For the last 5 years I have wanted open shelving in my kitchen. I love the way it looks, it’s clean, organized, decorative and functional. In our last house I faked it by just taking the cabinet doors off and painting the back of the cabinet, but in our new house I wanted open shelving for REAL!
This is what our kitchen looked like on the day we moved in. It has tons of potential but let’s face it, it was pretty ugly. We’ve been up to our eyeballs with projects like tearing down and building walls in the living room, installing the new wood flooring, redecorating the guest bathroom, and 1,000 little projects, so my kitchen has just sat….
But last week I went to IKEA with a friend of mine and bought shelves. I finally declared war on my ugly kitchen and decided to start the process of making it beautiful and it started with taking down the big upper cabinet and installing open shelving in the kitchen!
First we emptied everything out of the cabinet and then my husband unscrewed it from the wall. Just taking it down made the kitchen feel more open!
Now you’d think that while there was nothing on the wall that I would paint, so there’s not a big white square there, but I didn’t. I have big plans for this kitchen, and starting where the white ends, near the door, all the way to the right, over by the fridge, is going to get tiled. It’s not happening right away but I really didn’t want to bother painting something I’m just going to end up tiling, so I left it white.
Then came the shelves. These are the EKBY HEMNES shelves and corbels from IKEA, they are white, simple and perfect for my kitchen. Oh and they were only $29.99 each!
With the exception of the big white square behind them, I think the look pretty good! 🙂
After they were up I put some dishes and platters up there but they still needed to be styled.
After a quick trip to Goodwill, and pulling from a few of my own items I was able to put together a bright, summer theme for the shelves. I think I’m really going to enjoy switching out the colors for the different seasons and holidays!
I also got these new white dishes at IKEA. I’ve had the same white dishes, from Walmart, since I moved out on my own 13 years ago, so I figured it was time for some cute new ones. The little yellow dish was one of my Goodwill finds.
Using platters and dishes, that I had around the house, I layered them in the back to give depth and style to the shelves.
The white picture/bowl combo on the top shelf, and the yellow dish on the second shelf were also Goodwill scores. The yellow cake plate on the top shelf was what started the yellow inspiration. 🙂
I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. I love the openness of the shelves, I love that I can see my pretty dishes and glassware, and I love how clean and bright it is.
I can’t wait for the day I get to rip the huge, ugly backsplash off the wall and put up pretty tile, but until that day I will just look up and enjoy my shelves and all my pretty dishes.
I also ordered this light from Home Depot to put above the sink, I think it’s going to look so much better then the can light that’s up there now.
There is still so much work to do, this is ONLY the beginning, but I’m excited! Painting the cabinets is next on the list, but here’s a rundown of a few of the other things we’re going to be tackling in the kitchen.
What do you think of the new open shelves? Are you a fan of open shelving, yay or neh?
Lots of fun changes coming your way! Love the shelves, and can’t wait to see it all finished!
You still have a way to go but, if you look back you will also realize how much you have already accomplished. The shelves turned out to be a really lovely focal point. Also, it feels so much lighter and brighter. You almost feel as if you have replaced the window with a larger one. Speaking of replacing…I have a suggestion that you may want to consider (or you may have already thought about but crossed off your list. On the wall with your new shelves but at the end next to the refrigerator, I saw a small cabinet that abuts the refrigerator. Have you considered removing the little cabinet and replacing it with shorter shelves that match the shelving on the other side of the window. It would give you more display space and add continuity to your design. I kept returning to that picture and looking at that area and something just kept bugging me . Finally, I figured out it is that one lonely cabinet. So, unless that cabinet has to be kept, I think converting the area to shelves also would be awesome. Then you would also have the whole side of the fridge cabinet free to hang a message board, pictures, a calendar. With your creativity you will be able to think of hundreds of options.. Try altering the photo and you will be able to tell whether you like it or not. I can’t wait until you paint the cabinets. I may being doing the same thing later this year.
Good luck and I sure am anxious to see the final product.
Ginny @ OrganizingHomelife.com says
I love it, Anna! You did such a nice job with the vision for your kitchen. I haven’t been much of a fan of open shelving, but you may have just sold me on it. I love that you can decorate it for the seasons, too. Well done.
Sadly, all I can see is a bunch of dust magnets, serving no purpose other than looking pretty, when you used to have a versatile cabinet providing dust-free storage. You couldn’t see through the glass doors you had already? You had to go buy stuff you didn’t need just to “design” the shelves? I hope you don’t regret this, because it has very negatively impacted the value of your home should you ever wish to sell it. Your cabinet space used to be limited but now it doesn’t exist.
Autumn Cappalonga says
I think the open shelving is breathtaking. To me it is more functional that it was before.. You have everyday dishes right there.. and don’t even need to open the cabinet. Beside that, it is beautiful… so it serves as decoration as well. I love that she can change out the dishes to coordinate with the seasons. To me “looking pretty” serves a really big “purpose.” When I am in my home and it is beautiful, I am happy to be there, so doing the everyday chores actually bring me great joy because I enjoy being in there so much. I can’t imagine these collecting much dust. First of all, her home is clean. Secondly the dishes are used often, and lastly they will be changed out with the seasons…. Great job, Anna. I LOVE it! 🙂 🙂 :).. and I am going to head over to IKEA.com and order my new shelves so I can have a beautiful focal point in my kitchen as well.
I love the look of open shelving but I’m concerned about the dust build up. Maybe it’s because we live on a gravel road and I dust a lot, only to have it look I did’t touch a dust rag! And, dust in the kitchen always seems to have a greasy element too. I’ll be watching comments and reports to see others’ thoughts. It looks beautiful, and I love your plans (and I’m just slightly envious of your IKEA store!)
Haha, don’t be envious, we live 2 hours away from it. 🙂 I’m not too worried about dust because most of the dishes up there we use constantly. Some of the specialty glasses (margarita, etc) I’ll just rinse out before we use them. 🙂
Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse says
I just found your blog and I love how much you loving open shelving! Some people are VERY opposed to it – even if it’s not there home! – as I’ve learned. I took down my very awkward, inconvenient upper cabinets in favor of open shelving.
I gained storage and the kitchen is now much more “me,” but I have faced a lot of criticism from people who say it will get filthy, no real cook would choose them, blah blah blah. For me, they work perfectly and I don’t have an issue with grime. Seeing your post made me SO happy – it’s great to see someone else favor open shelving. Yours are beautifully styled and now I’m off to tour your blog to see more of your kitchen.
Thank you! Yes, I received a lot of negative comments about it, especially on HomeTalk. Too bad it’s my house though and I love them! 🙂 I’ll have to check yours out!