Designing With Open Shelves

Cabinetry is not ALL about doors, face frames, and boxes. Cabinetry can encompass all of the other parts and pieces that go into a design such as corbels, shelves, and moldings that all help to pull a design together. I am going to zero in on shelves and show some creative, functional and beautiful applications of open shelving to hopefully provide some ideas and inspire your next project!

Here we see some beautiful floating shelves flanking a hood. Installing open shelves here instead of cabinetry allows the homeowner to be creative and show some of their personality in the items they choose to display. Shelves also showcase the subway tiles that go to the ceiling and give the space an open, airy vibe.

White painted and dark, true brown stained Kitchen cabinets in a contemporary design with bright green countertops. Featuring Dura Supreme Cabinetry designed by Jenny Ferguson of Drexel.

Below is another example of Floating Shelves on either side of a focal point, a great way to complete a fireplace wall! Notice the coordinating, taller bases below- the perfect scale to balance this fireplace.

A modern living room interior design with black painted open floating shelves around the fireplace.

Shelving can also give function to a challenging space, namely corners.  Sometimes with corners, designers run up against challenges such as windows or depth changes.  One way to tackle this area is by using open shelving.  Here is an example of an inventive use of corbeled shelves being used to maximize functionality near an inconveniently placed window.

A classic country farmhouse styled kitchen design with traditional open shelves in a corner with a kitchen window.

Here is another example near a corner, where the window is not the troublemaker, but cabinet depth change is, on the oven wall.  Incorporating shelves in this instance helps keep the corner accessible and not as closed in as it may have otherwise been with cabinets.  It also provides a nice opportunity to introduce a secondary finish.

Natural finished wood cabinets in a modern transitional kitchen design with slab cabinet doors. This kitchen uses dark stained floating shelves to add contrast and function in the corner.

Another great application of open shelving can be to nest them right into the surrounding cabinetry, giving a purposed layered look and keeping oft-used items at the ready!

Textured foil kitchen cabinets with a nested floating shelf above the sink for dishware storage and display.

Nested floating shelf under a simple valence design and glass cabinet doors in a white painted kitchen.

Dura Supreme offers Floating Shelves in varying depths, lengths and thicknesses to fit into almost any space. Also, Dura Supreme has loose shelving that can be paired with any of our corbels.  Shelves can be ordered in any wood species and in dozens of finishes (stain, paint, patina, weathered, etc.) to totally customize the look. So, next time you are looking for some functionality in a challenging space, or looking for a way to bring a little extra character into a room, don’t forget about the hard-working open shelf!


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