5 innovative kitchen shelving ideas for a stylish heart of the home

September 19, 2023
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If you’re looking for attractive storage solutions for your contemporary heart of the home, open kitchen shelving could be the answer. For a start, it can offer you the chance to add personality and character to your space with prized display pieces. However, this style can also provide quick

and easy ways to access all sorts of items, from crockery to glassware. So, we asked furniture manager Doug for his advice on how to use kitchen shelving to its best effect. He also explains how to make the most of this long-lasting trend in the heart of the home.

Kitchen shelving aesthetics

Embracing open shelving in your kitchen has many advantages. One of the biggest could be that it looks so beautiful (and can be practical too). After all, you can use open kitchen shelving to create a display and enhance decorative pieces or stylish tableware. In addition, this can instantly create a focal point in the heart of your home.

You can also update your display as and when the mood takes you. And from a practical perspective, if you prefer a clutter-free kitchen, you can move items from your worktop to free up more surface space.

Tap into the trend with Tela

Open kitchen shelving ultimately allows you to show off your personal style. You can use this furniture design aspect to showcase special keepsakes, favourite cookery books or prized artwork. Or perhaps this could provide the perfect place for family photos, indoor plants or even fresh herbs?

If you’re keen to trial the trend for open shelving in your kitchen, but aren’t ready for a full renovation, our new Tela 900 Island Cooker Hood could be the solution. This clever, multi-tasking appliance comes with or without an additional shelf unit – the Tela 900 Island Cooker Hood Shelf. And this open shelving offers the perfect way to add a personal touch to your kitchen design.

Both options feature an on-trend matt black hood and frame, alongside black smoked glass. In fact, the main model already features one shelf, which is above the extractor. However, the additional open kitchen shelving can be installed to the right or left of the appliance to suit your room layout. Either way, the existing and/or additional shelves will allow you to create your own personalised display.

Island kitchen shelving

Many people think open shelves are positioned on your walls in the heart of the home. But your island unit can also incorporate this kitchen shelving and look super-stylish. Take our Hewish kitchen furniture, from the Classic collection, for example. This features a timeless multi-panel, Shaker-style door with six colour options in a contemporary matt vinyl finish.



You can see the kitchen designer has incorporated low-level shelving in the central island, to provide easy access to frequent-use items, such as everyday tableware. This type of kitchen shelving is both pretty and practical. There’s no stretching or climbing needed to access the contents. And I think open shelving, which features tableware, in a kitchen looks welcoming in an entertaining space and it’s easily accessible. So, family and friends can simply help themselves to a plate or bowl if they’re displayed on these shelves.


Chapter and Verse

Many people are put off the idea of open shelving in the kitchen because they are concerned this area will look cluttered. But this usually has the opposite effect. Closed cabinets are far more likely to be untidy, disorganised and full-to-bursting. This is because there’s no real incentive to keep them tidy.

Open kitchen shelving, however, is so easy to organise, it becomes second nature. If anything, open shelving in kitchens increases your storage options, too. There can be less ‘dead’ space and fewer awkward contours to navigate when compared to shelves in corner units for example.

Let there be light

If you prefer contemporary kitchens, you can still incorporate open shelving within your minimalist furniture. Our Verse range is a true handleless kitchen collection that incorporates a discreet integrated rail system, for an uninterrupted, effortless look. It’s available in a variety of on-trend, textured, matt or gloss door finishes.

One of my favourite options is our Verse Zeta Matt, showcased in here in Graphite (base and wall cabinets) and Cashmere (the island unit). Here, backlit open shelving adds more depth to this design, making a prominent display feature of the stylish white tableware within.

The kitchen shelving space race

Did you know that if you have a small kitchen, open shelving can make it look larger? That’s because visually, this draws the eye to the back of the shelf, instead of landing on the front of a door. Choosing light-coloured cabinetry can also help to introduce an illusion of space. I recommend our Verse Juko Matt kitchen in Ash showcased here and/or Cloud, if you want to make the most of a compact kitchen footprint.

Reflecting the trend for pale, contemporary neutrals, Juko Matt also works especially well in an open-plan environment that combines cooking and living. In this setting, the open shelving helps to create a symmetrical finish with the wall units and displays a mix of attractive tableware, cookbooks and other accessories.

The open/close compromise

If you’re completely sold on the idea of open shelving in your kitchen, but have dust concerns, there’s a solution. Our Novara Kitchen – which combines a slim Shaker frame with a smooth painted finish can include glazed wall units. This ‘halfway house’ between closed and open kitchen shelving really does offer the best of both worlds. The glazed fronts with furniture frames highlight the contents of the shelves behind, while helping to keep them clean. You can enhance this effect with downlights, which you can use on their own in your kitchen, and create a relaxed ambience in the evenings.

Glass cabinet doors can be a clever way maximise the flow of light into darker corners. This, in turn, creates an illusion of depth and space. They also help to make your kitchen look and feel lighter, brighter and more welcoming. Our classic-style Novara kitchen here features Hunter (green) and Porcelain base and wall units in a skinny Shaker with a satin matt-painted finish. This style is available in a variety of four rich and muted tones.

Keen to splurge on some new appliances to complement your new kitchen shelving? Click here for some expert advice on how to choose the right refrigeration options