Chic Styling: Open Kitchen Shelves
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Open or closed shelves in the kitchen? This has been the dilemma of many homeowners for years. If you have a small kitchen with tight, awkward corners like I do, having open shelves is not only a great solution - it's the only solution.
But, is it practical? And what about all the dust and grease? These are indeed reasonable concerns. If open kitchen shelves is something you're considering, check out these tips on how to make it work.
Tips for Making Open Kitchen Shleves Work for You
The first thing to know about styling an open shelf anywhere - not just in the kitchen - is that it absolutely must look effortless. You should also know, however, that it will take several attempts to get it just right. Yes, all those beautiful displays you see in stores were styled, and re-styled before finishing with something breathtaking. Following these steps should help ease some of that frustration.
Start with a clean slate.
You're imagination cannot flow freely in a cluttered space. So remove everything from the shelves and give them a good scrub down until they sparkle.
Mix everyday items with accessories.
Before running off to the store to buy accessories, look around the room where the shelves will be showcased. What items in the room do you use on a regular basis? Are these visually appealing? If yes, store these often used items, like dinnerware, on the lower shelves, and the less often used items on the upper shelves. This is the key to keeping the space virtually dust, and grease free. The more you access the items, the more likely you are to clean the shelves on which they are stored.
Use triangle groupings.
"What's that?" you ask. It's a method of arranging items in a way that looks more appealing to the eye. Triangles work best with groupings of odd numbers. The photo below is an example. Notice that the items have been arranged in a right triangle configuration (say that fast three times). The tallest item (the wine rack) gradually descends to the smallest item on the shelf (the tea set). Notice also, that I've created triangles within the triangle. Thus, the tea set is creates a triangle. The cheese board, greenery and white platter create a triangle. And still another triangle is created between the wine rack, the greenery, and the cheese board. Yet all seven of the items together create one large triangle. Got it? Good...moving right along.
Avoid cluttering the space.
Sorry, this is not the place your favorite 7-Eleven cup. You also want to avoid broken or chipped items here, and loose papers. If you're working with floating shelves, remember not load them down with heavy objects. Try laying cookbooks sideways to create a riser for your triangle grouping, then place an herb, or a course salt jar on top. Gather loose recipes into a binder and place the binder in an attractive magazine holder. Remember, only the most handsome, often used items go here.
Add greenery or herbs.
Nothing brings life to decor styling like greenery and herbs. I've used faux greenery here. Fresh fragrant herbs like basil or rosemary are also great - useful - options.
Play around with the arrangement.
If you don't like your first attempt at open shelf styling, move things around a bit. Almost no one gets it right on the first try. But I promise you that styling gets easier the more you do it.
Why not put these tips to work in your kitchen? After you've created something wonderful, send me a pic. I'd love to see what you come up with. Who knows, I just might feature it in a later article. A la prochaine fois!