13 Open Shelving Ideas That Wow—From Kitchen To Pantry


Why hide your beautiful belongings behind closed cabinet doors? Let these spaces make the case for open shelving, whether you need additional storage or simply desire a statement-making display.


A modern wallpaper with amorphous black shapes lines the wall in back of open kitchen shelves.

Photo: Aubrie Pick

The kitchen had been recently renovated, so the designer added just a few touches to tie the color palette into the rest of the home, opting for Calico’s Satori Zenith wallcovering behind the open shelving. The walnut-and-brass swivel counter chairs are by Bassam Fellows from Coup D’Etat.


Small barstools sit in a kitchen defined by black cabinetry

Photo: Tria Giovan

Airy open shelving, bleached white-oak tongue-and-groove paneling on the appliance fronts and Calacatta marble countertops from North Shore Stone balance opposing cabinetry painted in Farrow & Ball’s Off-Black. The Kohler faucet, Allied Maker sconces, Lostine pendants and Summer Studio stools echo the casework finishes.


White kitchen with maple island, white countertops, clean-lined vent hood, four counter stools, glossy white ceiling

Photo: Julia Lynn

The kitchen’s open shelving allows for splendid vistas while displaying functional wares, plus pottery from 214 Modern Vintage in High Point, North Carolina. Keenan mixed in natural materials—white oak appears on the island base and adjacent breakfast room ceiling—to warm up the sunlit space. A dolomite marble backsplash juxtaposes white Namib marble countertops, which are joined by McGuire swivel counter stools.


contemporary kitchen black cabinetry white tile backsplash

Photo: Haris Kenjar

Open shelving in the kitchen offers a place to display the homeowners’ collection of dishware and glassware. Behind is a wall of Statements Tile and, below, Caesarstone tops the cabinetry.


Curtis commissioned a steel shelving unit by KGBL to house her clients’ collection of vintage glassware in the kitchen. The pendant is by Visual Comfort.

Photo: Eric Piasecki

Designer Kati Curtis commissioned a steel shelving unit by KGBL to house her clients’ collection of vintage glassware in the kitchen. The pendant is by Visual Comfort.


oak tongue-and-groove ceiling panel with a wet bar and blue arm chairs

Photo: Brantley Photography

Cabinetry and oak tongue-and-groove ceiling paneling by Escobar Enterprise lend a nautical feel to the pool cabana, as do the Deco-style Ralph Lauren chairs and vintage side table atop a Serena & Lily rug. The wet bar, with a Kohler faucet from Ferguson, is a one-stop spot for entertaining needs.


Bar featuring cabinetry painted Sherwin-Williams Riverway

Photo: Claudia Casbarian for Julie Soefer Photography

Sherwin-Williams Riverway brightens the bar area with its custom cabinetry, brass-and-glass shelves fabricated by Peck & Company and a metallic raffia wallcovering by Donghia.


Photo: Nathan Schroder

Sherwin-Williams Foggy Day in high gloss coats the cabinetry and walls in the bar, which was converted from a large pool bath. The Hudson Valley Lighting lantern complements the Rohl faucet, and the shade fabric is Clay McLaurin Studio.


A dining room bar has a mirrored backsplash.

Photo: Kimberly Gavin

Taking advantage of the beautiful mountain sun, designer Michele Merz incorporated many materials that reflect and bounce back the light. The dining room’s bar, for example, is like a jewel box with an antique-style mirror backsplash, Cambria quartz countertops and a Brizo brass faucet.


blue walk-in wet bar with mirrored blacksplash

Photo: Marius Chira

When the family entertains, the walk-in wet bar located just off the dining room serves as a festive spot to mix libations. Playing off the patterned floor tiles and antique mirrored backsplash, designer Alexander Doherty swathed the millwork in Farrow & Ball’s cheeky Rectory Red.


contemporary pantry blue cabinetry glass shelves

Photo: Julie Soefer

Accents in Iron fabricated the butler’s pantry’s glass shelves with plated chrome and supplied the antiqued mirror that backs them. Bellasera Design fabricated the honed Taj Mahal quartzite countertop; art lights from Circa Lighting illuminate the barware.


The butler's pantry is a glossy evergreen.

Photo: Dustin Halleck

Designer Alexandra Kaehler craved artwork in the butler’s pantry but was limited on space, so she did the next-best thing: Put a graphic motif by London-based designer Beata Heuman on the ceiling. A shimmering mosaic backsplash sourced from the Tile Bar is a light interlude from the jewel-toned cabinetry.


The kitchen has modern quartzite countertops and open hanging shelves.

Photo: Cynthia Lynn

Natural white-oak cabinets by O’Brien Harris and Taj Mahal quartzite countertops lend the kitchen a modern slant. Conical pendants by Kelly Wearstler for Circa Lighting add a cool geometric accent over the island, and hanging shelves keep the interior space feeling remarkably open.