Maybe you’ve noticed? Many of the kitchens that are being featured in magazines or on your Insta feed are now starring kitchens with a shelf or shelves either side of the rangehood, where cabinets use to be the standard.

It can look fantastic, particularly if the shelf is made of an incredible stone with an impressive thickness or similarly, a lovely timber look that ties everything together with the rest of the kitchen.

There are pros and cons to having this look for your kitchen – let’s dive in.

PRO – The look. It’s quite sleek and can make the kitchen look more airy and spacious, simply because you don’t have a big block of cabinets in front of you. There is also a little bit of a feel of bringing the living space into the kitchen, as the shelves act as a display for beautiful things.

PRO and CON – Shelves require STYLING. And that means styling it attractively with lovely things. So you’d be looking at a couple of beautiful vessels, some chic plates or mugs, maybe some hardback books. A trailing plant can look fab! If you are wanting to put all your spices, oils, condiments, saucepans, mismatched mugs, family photos on them, it’s just not going to work. Shelves look fantastic when there is SPACE to let the items shine.

CON – Shelves attract dust. And grease, particularly in this part of the kitchen. So if you’re not the type of person who wants to be wiping down the shelves and all the various accoutrements on them every week, this may not be the style for you.

CON – Lack of storage. Depending on the size of your kitchen, this can be a real problem. Sure, if you have a huge amount of space (and look at the size of some of those American kitchens!) with storage on other walls and in your kitchen island and lower cabinets, then you don’t need to worry. But residential kitchens require quite decent storage, particularly if it’s for a family. There’s always so much stuff! Along with food storage, there’s all the Tupperware, lunchboxes, drink bottles, not to mention saucepans, china, platters and utensils. You can’t have this all on display, it just looks messy and cluttered.

Has this helped? I DO love the look of shelves, when styled well and accented with beautiful lighting. If you’re prepared for the upkeep, maybe see if you can incorporate a single shelf while still keeping plenty of cabinets. But life is for living not just for looking, so is this style going to make your life more functional and EASIER? If you need a hand in designing your dream kitchen, I’d love to hear from you!


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