The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Scandinavian Kitchens - Open Shelving Ideas

Something I already knew, which was confirmed at KBIS in May...open shelving is HOT! It adds that warm touch, anyway it's done. Although, there IS an art to the arrangement of objects on open shelving, very much so. I designed my own kitchen (meant to be temporary, and here it is 4 years later) with lots of open shelving of various types to allow me to be surrounded by my collections. FYI, in the first image of my kitchen, the objects (all mine) were artfully arranged by the stylist on site when my kitchen was shot for publication last year, so I can't take credit for that! But, I digress.

Let's call today's journal entry, Scandinavian Wednesday, rather than Monday (late again) and take a look at how the Scandinavians "do" open shelving. They're very good at arrangements, the shelves themselves, and creating a look and feel of real warmth. Today we'll look at traditional shelves and arrangements in the kitchen.

It's not really difficult to put items on a shelf, but one may want to think in terms of "layering" the shelf. Put something behind, perhaps a plate, platter, or a piece of artwork, then something of a different color or texture in front of that, or monochromatic items if that look is pleasing. Books stacked sideways is always lovely, and a piece on top of the books, and so on. For me, it takes some time arranging until I'm happy with the look. There is volume, color, texture, proportion and balance to consider. Sometimes there are happy accidents, other times, it has taken precious time.

Next week (if I remember!) we'll look at shelving in modern kitchens.

Images are from left to right from the top down as follows: First, from lantligt, second, from boligmagasinet, third from sol-solstad, fourth, from Karna.sprayblogg, fifth, from Savannah-beach, sixth, from Masan Shabby Chic, and last but not least, from min lilla veranda.

Oh, I hate when I forget a detail, that's why it's also good for my subscribers to come to the blog to see if I've added something...take a look at the entire Scandinavian Kitchens category for more inspiring open shelving ideas! Heck, look at all the kitchens on the blog!  :-) 



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Reader Comments (7)

I like the idea of open shelving. I tend to keep my plate, glasses, etc. sort of orderly so that will work for me. Plus, so much less costly than all that cabinetry that usually goes on the walls.

August 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkathleen

I am loving open shelves in kitchens. My new kitchen has an open shelf make out of Stainless Steel. I like the shelf in your kitchen with the blue background. Is that paint?

August 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterpatricia gray

Yes it is paint. I think I may want to change it around, maybe new shelving with other colors inside. That's also what's fun about doing shelving, it can be changed for a fresh look very easily.

Kathleen, those are excellent observations, I feel exactly the same way as you about order and cost too.

August 5, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Open shelving in domestic and retail applications has somewhat become quite trendy in Australia. Definately takes the silence and ads warmth. http://www.shopfittingsdirect.com.au/

June 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShelving

We are re-doing our kitchen: finished cement flooring, stainless appliances,used restaraunt kitchen work tables,sink,etc.Open-shelving is on the list! We like it,however our non traditional styled kitchen won't add to the resale $ of a home in central Florida's suburbia. It's not popular and hard to find ideas/photos. Glad I found your site!

July 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Open shelving allows one to add more creative paint ideas to the kitchen. I.E. Change each paint color per shelf or design each one in different dimension, etc...

September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBosch Kitchen Mom

I'm right in the middle of re-doing my kitchen...and open shelving is what got me started! I'm so excited...there will be pictures on our blog when it's all done...I just hope I can get the right look, I'm still searching for a few last minute ideas!

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

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