Kitchen shelving

Getting started with shelving for your dream kitchen

In terms of function alone, shelves are quite simple kitchen features, providing a useful and practical storage space for all sorts of kitchen essentials. More than that though, modern shelving solutions provide a fantastic opportunity to express your kitchen’s style through their form, design, and what you choose to display on them. Now, if you’re looking at installing (or re-installing) shelving solutions for your own designer kitchen, you might well have a new vision for what they look like, and what you’re going to use them for. But if you need a little inspiration to put the finishing touches on that vision, that’s exactly what we’re here for!

What do you need from your shelves?

Before you start looking at any sort of designs, this is the very first question that you’ll need to ask yourself. You’ll probably find that your choice of shelves depends a lot on the size and layout of your kitchen, and what kind of space you’ve got to work with.

If you’re working with a galley kitchen for example, with its distinctively long and narrow shape, then edge-to-edge kitchen shelving is generally an excellent choice, especially since it can help open up the overhead space. If you’ve got the floor space to spare on the other hand, you might also want to try tall tower open shelving. That can give you some much-needed storage space for a variety of odds and ends, from cookbooks to condiments to crockery.

And that leads us neatly onto one of the biggest questions – what are you going to put on them? Things like plates or bowls won’t need the shelves to be terribly deep. The same goes for cups and glasses, or the odd small kitchen gadget, like cheese graters, hand mixers or eggshell cutters.

However, if you need shelving for anything significantly weightier, like cast-iron pots and pans, kitchen scales or notably heavy kitchen tools, then you’ll need accordingly strong anchors. If in doubt, it’s always better to have your shelving supported by slightly too many anchors than too few. (If you’d like, you can drill the anchors for shelves into wall studs, which are less likely to give way than drywall.)

If you’re planning on storing lighter items on your shelves, but you want the option to store heavier or larger items there in future, it’s worth noting that a depth of 10 to 12 inches fits most functions.

Closed or open shelving?

Again, the choice as to whether should go for closed or open shelving will depend largely on how you’re planning to use it, and what you’re planning to use them for. Will they be largely functional, or used instead for display? Or maybe some combination of the two?

If you’ll be primarily using your kitchen shelving as an anti-clutter measure for your kitchen, then you might first want to look at closed kitchen cabinetry. That will enable you to keep everything neatly tidied away and out of sight, keeping your worktops clear and reducing the risk of accidentally knocking anything off them, sending it crashing to the floor.

Open shelving, on the other hand, is often (but not always) a more stylistic choice, and even more on-trend. Not only does it allow you to see your kitchen storage at a glance, but it also allows you to showcase those same possessions to guests or visitors, making it an ideal way to enhance your kitchen’s individual style. It’s a popular choice for showing off any uniquely styled plates and crockery, and maybe a family heirloom or two!

Of course, it’s worth remembering that you don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other. You could create a balanced effect by pairing one section of closed shelving with a section of adjacent open shelving showcasing your more impressive kitchen implements, allowing you to enjoy both practical storage space and a beautiful design piece.

Whatever you end up doing, it’s always worth thinking about the placement of your shelving too. Closed shelving is often useful to have close by to serving areas, so that any plates or crockery can be easily transferred to dining areas en masse. Open shelving with spices, condiments or implements on the other hand, is best placed more closely to stoves and cooking areas.

Ultimately of course, the final choice is all up to you – we’re just here to provide a bit of inspiration! And if you’re in need of a little more, feel free to take a look through our real customer kitchens, to get an idea of what we’ve done for previous clients.

Alternatively, you can just pop into any one of our stunning showrooms across the North West in Failsworth Manchester, Urmston Manchester, or BlackburnBarrowford or Liverpool, where one of our designers will be only too happy to sit down with you and discuss your plans for your dream kitchen. Our passion is to make your vision a reality!

Join The Community

Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Kitchen Design Centre