Our Kitchen: Get the Look Open Shelving & Countertop Decor

Jun 05, 2017 | By New Darlings

The biggest question we got about our kitchen reveal was about the open shelving…do we like it, where did we get them, how to keep them neat, etc. Well, if you were curious about open shelving and how to keep your counter tops tidy, plus links to all of our kitchen decor pieces, keep reading.

For the actual shelves we ended up using butcher block countertops from IKEA. Thankfully it ended up working out just fine and if we do open shelving in the guest house down the line (more on that soon), we will probably do the same thing, but it wasn’t our intention. We initially wanted to use a slab of pure walnut wood for the shelving. We found some wood at a local lumber warehouse and our friend had cut a few pieces to size for us. It was pretty beautiful, but we miscalculated how much we needed and when we went back to the lumberyard, they (surprisingly) didn’t have anymore of that width and cut of wood left. Kind of strange, right? Well I guess you snooze, you lose. After a lot of deliberation, thinking about staining different woods, making custom shelves, and going to different wood suppliers, etc., we decided on IKEA countertops. The pure walnut was pretty heavy, so that was a concern of ours, which also made using the IKEA countertops a better choice for us. Our contractor cut them to size and mounted them on floating brackets which was laid behind the tile.

Some of you guys have asked about if we were/are worried about the weight we put on the shelves, and the answer is yes…we were at first, but now feel confident with them. The thing is, we didn’t doubt our contractor or the brackets or any of that, it’s just a little nerve racking putting piles of dishes and books and glasses on something that you can’t see the support on. With each dish we placed, I secretly (or not so secretly) thought it would all come down. With all that said, here’s a link to the brackets we used. They were put into the studs and are pretty darn secure.

So countertops! We went with marble and have no regrets. We have still yet to seal them, so if you have any suggestions on sealants, please send them our way. 🙂 I think the key with open shelving is to keep your countertops clear of clutter and as organized as possible. We have a few cutting boards, our toasterknife set, and a jar for cooking utensils, but that’s really it. The bright white really helped open the space which is on the smaller side.

As far as decorating and organizing went for the shelves, we displayed our favorite mugs and espresso cups, pitchers and cookbooks. Our dinnerware is plain white, so it was a nice balance to some of the more colorful pieces. Grouping helped keep everything streamlined vs it looking like just a lot of different things thrown on a shelf. For example, we opted for several of the same glass canisters to store our sugars and coffee in and put all the glassware and dinnerware together. To add interest and balance for the eye, we broke up some of the traditional pieces with more display pieces such as plants and trays.

Here’s a look plus links to everything on our shelves and countertops…

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What do you guys think? Is open shelving for you?

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See more of our kitchen remodel here.
See more home posts here.

7 comments on “Our Kitchen: Get the Look Open Shelving & Countertop Decor”

  1. Love this. Very helpful to get the details on the open shelves. Our clients request those a lot and there’s always the discussion of them being sort of a lifestyle choice 🙂 If you love them and don’t mind keeping them neat and tidy, they really make a kitchen feel open and charming.

    Great work!

  2. Thank you for sharing. Does the open shelving get dusty? Do you find yourself having to dust a lot?

  3. What marble did you go with? I’m currently redoing the kitchen and having an insane time choosing. Yours looks beautiful.

  4. Hello! I love these shelves and am considering using them for some book shelves/ but I’m wondering how you handled the unfinished side of the countertop/butcher block.

  5. Hi! I’m so glad I found this post because we are looking to do butcher block shelves. One question, and you may not know the answer since your contractor cut them, but what does the cut-edge look like? Did you have to sand it and then stain it? The placement for ours will have both ends exposed.

  6. I love how the open shelving looks. We’ve been too scared to try it in our kitchen, but seeing your post makes me want to give it a go!

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