Kitchen Shelving Ideas: Maximising Storage and Style

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and it’s important to keep it organised and functional. Proper storage is key to making the most of your kitchen space, and shelving can be a great solution for both storage and style. In this article, we’ll explore different types of shelving and provide some creative ideas for small kitchens.

Types of Shelving

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves in a kitchen extension in London done by Plus Rooms.

Floating shelves are a great way to add storage and style to your kitchen without taking up too much space. They’re called floating shelves because they’re designed to look like they’re floating, without any visible brackets or supports, making them modern and minimalist. They’re usually made of wood or metal, and they can be installed in any number of ways, depending on the look you’re going for. The floating shelves in this Leppock Road kitchen extension help break up the bare brick wall, create space for decorative items, and include hidden lighting too.

Open Shelving

Open shelving in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Open shelving is another popular option for kitchens. This type of shelving is essentially just shelves without doors or cabinets. They can be built into the wall or installed separately, and they’re a great way to show off your dishes, glasses, and other kitchen accessories like in this Mandrake Road kitchen extension. This can add loads of character to your space if you use unusual or luxurious materials like reclaimed or solid wood, crafted iron brackets, or ultra-modern shelving. Open shelving is also a great way to make a small kitchen feel larger, as they create the illusion of more space.

Enclosed Shelving

Enclosed shelving in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Closed shelving is a more traditional option for kitchens. They’re similar to cabinets, but you can have more levels inside and there are no doors on the front. It’s a great way to make sure your shelves seamlessly match your kitchen cabinets and are ideal for storing smaller items, glassware, or even cookbooks and jars like in this Friern Road kitchen extension.

Shelving Ideas for Small Kitchens

Create a Pantry

If you don’t have a lot of cabinet space in your small kitchen, creating a pantry can be a great way to add extra storage. Pantries can be built into existing shelves or cabinets, or they can be installed as a separate corner or extra height unit. A pantry can be used to store canned goods, dry goods, and even small kitchen appliances like blenders and mixers, keeping counters clear.

Use Corner Space

If you have a small kitchen, it’s important to make the most of every inch of space. One way to do this is by using corner shelving. Installing shelves in the corners of your kitchen can be a great way to add storage without taking up valuable floor space. Corner shelves can be used to store dishes, glasses, or even spices and other small kitchen items.

Add a Pegboard

Pegboards can be a great way to add extra storage to your small kitchen. They’re easy to install and can be used to store anything from pots and pans to utensils and spices. Pegboards can be painted to match any kitchen décor, and they’re a great way to keep your kitchen organised and clutter-free.

Use the Inside of Cabinet Doors

The inside of cabinet doors can be a great place to add extra storage to your small kitchen. Installing hooks or shelves on the inside of cabinet doors can be a great way to store small items like measuring cups and spoons, or even small appliances like slow cookers and air fryers. This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of cabinet or countertop space, or if you want a very clean and minimalist look.

What to Put on Open Kitchen Shelves

Shelves filled with various items in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Open kitchen shelves offer the perfect opportunity to showcase your unique style and personality. To make these shelves look stylish and functional, you can consider displaying your favourite cookbooks, colourful dishware, and glassware collections. In this Marmora Road kitchen extension, the items on the shelf bring colour and life to this family home.

Don’t hesitate to mix and match prints, patterns, and textures to achieve an eclectic look that will brighten up your kitchen decor. A bit of greenery, such as the small potted herbs on the shelves in this Carminia Road kitchen extension, also bring a fresh touch to the display. 

Other options for open kitchen shelves are vintage finds, such as antique jars, copper pots, and kitchen gadgets. We love this classy touch of character in this Second Avenue kitchen extension. The possibilities are endless, so let your creativity run wild!

Lighting Kitchen Shelves

Lighted shelves in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Lighting is important in showcasing the items on kitchen shelves. Here are some tips for effective lighting of kitchen shelves:

  1. Use LED tape lights on the underside of the shelves as they are energy-efficient and emit less heat, like in this Bective Road kitchen extension.
  2. Place lights at the back of the shelves to create a backlight effect for the items on display like in this Rosemont Road kitchen extension.
  3. Place recessed lights into the underside of shelving for discrete task lighting like in this Leppock Road kitchen extension
  4. Use accent lighting to highlight certain items, such as a vase or a piece of artwork, on the shelf.
  5. Install a dimmer switch to adjust the light levels according to the time of day or the occasion.
  6. Avoid harsh and bright lights as they can create glare and shadows, making it difficult to see the items on the shelf.

By following these tips, you can add a touch of elegance to your kitchen and make your shelves a focal point.

How to Make Open Kitchen Shelves Look Great

There are several ways to make open kitchen shelves look great. One is to use a cohesive colour scheme or theme throughout the items on display. For example, using white or neutral dishes and glassware can create a clean and streamlined look.

Another idea is to mix textures and sizes of items. For instance, incorporating wooden cutting boards, woven baskets, and vintage glassware can add visual interest and depth to the shelves.

Organising the items in a visually pleasing way can also make a big difference. Stacking plates and bowls, displaying mugs on hooks, and arranging items by size and colour can create a balanced and cohesive display.

Lastly, incorporating plants or artwork into the shelves can add a pop of colour and personality to the space. Hanging a small piece of artwork or leaning a potted plant against a stack of dishes can make the open shelves feel like a curated and intentional part of the kitchen.

Shelving can be a great solution for adding storage and style to your kitchen. Whether you choose floating shelves, open shelving, or closed shelving, it’s important to make the most of your small kitchen space. By using corner shelving, installing floating shelves, creating a pantry, or using the inside of cabinet doors, you can create a functional and stylish kitchen that works for you.

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Plus Rooms is a full-service provider for all home extensions, including kitchen extensions.  Our London specialists will work with you through the entire process, from designing your new kitchen and managing planning permission to building the project and ensuring it is completed to your satisfaction. Contact us today to start the journey towards your dream home.

Design Inspiration: Kitchen Colour Ideas

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in any home. It’s where people come together to cook, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. So, it’s no surprise that many homeowners want to make their kitchens as inviting and unique as possible. One way to achieve this is by adding colour to the kitchen. In this article, our leading design and build company in London will explore some of the best paint colours for kitchens, kitchen painting ideas, why adding colour to your kitchen is essential, and alternatives to painting your kitchen.

Why Add Colour to Your Kitchen?

Although there’s nothing wrong with a white kitchen, adding colour to your kitchen can have many benefits. 

  1. It adds personality: Adding colour to your kitchen is an excellent way to show off your personality and style. It’s an opportunity to create a look that’s unique to you and make the kitchen a reflection of who you are.
  2. It creates a welcoming atmosphere: Colour has an incredible impact on our mood and emotions. Adding colour to your kitchen can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that invites people to relax and enjoy the space.
  3. It adds value to your home: If you’re planning to sell your home, adding colour to your kitchen can increase its value. A colourful and inviting kitchen is one of the most attractive features for potential buyers.

Best Paint Colours for Kitchens

Choosing the right paint colour for your kitchen isn’t always easy, but the great thing about paint is that you can always refresh it with another colour. Here are some of the best paint colours that will make your kitchen look modern, inviting, and unique:


Kitchen painting in white.

White paint is a classic choice for kitchens. It creates a clean, fresh, and bright atmosphere in the kitchen, making it look larger and more spacious. White paint also reflects light, making the room brighter and more inviting. A great example is this spacious Casewick Road kitchen extension.

See more white kitchen design ideas.


Kitchen painted in a grey colour.

Grey is becoming an increasingly popular colour choice for kitchens. It’s a perfect colour for modern kitchens, giving them a sleek and sophisticated look. Grey also pairs well with other colours, making it an excellent choice for those who want to incorporate other colours into their décor, like in this Garfield Road kitchen extension.

See more grey kitchen design ideas.


Kitchen painted in a blue colour.

Blue is a calming and soothing colour that works well in kitchens. It’s also versatile, as it comes in many shades, from pale blue to deep navy. Blue pairs well with white or grey, giving the kitchen a coastal or nautical vibe, like in this Bovill Road kitchen extension.

See more blue kitchen design ideas.


Kitchen painted in a green colour.

Green is another calming and soothing colour that works well in the kitchen. It’s also an excellent colour for those who want to bring the outside in, as it’s a colour commonly found in nature. Green pairs well with white and wood tones, giving the kitchen an earthy and natural feel, like in this Brightwell Crescent kitchen extension.


Red is bold and energetic, reflecting a passion for cooking and entertaining. Rich, deep reds add warmth and vibrancy to a kitchen, connecting with fresh foods and adding a touch of spice to your space. It looks great with white and neutrals, as well as wood and stone.

Kitchen Painting Ideas

If you’re looking to add colour to your kitchen, there are many ways to do it. Here are some kitchen painting ideas that can transform your kitchen:

Add an accent wall

Kitchen with a yellow accent wall.

An accent wall is a great way to add a pop of colour to the kitchen without overwhelming the room. Choose a bold and vibrant colour that complements your kitchen decor, and paint just one wall to create a focal point in the room. In this Rosemont Road kitchen extension, the bold yellow wall adds vibrancy and personality while connecting the different zones of the open-plan space.

Paint the cabinets

Kitchen with painted cabinets.

Painting your kitchen cabinets can transform the look of your kitchen instantly. Consider painting them a bright and vibrant colour, such as yellow or red, to add some energy and personality to the room. In this Vespan Road kitchen extension, the painted cabinets add serenity, life, and warmth to the space.

Paint the ceiling

Painting the ceiling is an unexpected way to add colour to the kitchen, and it adds a lot of personality and character to a space. Consider painting it a bright or bold colour to make the kitchen more unique and exciting. 

Paint the trim

Painting the trim in the kitchen is another way to add colour without overwhelming the room. Consider painting the window trim or door trim a different colour than the rest of the kitchen to create contrast and interest.

Small Kitchen Colour Ideas

Kitchen painted with dark colours.

It’s a bit of a myth that small kitchens need to be painted in very light colours. In fact, small kitchens can benefit from darker colours which make the space seem bigger, bolder, and more interesting. Just take a look at this Shardeloes Road kitchen extension, and you can see how the charcoal colour brings character and depth into the space and really highlights the other features.

How to Choose the Right Paint Type for Your Kitchen

Painting your kitchen is an easy and effective way to give it a fresh new look, but choosing the right paint type can make a big difference in the longevity, durability, and appearance of your new paint job. Here are some tips to help you choose the right paint type for your kitchen:

  1. Choose a paint that is moisture-resistant: Kitchens tend to be moisture-prone due to cooking and washing, so it is essential to select a paint type that can withstand high humidity levels. Consider using acrylic, latex, or oil-based paints that are moisture-resistant.
  2. Look for paint that is easy to clean: The kitchen is also one of the messiest rooms in your home, so you’ll want to select paint that is easy to clean. Choose a glossy or semi-gloss finish for your kitchen walls, as they are much easier to clean compared to flat or matte paints.
  3. Consider the colour: Certain paint colours tend to work better in kitchens than others. Bright colours like yellow, orange, and red can add warmth and energy to your kitchen, while lighter colours like white, pastels, and neutral hues can create a more subdued, calming vibe.
  4. Think about the finish: The finish you choose can make a big difference in the overall look of your kitchen. High-gloss finishes can be great for cabinets and trim, while eggshell or satin finishes work well on walls.
  5. Choose a high-quality brand: Finally, make sure you choose a quality paint brand that guarantees long-lasting performance and durability. Investing in higher-quality paint can save you time and money in the long run, as it will resist stains, peeling, and chipping.

Alternatives to Painting Your Kitchen

If you’re not ready to commit to painting your kitchen, or if you’re looking for other ways to add colour, here are some alternatives:

Add colourful accessories

Kitchen with colourful accessories.

Adding colourful accessories to your kitchen is a simple and affordable way to add colour to the decor. Consider adding colourful appliances, dishware, or artwork to add interest to the space. In this Lime Grove kitchen extension, the kitchen itself is quite neutral but the accessories add incredible personality, life, and colour to the space.

Patterned and colourful tiles

Kitchen with colourful tiles.

Adding colourful tiles to the backsplash or floors is another way to add colour to the kitchen. It’s a great way to create a unique look that’s not too difficult to change if you want a different colour scheme in the future. In this Pentney Road kitchen extension, the lime green backsplash adds plenty of personality to liven up the space.

Colourful lighting

Kitchen with colourful lighting.

Adding colourful lighting to your kitchen is a playful way to add colour without overwhelming the room. Consider adding colourful pendant lights like these elegant copper lights or under-cabinet lighting to add some interest to the space, just like in this Clapham kitchen extension.

See more kitchen design ideas here.

Speak to our Design and Build Company and See Your Home’s True Potential

Successfully transforming a property takes a combination of thoughtful design and expert construction, ensuring that the finished result is exceptional as well as practical and durable. As a full-service team, Plus Rooms is a leading design and build company in the UK that has designed and delivered over 1,400 home and kitchen extensions across London! To find out more about what we do and how our bespoke services can deliver the home your family deserves, contact us today.