More unites us than divides us. And a statement which we think will find universal agreement is this; our kitchens would benefit from more storage. Yep, not one to shy away from the big, searching questions here at IDEAL, we’re often asking for suggestions on how to free up more space in this most used room in the house. 

Recently, we’ve found solace (and space, lots of space) in open shelving, which can add so much to the heart of the home. With that in mind, here’s some fresh tips on organising your kitchen; our 5 open shelving ideas for your home.

STORE EASY TO REACH EVERYDAY ITEMS…

Though clutter is the enemy of good kitchen flow and therefore, great cooking, there is sometimes a danger of things going the opposite way, and having a kitchen which is too tidy. 

Too tidy?!’ is that even a thing, we hear you ask. 

Indeed, sometimes we think kitchens can actually end up looking excessively clinical and a little ‘showroom’ without some stuff on display to keep aesthetic intrigue alive.

Moreover, when everything is stored away in cupboards, it can be a pain to rummage through them, especially to find everyday items. The solution? You guessed it; open shelving.

A narrow stretch of open shelves in the kitchen can provide easy-access storage for dishes, mugs, coffee pots and other essentials that are used most often. So, that’s no more fumbling with drawers and cupboard doors with messy hands, searching for a whisk. Or whisky. Or Whiskers. Hmmm, we’ll stop that now. 

The rest just makes sense, right?

…OR OFT-USED INGREDIENTS

Open shelving is ideal for keeping oft-used ingredients close at hand too. The convenience of being able to reach for an ingredient easily shouldn’t be undervalued when you’re trying to cook like a pro. Indeed, there’s a reason all professional kitchens deploy open shelving liberally throughout their workspace. Unlike regular cupboards where everything is just crammed in, everything on open shelving has its designated spot, and this makes cooking cleanly and with precision a doddle. 

MAKE THE MOST OUT OF NOOKS & CRANNIES  

Open shelving needn’t take up those long sections of horizontal space in your kitchen. Nope, open shelving is actually ideal for all those awkward nooks and crannies that traditional kitchen cabinets won’t fit in, which otherwise just end up being wasted storage space. Flexible for small spaces, and adaptable to odd angles, a short length of open shelves can meet your storage needs without you having to remodel your whole kitchen.

We’ve found that kitchen remodel contractors often have showrooms which display this storage quirk to great effect, showing off some truly creative open shelving even in the tightest of spaces.

INJECT SOME PERSONALITY 

Open shelving can bring an aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. Use it as a space to show off that quirky mug collection, your stylish crockery or as a home for that old cheese grater from your great-grandma’s kitchen.  Personality is found in those trinkets you’ve collected on your travels and all the esoteric ingredients you use, and you wouldn’t want that hidden away, would you? Instead, let it all hang out but retain a sense of order via open plan shelving. 

While some souvenirs are just visual items, redundant for any actual purpose, the great thing about kitchen items is that they are functional, too. In fact, they can both bring aesthetic appeal and improve your cooking simultaneously. Some of the items which look best on full view in the kitchen include a pestle and mortar from South East Asia, ideal for grinding spices and pounding curry pastes in the most authentic (see: delicious) way possible, a tagine from Morocco, or a pasta maker from Italy. All show off your inquisitive, well-travelled personality, as well as having an ornamental quality.

SOMEWHERE TO STORE KITCHEN EXPERIMENTS

Need somewhere to store that sourdough starter or those pickles you’ve been working on; look no further than some open shelves. Here at IDEAL we’re huge fans of experimenting with fermenting. And we’re not the only ones. Fermented foods are having something of a moment right now. Appearing on trendy menus up and down the land and making celebrities of their chef champions, ingredients like koji and kombucha are now part of our culinary culture, with crocks and kiokes increasingly found on kitchen shelves across the country.

However, we’re sometimes guilty of starting a fermentation process, stowing it away somewhere warm to do its thing and then forgetting about it – only to find it months later with a layer of mould that may or may not kill us. Having your kitchen experiments in plain sight is a great way to monitor them (and a great conversation starter for guests, too) and open shelving is simply perfect for this purpose.