What, you didn’t realise that your shelves need to be styled up these days too? Well, if you’re that way inclined, they are another surface just crying out for a makeover. And when I gave my kitchen dresser a tidy up and a restyle recently, I was surprised at just how satisfying the end result was.
That immaculately styled white cupboard above is not mine, just for the record, but credit where it’s due to The White Company for providing some beautiful inspiration. My kitchen dresser looks like this now, since I gave it a bit of an overhaul and I’ve been trying to keep it that way. Out went the lingering kiddo crap and general detritus that tends to gather as well as any bits of crockery that no longer ‘sparked joy’ as Marie Kondo would have it. I think she may be onto something you know.
And now, there’s a bit of a unifying colour theme that ties it all together and stops things looking like such a jumble. But there’s still plenty of room for some of my collected favourites as well as our everyday dinnerware and one or two plants to keep things fresh too. Our dresser now looks like I always wanted it to: a display feature that’s also functional rather than just a messy piece of storage furniture. But until recently I’d never really had the time or inclination to
faff around with it style it up properly.
What provided the impetus and the inspiration? A bit of Pinterest dawdling as ever. Here are a few of my favourite styled shelving examples and there are more over on my In the Kitchen board if you’d like to browse further.
TIPS ON STYLING KITCHEN SHELVES
Choose two or three main colours at most to ensure the overall look is unified but not too matchy-matchy. For example, I chose varying shades of blue that allowed a variety of items but still left freedom to include mis-matched prints and one-off finds.
Mix textures. Combine glassware, crockery, wood and metal to add interest, warmth and light. Cutlery stacked in a glass, candles grouped in a vase or cereals stored in mason jars all look effective.
Play with proportions. Balance tall with squat, flat with round. Create an undulating skyline on each shelf rather than clumping everything of the same size and shape in the same place.
Combine pretty with practical. Of course you want your favourite pieces on show but I think everything in a kitchen should function, so use commonplace pieces you reach for everyday too. That way, when they’re regularly returned to the shelf, it will not only encourage you to keep things clean and tidy, but maybe have a rearrange rather than being a static display.
Try to include something handmade, bespoke or unique. Since I reworked my kitchen dresser, I’ve developed a mini obsession for handmade ceramics in unusual glazes. Try independent boutiques, craft galleries or Etsy for no-two-are-the-same pieces.
Introduce some greenery. Kitchen shelves are a great place to add to my growing plant collection as well and help to keep things looking alive (unless of course they’re not because I’ve forgotten to water them). Low-maintenance succulents and cacti are good choices in that regard and look really nice potted up in little cups or bowls.
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