Open shelving, especially in the kitchen, has become quite a strong trend in recent years and this has sparked a mixed reaction. While some people love open shelves, others (including interior designers) don’t like them at all and would never consider having them.

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of open shelving in your Inner West home and how you can best take advantage of them if you have them or are considering installing some.

Pros and cons of open shelving

On the plus side, open shelving can open a space visually and you can curate what’s on your shelves to show off your personal style. If you have coordinated items such as pretty canisters, plates and cups, why would you want to hide them away in cupboards where no one can see them?

Open shelves are also ideal if you love indoor plants and are always looking for places to add more. Plus, if you love changing your décor with the seasons, open shelves allow you to unleash your creativity with what you display on your shelves.

Having open shelves in your kitchen is also quite practical because they can house the items that you use most frequently. Open shelving is ideal for small spaces because you can custom-fit shelves almost anywhere. This is great when you have limited bench space because you can install a shelf above your bench to house your most-used items.

But ‒ there are downsides. The main cons that come with open shelving are that things will get dusty; this means you’re going to be constantly cleaning both your shelves and everything on them.

While this is not a problem if you’re using everything on the shelves daily, it can become tiresome when what you have on your shelves is purely decorative. And if you cook a lot of stir fry in your kitchen, you’ll find that items and shelves alike will be covered in a fine film of grease.

You also need to keep in mind that if you want your open shelves to add to the visual appeal of your room, they always need to be tidy. If your cupboards are always immaculate, then open shelves should work for you. On the other hand, if your cupboards are a bit disorganised, then maybe stick to hiding your stuff.

So, if you’ve decided you do like open shelving and you’re up for the challenge, here are some dos and don’ts to make them work for you.

Dos for open shelving

While your open shelves don’t have to be magazine-worthy, they should reflect your style. So when you’re looking at all those glamorous photos of open shelving on Pinterest of open shelving, don’t just copy what you see if the result is no reflection of who you are.

Instead, take a hard look at your collection of items and select those that make you smile to place on your shelves. You might have a particularly gorgeous set of dinnerware that you love or mementoes from your travel. Arrange these on your open shelving as long as they look good and you’re going to use items frequently.

Remember to try for balance so not everything is the same height or colour. And as a general guide, the eye will settle more comfortably on items in groups of three or five rather than pairs.

Finally, keep an eye on the colours and try to tie in your display items with the colours that dominate the room. You can go for a similar colour or one that complements or contrasts.

Don’ts for open shelving

When the main aim is to make the space feel more open, you don’t want to see cluttered shelves so don’t pull out everything you like and fill the shelves.

Try to avoid having a row of items that are exactly the same height and shape as it can look a bit boring. Instead, add a little balance by separating these items with a piece of art or even a plant.

As a final tip, once you’ve placed all of your items on your shelving, take a photo and then analyse what you see. You might just notice that something doesn’t look quite right and that you need to make a few tweaks to get the look that you’re after. Keep going until you’re satisfied with what you see.

Can we help with your Inner West home?

Whether you’re ready to sell or need help to rent your investment property, we have the experience and local knowledge to make your property journey easier.

Looking for help selling your home or renting your investment property? Our team at Belle Property Balmain support homeowners across Balmain, Balmain East, Birchgrove, Rozelle and Lilyfield. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion or property appraisal.

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