Kitchen shelf styling inspiration: Different ways to style your kitchen shelves

Increasingly people are integrating shelving into their kitchen designs rather than having everything closed off behind cupboard doors. We love the added interest and character of kitchen shelves but how to style them? It’s a question a reader recently sent us so we’ve compiled this round up of kitchen shelf styling inspiration to offer plenty ideas on different ways to style your kitchen shelves.

Whether you’ve got a small pocket shelf, several floating shelves or a whole wall of open kitchen shelving, we hope you find plenty of ideas to try out in your home from this gallery!

Related article: Boho coastal kitchen designs: 20 of the best boho kitchen ideas
Related article: Take notes: 7 great ways to style your kitchen

Small floating shelves

Simple, sweet floating shelves are possibly the easiest and most versatile shelf to style. Treat it like a display space for your favourite items — ceramic objects, indoor plants, perhaps a few cook books, and even a photo frame or two.

Kitchen shelf styling inspiration
The North Beach House. Photography by The Palm Co
Stone shelf in kitchen Kitchen shelf styling inspiration
Image via @jakearnold

Larger floating shelves

Larger floating shelves will test your styling skills a bit more but the trick to making these look great is to think of a subtle theme — this could be a colour palette or overall style (such as boho or luxe) — and to use repetition. By repeating similar objects, and pops of colour across these shelves, you’ll create a sophisticated look with ease.

Also, don’t forget to play with scale by using some oversized objects to catch the eye, such as the large painting in the second pic below or the dried palm leaf in the third pic.

Kitchen shelf styling
Styling by Style Curator

Shop our kitchen shelf styling favourites

Ceramic vase
Ceramic vase
Tree decor
Tree decor
Bronze oyster ornament
Bronze oyster ornament
Ceramic planter
Ceramic planter
Small white vase
Small white vase
Pink marble canister
Pink marble canister
Nopi book
Nopi book
Blue vase
Blue vase
Glazed green pot
Glazed green pot
Ceramic vase
Ceramic vase
Tree decor
Tree decor
Bronze oyster ornament
Bronze oyster ornament
Ceramic planter
Ceramic planter
Small white vase
Small white vase
Pink marble canister
Pink marble canister
Nopi book
Nopi book
Blue vase
Blue vase
Glazed green pot
Glazed green pot
Zellige Kitchen Splashback Kitchen shelf styling inspiration
Cape Beach House Kitchen. Joinery by U-Neek Interior Solutions. Image via The Stables

Small pocket shelves

Many new kitchens are embracing a pocket shelf to break up overhead cabinetry and the main challenge with these shelves is height as often they are quite narrow. The trick is to not overcrowd the shelf with smaller objects. Instead, create 3-5 clusters of objects together and embrace a bit of free space.

Mix up the size and shape, for example you’ll see in the pics below that some taller elements were used (salt and pepper grinders) with lower and wider objects (plates or bowls) and then more organic objects to soften (handmade ceramics or indoor plant).

New kitchen with open shelving
Our recent Erskineville kitchen, see all the photos here

Shop our kitchen shelf styling favourites

Ceramic vase
Ceramic vase
Tree decor
Tree decor
Bronze oyster ornament
Bronze oyster ornament
Ceramic planter
Ceramic planter
Small white vase
Small white vase
Pink marble canister
Pink marble canister
Nopi book
Nopi book
Blue vase
Blue vase
Glazed green pot
Glazed green pot
Ceramic vase
Ceramic vase
Tree decor
Tree decor
Bronze oyster ornament
Bronze oyster ornament
Ceramic planter
Ceramic planter
Small white vase
Small white vase
Pink marble canister
Pink marble canister
Nopi book
Nopi book
Blue vase
Blue vase
Glazed green pot
Glazed green pot

Larger pocket shelves

Pocket shelves aren’t always small though and if you are lucky enough to have a large one, go back to the style tricks we shared for the larger floating shelves — especially using repetition and a theme.

White kitchen open shelf
Image via Home Beautiful

Either side of a rangehood

The other type of kitchen shelves we’re seeing more of now are floating shelves either side of a range hood. These shelves are ideal for playing with height and adding a bit of drama — you want to avoid using lots of itsy bitsy items on this type of shelving.

Larger ceramic objects, art in frames, and clusters of ceramics look great. And plants are always a good idea, so long as they can be positioned away from the cooktop.

Kyal and Kara kitchen
Image via @kyalandkara
White and teal kitchen with wood panel highlights
Barefoot Bay Villa, see the full home tour here

We hope this round up of kitchen shelf styling inspiration has given you a few new ideas to try! Remember, styling should be fun so play around with different layouts and looks until you find one that suits your style.

Check out more kitchen inspo here

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