How to Style Functional Open Shelves

This is a sponsored post by Lowe’s Home Improvement. All opinions are 100% my own.

Y’all know I love open shelves. We’ve had open shelving in all five kitchens we’ve designed and each time I get the same feedback. Most love them as much as I do, but there’s always a few who say that they’re so pretty, but they just couldn’t sacrifice all of that functional space. You guys, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to!

I’m a firm believer that most, if not all, things in our home can be both functional and beautiful. That was my goal for styling these shelves. Obviously, I wanted them to be pretty, but I was determined to be very choosy about which items got a place on the shelves. If we don’t actually use it, it didn’t get a spot. I used to have a lot of decor just for pretty’s sake and I’m not saying there’s anything with that! But as I’ve shared over the last few years, we’re on a mission to live more simply. And for us, that means less stuff and what we do have needs to be purposeful.

The quote “Anything that takes up physical space takes up mental space,” has been my mantra. All stuff requires managing and our time is so precious. So, we’ve gotten more and more intentional about what we bring in and what we give our valuable resources to managing.

When we first started what addressing our “Stuffocation” problem, I was worried it would mean sacrificing the beauty I cherished in our home. But now I realize that it doesn’t in the slightest. In fact, in some cases, I find our home even more beautiful because I can actually see the space instead of seeing too much stuff and feeling that stress spike.

These shelves are so beautiful on their own! I absolutely love the planks in the back, the pegs, and that Escape Gray paint. Not to mention those copper barn lights! The built-ins and blue and white tiled hood were such a pretty view to begin with and I really didn’t want to take away from it. You can read the DIY tutorial for these built-ins here and the tiled hood post here.

To keep the tile and bones of this space the focus, I went with a fiarly muted, limited color palette. It was easy because these are colors and things I already had. I went with mainly whites and creams, but then added in coppery warmth and blues. Too many colors can be overwhelming on shelves especially if you have other major elements in the same view. I love how these colors all pop against the Escape Gray built-ins.

When it came to choosing things to fill the shelves, I started with identifying the must-haves for us on these shelves. It was a small list. I needed a spot for our everyday ironstone dishes, our ball jar drinking glasses, cookbooks, mixing bowls, and a few other dishes we use often.

Once I had those laid out, I knew I’d have more space to fill and I am absolutely in love with baskets! I love the warmth and texture of them and they are so pretty! But you also don’t get more functional than that because they can store all the things. I brought in several baskets and I love the color and feel they add to the shelves, but I also LOVE that they store things I need a spot for that I wouldn’t want displayed on my open shelves or that needs to be corralled like paper products.

Baskets are my new #1 MUST-HAVE when it comes to open shelving! I absolutely love how these shelves turned out.

1.) Every single item gets used by us. The things that get the most use are on lower shelves.

2.) The muted color palette and focus on more texture than lots of different colors keeps the tile and beautiful built-ins the focus!

I wanted to give you guys a really in-depth look at how I styled these shelves, so I put together a video of my step-by-step process! Check it out below:

Thanks for checking out my tips for styling shelves! Of all things to decorate and settle in our home, I do think styling shelves still ranks as #1.

You can see the full kitchen reveal here. It includes links to all products as well as links to all previous kitchen progress posts!

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I find your kitchen to be absolutely stunning!! It is so refreshing to see simplicity along with style which you have definitely accomplished. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful part of your home;)