We have all seen those perfectly decorated shelves in Pinterest kitchens and magazine bookshelves “mine will never look that good”. The art of setting up an open shelf of any kind is actually pretty simple when you break it down and become intentional about what you choose to set out in your home.

These kitchen shelves were a very simple remodel that I completed recently, and I just love how they opened up our tiny kitchen space…. and I do mean tiny.Beautiful Kitchen inspiration- How to Style Your Open Kitchen Shelving

Tip #1: Keep Large Things Neutral

Try to keep big things neutral. I know I have given this tip before in decorating posts, but it truly makes your life so much simpler. Having a fun wallpaper or color on this wall would be lovely, but if you arent 100% confident in your overall design, this can just complicate things. Avoid a cluttered look and allow yourself some design wiggle room by keeping the space you are decorating neutral.

Learn how to decorate open kitchen shelves like a pro!

Tip #2: Leave Room To Breathe

Leave room to breathe. It’s hard to not use every nook and cranny on your shelves, especially if you are working with a small space. Trust me, you will be happier with the look of your open shelves if you leave a little space and group your items. This gives your eye a place to rest and keep things from looking cluttered.

Peaceful simple color Scheme for setting us your open kitchen shelving

Tip #3: Pick a Color Scheme

Pick a color scheme. This may be your scheme for the room or it may be based on the collection of favorite items you already know you want to display. Keep it simple.

Here I used black and white with natural wood and peachy toned accents. A little green never hurts to use in a kitchen shelving space because it is so natural.

Mixing old and new object is one of my favorite things to do! This combo of a Chemex and a vintage spice bottle is just lovely!

Mixing old and new items around the home give your house style and character.

Tip #4: Vary Sizes

Vary the size of your objects. This is really important to keep in mind when you are choosing items to store your not so beautiful things. Even open storage for your smaller items is a good idea. Again, this helps reduce clutter by keeping smaller items grouped and out of the way.

Mixing old and new items around the home give your house style and character.- How to Decorate Your Open Kitchen Shelving

Tip #5: Vary Materials & Purposes

Vary your materials and purposes. In a kitchen shelving situation, you will need canisters, of course! But don’t be afraid to display a couple of items that are purely decorative. This vase with a single flower serves no purpose, but it is a great place to store a vase and ties the look together. This will make your shelf styling look intentional and beautiful.

Bonus: For Kitchens…take things out of their packages. Canisters don’t just hold flour and coffee. They can be for your families favorite snack, cereals, and supplies you don’t often use (piping bags anyone?).

Take kitchen items out of their package and put them into attractive canisters and vessels. - How to decorate your open kitchen shelving.

Tip #6: Include Baskets

Find some large baskets that are fairly neutral for your space. If you have a dark wooden bookshelf, look for a nice dark wicker. I love these baskets because they are a nice white (which allows them to blend into the walls), but they also have that natural wood accent we need for the color scheme.

You will want open and closed containers for different items. Keep in mind, if you are going to be accessing the items often don’t bother with a lid. Lids can end up being another thing that clutters up your space.

Take kitchen items out of their package and put them into attractive canisters and vessels. - How to decorate your open kitchen shelving.

Tip #7: Create Groupings

Group your items. Create little groupings to disperse objects of different color, texture, and size. Here I used these groupings to structure the space of these very long shelves. Think about making little moments you would want to snap a picture of, then step back and adjust the overall look as needed.

How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition!

Tip #8: Layer

Layer some items, but not too many to avoid cluttering the space.

How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition!

Tip #9: Tie It Together

Adding in a large, decorative element is a great way to tie a shelf together. I love the colors of the “Everything beautiful in its time” print (It will be releasing next month in the Lily & Val 2018 Fall Collection!) This 11×14 was perfect to add some scale to the shelf design.

New Fall Print Sneak Peek! -How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition!

By leaving yourself spaces that seem too large, you give yourself permission to play around with the decorative elements of your shelf.

New Fall Print Sneak Peek! -How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition!

I hope you give your open shelves a refresh! Let us know how they turned out and tag us on IG @lilyandval. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Happy decorating!

New Fall Print Sneak Peek! -How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition!

The fall collection launches on August 16th. So if you love this print as much as I do check it out! There are so many other great options for any color scheme in the collection too…I’m in love!

New Fall Print Sneak Peek! -How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition! How to Decorate Open Shelving- Kitchen edition!