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.

Create Your Dream Kitchen With the Leading Design and Build Company in London

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.