Open shelving is not just a stylish solution for the flexible modern-day kitchen, it’s practical, too

Open shelving has become the hot trend recently as homeowners desire a bespoke look and want to fill their kitchens with personality.


If you use wall units in a small kitchen, opt for ones with panes of glass instead to make it feel more open.

It’s a relatively quick and easy way to transform your interior, plus if your kitchen is in an open-plan living area, this type of shelving can help integrate it into the space and soften the look of bulky built-in cabinetry.

Providing it’s well executed and with some careful planning, open shelving can replace a lot of the usual wall cabinets, which can often be overbearing in smaller kitchens and block out light.

In a practical sense, open shelving is ideal as it allows for easy access to cookware or ingredients and if it’s located in the right place it can make things much easier; fitting them above a dishwasher in order to make it simpler to put away the crockery, for example.


Break up a bank of wall cabinets with some open shelving in between, like this plate rack and shelving unit.

Everyday items, such as dishes and mugs, are best placed on these shelves, as they won’t sit around gathering dust. It’s actually the case that open shelving is much easier to keep clean than fitted wall units where it’s harder to reach into the nooks and crannies to keep dust and bacteria at bay.

But perhaps their greatest appeal is how they look. A carefully curated collection of decorative dinnerware and bright cookware will instantly inject character into your kitchen – it’s something that you’ll find a lot of in Danish kitchens, where they excel at this kind of display.

Often the most successful schemes are made up of strict tonal or monochrome palettes, plus using a selection of key pieces from the same collection will help to maintain a uniform look and prevent it from appearing cluttered or chaotic.