The Secrets of Open Shelving

 
 @scoutandnimble @alyssarosenheck

@scoutandnimble @alyssarosenheck

As designers, we thrive off of creativity and possibility. In fact, we crave it. Injecting personality into the neglected corners, throwing some pizazz on a giant white wall, and creating solutions for clutter are our top strengths. So yeah, we are total suckers for making spaces tick. But - we have one key ingredient that allows us to curate and captivate. To engage and inspire belonging. To make our personalities shine. We’ll let you in on our little secret, because we know you get it. Our no. 1 magic ingredient for the well-curated space?

Openness.

Lately, shelves have been our obsession. Why? We love the freedom to mix textures and patterns, metals and woods, and greenery with objects that reflect personality. They’re playful, moldable and unique to us. They offer up our most favorite design elements - room to explore, experiment, and showcase ourselves. And since we’re in the business of being open today, *drum roll* we give you our best tips for open-shelving - where to implement them, how to work with lighting, and top ways to cozy in to your creativity while still keeping it functional.

Floating and Recessed, Reclaimed Woods, Brackets and Lighting...Oh, My!

Open shelving is like play-time for adults - the possibilities are endless. Pull up your sleeves and get organizing with style in any room of the house for a fresh, airy feel that pairs well with personal allure.

KITCHEN

So you scrapped your cabinetry for open shelves. Now what? If the intimidation is all too real, you’re not alone. Here are three tips to decorate your most-used area:

Common Kitchen Items

Open shelves are perfect for displaying dishes, glassware or statement cutting boards. Not only are they easily accessible for your everyday items, but they look utilitarian, functional and play nice with organic material like plants.

Frequently Used? Come on up!

If you use it, it’s fair game. But - make it clean and cut the clutter. Glass jars are an easy way to display loose leaf tea, grains or coffee in an organized manner.

Bring in Some Personality

Greenery, trinkets from travel, candles, artwork all add life to empty shelves. Pro tip: You can even grab a cute chalkboard to rest against your tile. Who doesn’t love an inspirational quote?

 @13thirtydesigns

@13thirtydesigns

 @jennfeldmandesigns

@jennfeldmandesigns

 @callastudiousa

@callastudiousa

LIVING

With open shelving, we’re all artists. Just because your possessions are on display, doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful and inspire. Don’t be afraid to approach white walls with flair - shelves are their bff's.

Our go-to? Choose one color palette and stick to it, or arrange the shelves by color. In your gathering space, showcase your personality by adding fun clocks or picture frames. Pick out a neat brass light with hinged arms to highlight your favorite art. Agate bookends and that stunning piece of driftwood you collected from the shore - totally possible. Minimal or eclectic, the opportunities are endless.

 @scoutandnimble @alyssarosenheck

@scoutandnimble @alyssarosenheck

 @lorigilder @rebeccareynolds

@lorigilder @rebeccareynolds

 @scoutandnimble @humans.spaces

@scoutandnimble @humans.spaces

BEDROOM

The bedroom is our personal zone - where we can display our hobbies, brag about our style and ability to wind down. Your space should inspire and reflect your best self back to you. Try implementing open shelving above your bed or desk, and use it as an opportunity to pick and choose decor according to mood.

Feeling like writing more? Display your most well-loved books next to your fancy writing tools, candles and journals. Or, maybe you've been dreaming about a vacation. Add some coastal flair to a shelf with thoughtfully placed earthy elements like hand-crafted beads, plants and stones. Choose wisely and design from the heart, and your whole vibe will feel cohesive in no time.

 @katiehodgesdesign @monicawangphoto

@katiehodgesdesign @monicawangphoto

BATHROOM

Ok, we’ll be the first to admit that the bathroom is easily cluttered. Cotton balls, toothbrushes, bath elements and towels. It can get out of hand, and fast. (Where did all the bobby pins go?!)  No matter if you’re working with a large or small space, there’s plenty of opportunity to play with built-ins, recessed shelving or narrow spots. It doesn’t have to be a major renovation, either. Try implementing open shelves next to the shower, or that blank space above the toilet. Go wild and switch out your old medicine cabinet for open shelves - we dare you!

 @oharainteriorsofficial

@oharainteriorsofficial

 @scoutandnimble @humans.spaces

@scoutandnimble @humans.spaces

LIGHTING IS KEY

Keep in mind, no matter what elements are on the shelf, if they’re not catching your eye, they’re just kinda there. Draw attention to your fun design elements by adding a simple yet elegant sconce. You can pick ones that are adjustable and cordless with choice hardware and alluring elements like clear glass or circular bulbs. They add character and save room on your shelf for your fave items. We’re sold.

Openness is the name of the game - it invites opportunity for balance, personality, minimalism and warmth. Spruce up any room and keep it open, friends. Above all, add some flavor and make it you.

Shop our well-loved shelf picks here.