial that open shelving is styled properly, making sure that it don't become another space for you to declutter! These are my top tips for creating perfectly styled shelving that enhances the aesthetic of your room and provides useful storage.
Organisation Tips for Open Shelving
1. Decide on its purpose
In my experience, open shelving is most successful when it has a clear purpose. Either you could decide that it will display beautiful and less frequently used items, perhaps those that you use for entertaining. This can free- up much needed space in cupboards. Alternatively, open shelving can be used for items that you use most often- perhaps a tea/ coffee station or breakfast shelf. Decanting items into glass jars can create a lovely display.
2. Keep it minimal
Open shelving can look beautiful but dust will accumulate on items more quickly than if stored in a cupboard. For that reason alone, it's better not to overcrowd the shelf, making cleaning more challenging. It will also look more aesthetically pleasing if it's not cluttered, particularly because it's often at eye - level.
3. Play around with grouping items
You can have fun with open shelving, making them look lovely whilst providing useful storage. Grouping jars can look particularly effective and you could try varying the heights of items.
Image: McGee & Co.
4. Consider a colour scheme
Whilst this is absolutely not a necessity, you might find it to style open shelves if you choose items that go well together. You might like to choose items that are fairly neutral and compliment each other or do the complete oppose and pick items that make a statement!
5. Avoid appliances
On the whole, appliances and their wires can look unattractive. It might be tempting but you're less likely to be pleased with the look of the shelving if you store them here. Instead, I would try and free- up some space from the cupboards and display the prettier items and keep the appliances away and off the worktops.
6. Decant items
This applies whether your open shelving is located in the kitchen or bathroom. Items that are decanted into jars will always look more aesthetically pleasing and help you keep an eye on quantities. Equally items like cotton balls or bath salts can also look great displayed this way.
7. Consider lighting
Lighting can look particularly effective on open shelving and can easily be installed using LED strip lighting. Depending on the depth of shelving, they could be placed at the back or under the front edge of the shelves. By no means a necessity but it can add an extra touch.
8. Add Foliage
Plants can transform any space and the addition of a few potted plants, whether real or faux can make a real impact. Herbs in the kitchen also look lovely, provided they get enough sunlight on the shelf.
If you've read my other blog posts, you'll know how much I love baskets and their uses are endless. They can provide useful storage and contain smaller items on shelves. Ikea do some wicker baskets which are perfect for use on shelving.