Show Your Wares: Ideas for Open Kitchen Storage

From flea market finds to inherited crystal glasses, a collection of kitchen essentials often tells a story. Similar to the books in a home library, these wares lend an interesting note to an interior space, challenging the need to keep them hidden behind cabinet doors. We rounded up a few of our favorite open-shelving units; each one proves that showing off a well-curated collection also offers the ease of accessibility.

Above: We admire the slightly mismatched arrangement of these dishes and utensils; plates can be quickly grabbed from above or below and the lack of perfection gives this kitchen an eclectic feel.

Above: Swedish stylist and photographer Annaleena Karlsson’s kitchen has a limited palette of wood, stainless steel and white, but is still warm and inviting. The open units over the refrigerator provide a clever place to display glassware and pottery.

Above: In this English kitchen seen on Living Etc., the open shelves add a casual note to the space, keeping essentials within reach next to vintage bottles and jarred cooking spices.

Above: To keep an “urban imperfection” spirit in the loft-style kitchen she created, Remodelista contributing editor Allison added rows of open shelving to display her collection of glass and ceramic dining essentials.

Above: The Paris kitchen of trend forecaster and curator Li Edelkoort is evidence to her belief that “objects are narrative.” Her display of African handicrafts, earthenware dishes and various pots and utensils tells of her travels and life stories, while also lending function and ease to the cooking space.

Above: Bulk ingredients stored in glass jars are aligned along the open pantry shelves in this New Hampshire home seen via Design Sponge. The clear glass vessels allow the colors and textures of the various exotic spices and grains to show through.

Check out these other open storage ideas on Remodelista: Kitchens Under the Stairs, Open Rail Storage Systems and Camp-Style Kitchen.

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.6 months ago

This blog is further than my expectations. Nice work guys!!! Professional Movers

Gone Awhile B.
Past Member 3 years ago

I hate my open shelves...maybe I can make them more appealing. Thanks.

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L.3 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C.3 years ago

Works well - unless you live in the desert! A decorator, who was chided for suggesting a potential dust-catcher, told her client "Dust? Dust? I write myself notes in the dust!"

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim3 years ago


Sheri P.
Sheri P.3 years ago

i like it! wish my kitchen that looked like one of those...

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

the ideas are great but impractical... thanks for the lovely pics tho!

Kathleen K.
K K.3 years ago

Dust, dirt and grease ~ the displays look pretty, but I'll pass.

Laura S.
Laura S.3 years ago

Glassware next to the stove? Not in my kitchen. There is no exhaust fan in the world that can keep grease from settling on things near the stove. I have three things hanging near my stove, and they get used almost every day or even THEY would not be stored there.

If I had more drawers, I wouldn't even keep that crock of utensils next to the stove. I really hate it when I go to use an item from the crock and it's coated with a layer of grease. Rewashing things is a complete waste of time and resources.

The others are right. Open storage looks wonderful, until you have to dust.

Like the

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago