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Quick Tips: Open Shelving


Happy Friday, everyone!

Welcome to our design blog.


Open shelving is a timeless trend in design and a properly styled shelf can have a lot to say! Today we'll be discussing how to flawlessly style open shelving to express personality while following some basic design principles. These tips can be applied to any open shelving within your home.

1. Balance is your best friend.

We've mentioned it several times across other posts, and it applies to open shelves, too! Balancing the visual weight of the shelves together is key. As you add pieces and create small vignettes on each shelf, remember to take a step back to view your progress. You want all of the shelves to look cohesive and evenly-weighted.

Photo: Cost Plus World Market

2. Consider contrasting elements.

Try a contrasting look by keeping the majority of your shelf elements in a contrasting tone to the finish of the shelf. This technique works well with built-ins that are darker. The lighter pieces help to lighten the visual weight of the shelves. You can also paint the back of the shelf white to achieve a similar look.

Photo: Shannon Claire Interiors

3. Keep a consisted color scheme.

The danger of open shelving, especially in a kitchen, is having it look cluttered and unorganized. Staying within a single color family helps your brain to visually organize the shelves, making it appear less busy. If you do want to add an accent, using small green plants works great.

Photo: Studio McGee

4. Use an eclectic mix of items.