How To Decorate Kitchen Shelves (40 Great Ideas)

Open shelves in kitchens may seem like a new trend but have been around since the 1920s. Kitchen shelves are becoming popular again.

There are many ways to decorate kitchen shelves, using décor and items you already have in your kitchen. Here are some ideas to get you inspired with your kitchen shelves.

Organized Kitchen Shelf

Organized Kitchen ShelfPin

The kitchen shelves are neatly organized, making the space look less cluttered. The most used and needed items should be placed on the counter, such as the microwave. Less important items should be placed at the top, such as the baskets and décor.

Easily grab what you need while working and baking in the kitchen. All you need to do is reach for the items from the shelves to quickly get the job done. It also helps that the shelves and some of the utensils match the wood on the lower cabinet shelves.

Blush Kitchen Shelf

Blush Kitchen ShelfPin

The colors on the utensils match beautifully with the light-gray walls and cabinet doors in this kitchen. The jars, dishes, and other important items are in calming colors such as pink, white, and blue. Despite there being so many pieces, they are all grouped together to easily find.

The different levels of the shelves on the wall give an interesting feel and look of the space just above the bronze sink. It is a great idea that the counterspace is left open to use to cook or bake when needed.

Coffee Mug Shelves

Coffee Mug ShelvesPin

If you want to put your coffee mugs on display in your kitchen, these shelves can give you a great idea on how to organize them. You can hang mugs from the shelves or place them on top. The placement of the mugs and colors in this space create a design of its own in the kitchen as well.

There is also space to add some décor pieces to the top of some of the shelves. I would make room for festive décor items on these shelves during the holidays to change it up a bit.

Holiday Kitchen Shelf

Holiday Kitchen ShelfPin

The mix of décor and kitchen items on these shelves is perfect for the holidays. A mix of functional and pretty decorative items to look at make this a fun kitchen to work in during the holiday season.

The basic white cabinets and shelves also makes this space a great place to change throughout the year, since white goes with anything. In this case, the red really pops against the gray wall and white shelves.

Colorful Kitchen Shelves

Colorful Kitchen ShelvesPin

The shelves in this kitchen are filled with colorful places, cups, jars, and other kitchen necessities. The colors used give a feel of spring or summertime. There is plenty of space below the white shelves to hang some things, such as the kitchen towels and measuring spoons.

The colorful jars look pretty on their own, but would look even more interesting with sugar, oil, and other condiments in them. You can also change out the towels as the season changes and the spoons with hanging décor.

Vintage Teacup Shelves

Vintage Teacup ShelvesPin

Another way to decorate shelves is by showcasing some of your favorite cups. These hanging vintage teacups give an old-school flair to this small wooden shelf. There is space to display other items on the top and bottom shelf.

If you prefer a shelf over hooks, you can make one similar to this, but with flat boards on every level instead of hooks. The fabric adds a nice touch of décor to the shelf as well. You can also easily change out what you want to display here over time.

Spices Kitchen Shelves

Spices Kitchen ShelvesPin

A spice lover will prefer to display their spices like this on a set of shelves on the wall in their kitchen. Several levels are spaced out differently for small and larger spice containers. A visitor entering the kitchen will know immediately that the owner enjoys spices, oils, and pasta in their meals.

These shelves are a great way to save on counter and cabinet space when there isn’t room for spices and other items in these areas. A variety of jars in different sizes and styles are grouped together for a neat appearance, despite the amount of items on the shelves.

Open Kitchen Shelves

Open Kitchen ShelvesPin

This simple, yet beautiful kitchen has white shelves that line up against the brick wall, on either side of the oven vent. This industrial look is great for those who want a basic look to their kitchen, with plenty of open storage space.

Dishes and cooking ingredients are kept in groups on each shelf, creating a tidy space despite the number of items.

Blue and Brown Kitchen Shelves

Blue and Brown Kitchen ShelvesPin

White is a popular choice for kitchen shelves, since you can do so much with them. The blend of white, wood and light-blue dishes creates a beachy atmosphere among the pieces here. This space would work great in a small kitchen, where just a few items are needed at a time.

There is also space for décor pieces, such as the creamer filled with dried wheat, which adds a decorative element to the space, and looks great year-round.

Wood Kitchen Shelves

Wood Kitchen ShelvesPin

Natural wood is another great choice for kitchen shelves, since it goes with many other colors. In this case, keep the kitchenware natural to blend in with the wooden shelves. The wicker items add a nature-like feel to the space.

The empty spaces along the top shelf would look great with some colorful décor pieces that match the season and rest of the kitchen. Even unused colorful dishes would add some festive color to the top shelf.

White Kitchen Shelves

White Kitchen ShelvesPin

These white shelves may blend in with the wall behind but makes the copper and brown dishes stand out even more. A mix of old and new pieces create a rustic look to this space. The empty glass bottles add a sense of mystery but can be filled with kitchen baking goods later when needed.

It looks like there may be more space to add shelves on either side of this one. If that is the case, then adding shelves can free up more counter space in the kitchen.

Corner Kitchen Shelves

Corner Kitchen ShelvesPin

Baking goods and dishes are within arm’s reach on these corner shelves. This is a great way to use the open space here. The brown shelves happen to go well with the baking ingredients found in the clear-glass jars.

Soft-colored décor items would make a great addition and add color to this neutral space. Even adding just a small bouquet of flowers in a white vase would change the look.

Self-standing Kitchen Shelves

Self-standing Kitchen ShelvesPin

Self-standing kitchen shelves are an alternative to traditional shelves that are attached to walls. The black metal and glass on the shelves go well with the black-and-metal details found on the other side.

The green houseplants on the shelves also bring this part of the kitchen together with the space against the green wall. Some black shelves with items would be a great way to use the space on the wall between the light fixtures.

Industrial Kitchen Shelves

Industrial Kitchen ShelvesPin

Using open shelves along this wall is a great alternative to using cabinets. The minimal amount of space used works well with this industrial kitchen, but there is always room for more items to be added.

More neutral colors can make a great addition to the gray, black, and white. There is also plenty of space to add pops of color. Since there is some green on the kitchenware, add more of this color to dishes and kitchen accessories on the shelves.

Wooden Kitchen Shelves

Wooden Kitchen ShelvesPin

The shelves in this kitchen are strategically placed in some open space above the wooden cabinets. These shelves blend in well with all the wood in this kitchen. The room is mainly made up of browns and other natural colors.

Items on the shelf are also in neutral colors. The vase with flowers is a nice touch. This décor piece and other items on the two shelves can be changed with the seasons.

By just changing out the green plants with flowers in the same color will change the look of the kitchen slightly.

Window Kitchen Shelves

Window Kitchen ShelvesPin

Shelves are placed in front of the kitchen windows, which is a great way to use space in a small kitchen or when you have many items you need stored in the kitchen. The shelves are open to enjoy plenty of sunlight during the day.

Despite all the kitchenware on the shelves, they do not look cluttered since they are all neatly stacked or on display in groups of similar items. The most used items should be lower, with seasonal items at the top.

White Vintage Kitchen Shelves

White Vintage Kitchen ShelvesPin

The colorful cups against the teal wall create a whimsical look in this kitchen. The white shelves also stand out against the brightly-colored dishes and wall.

The coffee and teacups are so colorful that they can also be used as décor pieces hanging from the shelf. The clear glasses add some dimension to this space. The colorful sugar containers also add some color and décor to the lower shelf.

Added floral elements would be nice, as well as more colorful dishes in place of the glass ones.

Colorful Kitchen Shelves with Tableware and Décor

Colorful Kitchen Shelves with Tableware and DécorPin

These white shelves feature a different color in each square. There is a great balance of dishes and floral decorations in all the shelves. Some have only dishes while others have just décor, but altogether the items look great.

The wooden dishes in the lower right stand out since they are in dark, neutral colors, as opposed to the brighter colors used in the other shelves. A better balance might be achieved by trading these wood pieces with lighter ones.

Rustic Kitchen Shelves

Rustic Kitchen ShelvesPin

The two sets of shelves on either side of the chalkboard is a great use of the wall space in this country style kitchen. Items on the shelves should be ones that are frequently used. Other items can be stored in cabinets.

The shelves on the left have cans of coffee, with other dry goods in clear canisters. The wooden containers on the lower shelf blend in with the wood wall. Some of these items can be switched out with décor, although there is plenty of greenery around the windows.

Floral Kitchen

Floral KitchenPin

The blue floral wallpaper is a great addition to the brown shelves in this kitchen. It adds some colorful design elements to the wall as well. There is a nice blend of neutral-colored items and green, floral décor on the shelves, which match nicely with the rest of the colors and design in the kitchen.

More dishes and décor could be added to the top shelf. The glass dishes and vases could be traded for items that are similar in color to the dishes on the lower shelf. The top shelf would also be a great place to add more houseplants.

Natural Kitchen Shelves

Natural Kitchen ShelvesPin

This open cupboard with shelves looks great against the bright blue wall. The natural color of the wood makes the white and light-gray dishes stand out. Green houseplants is a great way to decorate the area and looks good all year long.

Cups and plates are stacked neatly on top of each other, to avoid looking too cluttered on these shelves. It would be a great idea to switch out some of the dishes to more colorful ones that match the holidays or season.

Pastels on Shelf

Pastels on ShelfPin

Pretty pastel dishes look great on this white vintage shelf. A shelf like this would look great in a small kitchen or one where extra space is needed to store items.

Select your favorite kitchen dishes and other items to display on a shelf like this. Make sure the rest of your kitchen is in similar colors to match the dishes. The white frame at the top is not necessarily needed, since the shelf and items on it are plenty of décor for this wall space.

Vintage Kitchen Shelves

Vintage Kitchen ShelvesPin

The wooden shelves in this kitchen are decorated with beautiful dishes in a vintage, floral pattern. The fabric valances on the shelves also match the pretty dishes.

These dishes look like they are on display during the spring or summertime. This would be a great place to display different china pieces throughout the year. The valances are a nice addition of décor but might be better if taken off or replaced with a color that will match other décor throughout the year.

Green Items on Shelf

Green Items on ShelfPin

The dishes and kitchenware in lime-green and white match well with the herbs plaque. The light fixture on the wall can make this space glow in the evening.

Despite the small shelf space, it is wisely used with small items. The small, white teacups fits neatly on the bottom shelf, even though they have to be stacked. The containers with various liquids have their place on the top shelf.

Hooks can be added to the bottom part of the shelves if the space is needed.

Open Cupboard Shelves

Open Cupboard ShelvesPin

Open cupboards are a great alternative to cupboards that are closed. You can show off your dishes and flair for design with an open-shelf concept like this one.

Make sure to arrange items so that the space does not look cluttered, especially if you have a considerable amount of dishes. You can choose to display your favorites, then store the rest in the closed cupboards below.

The green plants in white vases is a great way to add décor with just a little color.

Cups Kitchen Shelves

Cups Kitchen ShelvesPin

The shelves seem to blend in with the walls in the same type of wood. Using narrow slabs of wood as shelves is a great way to make shelves if you are on a budget but need the extra space to store items.

There is even room to hang some cups on the wall. Those who have a beautiful collection of coffee cups would appreciate the choice of cups on these shelves. The cups in various designs go well with the wooden shelves and wall behind them.

Brick Wall Shelves

Brick Wall ShelvesPin

The shelves on this wall are decorated for the holidays with green garlands and lights. There is still space for candles and other décor behind the garlands. The reindeer silhouette is a nice addition, without making too much of a statement in this kitchen.

The red brick walls also add to the festive look with their red color. A mix of dishes used as décor and storage containers are on the bottom shelf. There is still plenty of room to add more items on both shelves, although they look great as they are.

Holiday Kitchen Shelves

Holiday Kitchen ShelvesPin

The shelves on this brick wall are ready for the holidays. Just a hint of red décor and dishes are all that is needed to create a subtle holiday atmosphere here. The wall and shelves are in neutral colors, so the décor and colors can be changed throughout the year to fit the season and holidays.

Placing the poinsettias on the top shelf is a great idea, since these items won’t be needed and are there just to look at. The red truck with greenery on the lower shelf is in a place to balance the other side of the top shelf, since both places have décor on them.

Pots and Containers

Pots and ContainersPin

These two copper shelves also double as a hanging area for the pots and pans, which help take up some space against the wall. The stone-like dish on the right shelf matches the other items and makes a great display piece.

The dark pieces on the left all match and are sitting in the same direction. The items and shelves look like a décor piece with function, since everything is grouped together based on what materials they are made of.

Small Kitchen Shelves

Small Kitchen ShelvesPin

If you need more space in your kitchen to display and store items, make or add a self-standing shelf. These shelves have two layers and fit in the corner of the countertop.

Small pots filled with flowers and herbs stand on the shelves, along with spices, dried goods, and colorful candles. There is also space to store items underneath the shelves.

Tall Shelf Stand

Tall Shelf StandPin

This self-standing shelf piece is a great way to use the vertical space in this kitchen. It can also be moved around to different locations when needed. Lacey fabric is used to cover the bottom shelf, and any items under it.

The other shelves have a mix of oils, dishes, and décor. Green houseplants are a great choice of décor, since they match with just about anything. The tall houseplant on the left is a nice addition, since it matches the height of the shelves.

Checkered Kitchen with Shelves

Checkered Kitchen with ShelvesPin

The placement of the shelves above the checkered backsplash give this space a nostalgic feel. The entire length of the wall is used for two layers of shelves. A great use of space with additional color adds to the look and feel of the space.

The two lamps are not necessarily needed but add an ambiance to the space when lit. Pops of red and blue in the cups and other dishes adds some color to this space.

Single Kitchen Shelf

Single Kitchen ShelfPin

Display favorite or festive dishes on a single shelf, as shown in this photograph. A small, cutout shelf is located above the counter and below some cabinets in this kitchen. Holiday dishes in red with white dots are spread out across the shelf.

There is room to add more dishes or green plants that can hang down. Make sure to match dishes displayed with other items in the room as well.

Teapots Shelves

Teapots ShelvesPin

These shelves are a great way to show off some of your favorite dishes. This person seems to enjoy collecting teapots, sauce servers, and other kitchen dishes made of fine china. These dishes also look like décor pieces with their floral designs.

The empty spot above the shelves can be used to add additional dishes or décor to the top. Greenery and flowerpots can be added that are seasonal or ones that are in colors that can stay all year long.

Herb Shelves

Herb ShelvesPin

The shelves on this wall are used to display and grow herbs. The gray shelves are large enough to hold several plants. Grow lights are installed just above the shelves and under the cabinets.

These shelves will work well for those who want to grow their own food.

Preserves and Spices Shelf

Preserves and Spices ShelfPin

This small shelf contains several jars with spices and preserves. The three tiny drawers at the bottom can hold spoons and other small items that don’t need to be on display. The jars contain plenty of colorful items inside, which can be seen from the glass containers.

No extra color or décor is needed in this space, since the spices and preserves have bright colors. Most of the lids are also covered in bright colors as well.

Vintage Wood Wall Shelf

Vintage Wood Wall ShelfPin

The light-wood shelves blend in with the weathered-looking wall behind it. A mix of jars and pots with plants fill the shelves.

The starfish, life preserver, boat, and shells give a beachy and outdoor feel to this space. More starfish and shells can be added to the walls to fill up the space. There is also room to display more kitchenware on the top shelf.

Chalkboard Wall and Shelves

Chalkboard Wall and ShelvesPin

The wooden shelves are held up with black and steel supports below. The chalk wall is a great place to write notes or scribble down small pictures to fill in some blank spaces. A mix of dishes and jars are stored on these shelves.

To make the space look less cluttered, dishes that are not used as much should be replaced by small flower pots or containers with green plants to mix it up.

Vintage White Shelves

Vintage White ShelvesPin

Beautiful vintage dishes with floral designs are in display on these shelves. A tea set with a teapot, cups, and small dishes are also on display with large, red flowers decorating them.

The beautiful dishes at the top are covered in floral designs as well, with gold in the design. The cabinets close to protect the dishes but have glass doors to still be seen from the outside. The yellow backdrop helps make the dishes stand out.

Silver Set on Shelves

Silver Set on ShelvesPin

Silver kitchenware is on display on this shelf. The shelf runs along the length of the sink and cabinets above. Although the space is small, this is a great way to store and display kitchen items when there is no other place to put them.

The silver dishes match well with the hardware on the faucet. They also go well with the white shelf and bluish-gray tiles that are used as the backsplash.

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