Open shelves in kitchens are all the rage this year, and with good reason – they are airy, let you flaunt your collections, and ensure you practise good housekeeping. That being said, there’s a fine line between aesthetically pleasing shelves and a crowded warehouse. We’re here to help you style those open shelves like a pro.
What: Warm Industrial Style.
When: You like to keep it clean yet cosy.
How: This look respects negative space and knows how to balance it out. Complement exposed brick or concrete-clad walls with metal shelving or ones in a knotty-textured wood. When it comes to the display, go minimal – offset a tall stack of plates with a quirky droid salt and pepper shaker. Accentuate architectural details like a double-height ceiling by suspending an exposed light bulb from the outer edge of the topmost shelf. Pick kitchen accents made of clear glass, durable leather (an apron or over mitt), metal (a steel desk clock) and stone finishes. Don’t forget to pop in a colour or two – a sprightly gerbera or a fishbowl with a Siamese fighter, perhaps?
What: French Country Style
When: You want a touch of countryside cosy
How: This look is all about rustic charm. As your base, pick wooden shelves with minimal treatment, such as a light polish that lets you admire the wood grain or a distressed paint finish. Place objects made from natural materials such as vibrant ceramic serveware, bamboo platters and baskets, a tea-light lantern or two, a jug that serves as a vase, etc. Include classic toile prints as kitchen towels or frame a swatch or two. Draw palette inspiration from pastoral France: sunny yellow, cobalt blue, rooster red, etc.
What: India Modern Style.
When: You want to connect with your roots.
How: Given the country’s cultural diversity, the visual cues for the India Modern look are endless. Keep the shelves basic with good ole teak or mango wood. For the decor, pair family heirlooms, like dinner sets, pickle bharnis and recipe books, with contemporary Indian crockery like minimalist beaten metal plates, Ikat printed bowls or even small-town kitsch coffee mugs. The napkins your grandma embroidered for your parent’s wedding? Have one of them framed. If you don’t have any worthy collectibles, pick a region, perhaps one that holds happy memories for you. Pepper your regular kitchenware with a few travel keepsakes, local crafts, a framed recipe... you get the idea. Avoid a gaudy outcome by sticking to a colour scheme.