7 More Open Shelving Ideas!

As you may have guessed, this topic is so popular we just couldn’t fit all the ideas into one blog. So continuing on from last week’s article 7 Inspiring Ways to Use Open Shelves, we’re taking a look at how open shelving works in other areas of design as well.

1. Tall Stacked Shelves

This works best in a large kitchen that can afford the decorative space in addition to pantry storage. In designs that allow full depth shelving, it would be possible to leave out the bottom-most shelves and utilize the space for a stool or an island cart to tuck into!

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Adding open shelves in areas like this breaks up the repetition of a tall arrangement and makes a stylish statement of serving ware. (Gives me an excuse to make sure my platters are extra pretty!)
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Combining base and wall cabinets, we created a bookcase look by installing the shelves directly on the wall. With a contrasting wall color or even an entirely different material, the effect would be quite dramatic.

2. Shelf units and cubbies 

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While open shelves may conjure images of shelves that are freestanding, don’t forget about the preconfigured options that are easy to add to your design. Above: 3 Base wine cubes, combined with a simple radius corner base shelf unit tucked behind the seating area.

3. Center Island

This is where your creativity really gets to shine! The island is the hub, the focal point and the command station for those who have the benefit of having one in their kitchen. So get your pencils out and step your design up a notch by using open shelving and layered surfaces to make a grand statement!

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In this design, we wrapped the open shelving around the side and back of the island cabinets to allow the adjacent table to rest against it while still allowing access to the shelving. 

Take another look at how we created this:

(Right-click on the image below to expand in a new window. )ISLAND WITH WRAP-AROUND OPEN SHELVING_MEDALLION_SIPS AND TIPS

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Using a contrasting finish is not limited to the application of separate sections of the kitchen design. On this island, we used a different finish to define the slat shelving arrangement and seating area. We used the same finish on the hood to tie the finishes together.
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Continuing with the idea of pre-configured options, a simple bookcase cabinet tucked between cabinets achieves furniture-style appeal for open shelving. Remember to include our edge molding option for a more robust look.
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In this design, we combined open shelving and a row of drawers for a unique design statement and extra height for the shelf area. Our component drawers can be altered in height, depth and width for flexible placement in your design.
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A bookcase cabinet is elevated with tapered feet for a simple, yet eye-catching way to include open shelves at the end of an island in a more traditional setting.
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Utilizing our Base Island selections you can select either completely preconfigured and assembled units (shown below) or create combinations of your own. (above)

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4. Bar and Beverage Centers

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In this wet bar, we used a laminate that has a mirrored reflection and a bit of movement behind our center placed stack of open shelves.

Below, we see contrasting looks of style for open shelvings.

Adding a decorative edge molding is a simple installation that gives the look of floating shelves a detail that’s more traditional and furniture-inspired:

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Whereas a more contemporary or modern style is reflected when the shelving is minimal in detail:Medallion Sips & Tips

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6. Bookcases and Hutches

A standard in preconfigured options, bookcases have a great deal of flexibility to allow you to alter their look for both storage and display space.

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This corner includes two different looks for open shelves: On the left, we installed glass shelves on wood runners above the beverage area and on the right we specified counter wall bookcase cabinets and removed the bottom rail/floor to allow the wood top to extend the full length of the arrangement. 
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Adjacent to the center console, these tall bookcases include doors below and were specified with Roman arched valances. 
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The Deluxe Arch Valance is a simple addition to create a hutch look over a set of stacked open shelves.
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The bookcases in this design were specified without a valance to keep the look clean and simple; a look that is popular for Transitional design style. 

6. Desk or Office

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Open shelves add storage and display space to make the most of a mini-desk area at the end of a run.
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This office wall makes art of floating shelves by installing them both vertically and horizontally!

7. Entryway and Boot Bench

What better way is there to keep a family organized than with dedicated storage right next to the door? With open shelves, you can organize by subjects, like mittens or umbrellas, by adding tasteful baskets or fabric boxes, while adding interest to the decor.

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Practical tip: When placing shoes or boots on open shelves, add our drawer liner below (for dark finishes) or purchase clear contact paper to apply to the shelf for protection. 
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Open shelving need not be in multiples – in this design we used a single long shelf, reduced in depth, to complement the wood seat and add warmth to the simple white horizontal planks. 

So, there you have it! 7 more ways to break out of the mold with open shelving. The crazy thing is, our doubled-up list barely even scratches the surface! A quick Google search will show you that the only limit with open shelving is your imagination. (I searched on Houzz under kitchen photos, and received over 600,000 results!!) So take some time to save your favs from our articles and search for ideas of your own too! (I save my pics into folders by style for streamlining the conversation and presenting to clients. (Contemporary, Modern, Transitional, Traditional, Rustic, Farmhouse, etc.) )


CupDo you have other great sources for designing with open shelving? Articles you’ve read? Extraordinary designs? If so, please share via links in the comments below and spark a conversation in our community!

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