Furnishing

Nine ideas that will turn a kitchen shelf into an eye-catcher

Jana Janssen

Shelfies instead of selfies – artfully arranged shelves are increasingly being posted on social media instead of self-portraits with flashy make-up and spectacular hairstyles. Users present shelves with particularly attractive contents. This trend is spilling into the kitchen in 2021. Striking kitchen accessories such as copper pots and pans, clay plates and colored glasses no longer have to be hidden away, but rather can be showcased on shelves. Here we provide inspiration for turning a kitchen shelf into an eye-catching feature in your home.

All sorts of cooking and kitchen utensils can be seen on some kitchen shelves.
© Getty Images

In this article

1. Hand-painted porcelain tableware

If you want to make a kitchen shelf your new favorite corner, high-quality, handmade tableware is a must. Fine porcelain with hand-painted patterns not only looks good on a richly decorated table, but can also be beautifully arranged on an open shelf. The Envie series of hand-shaped and hand-painted tableware made by Swiss craftsmen, available from susas ceramicdesign, for example, is really stunning.

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2. Rustic earthenware

If you prefer a more rustic style, you should go for stoneware or earthenware. Clay plates, bowls and cups come in a wide variety of designs – decorated with oriental patterns, spiral effects, color gradients or natural grains. The Brisa series from Costa Nova is particularly attractive – it’s made of stoneware with striking color gradients.

Tip: when arranging clay and earthenware, be sure to pay attention to the load the shelf will have to support so that the board doesn’t bend.

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3. Copper cookware

Copper cookware also looks extremely impressive in any kitchen due to its very specific color. But copper is not only visually attractive. The material also has very good thermal conductivity properties, which makes it perfect for pans. The pots and pans made by the family business Falk are handmade and promise to be particularly durable. The brushed surfaces give the cookware an extra special touch – it would be a real shame to hide it away in a cupboard.

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4. Colored drinking glasses

Whether they’re plain or decorated with colorful specks or gradients, colored glasses will also attract all eyes to your kitchen shelf. The designs from the vivid 70s have been back on many trend blogs since 2020. Hand-blown or crystal glasses are a particularly high-quality choice. Mouth-blown glasses look especially delicate and sophisticated. The combination of different glass colors creates elaborate patterns. Crystal glasses, on the other hand, are heavier and usually only come in one color, but they can feature particularly beautiful relief patterns.

Our tip: be brave and combine different colors or patterns.

5. Decorative storage

Why not put cooking supplies skillfully in the limelight on a kitchen shelf? You can arrange them in high-quality earthenware containers, beautifully painted porcelain recipients or jars with bamboo lids. It’s best to choose containers that match the rest of your dinnerware to create a harmonious look. In addition, you can mark the containers with decorative slate or embossed labels. This way, even if the receptacles are opaque, you can always immediately identify the contents.

6. Plants and decoration

Of course, your precious cookware or dinnerware will speak for itself if you arrange it artfully on a shelf. However, if you want the impression to be less minimalist, you can add purely decorative elements, as well as some plants. Vases, pretty salt and pepper shakers, kitchen herbs and hanging plants like ivy or Ceropegia are especially suitable. Small palm species like the Chamaedorea bring a little exotic taste to the kitchen.

Handmade ceramic dishes and a mini palm tree can be seen on a rustic shelf made of a section of tree trunk.

Little plants are perfect for adding vivid touches to a kitchen shelf.

7. Floating kitchen shelves

Haven’t yet found the right shelf to arrange all your beautiful items on? How about a floating kitchen shelf? This is a shelf you attach to the wall without any visible brackets. In this way, you draw the eye directly to your exhibits. Floating shelves look especially stylish when you place several on top of each other – staggered, even across corners or in a row. Another particularly elegant option is a single long shelf that runs along the entire countertop.

8. Shelves with glass bottoms

Shelves with glass bottoms or glass shelves combine storage space for your kitchen accessories with a certain lightness. They are ideal, especially for smaller kitchens, because they don’t visually clutter the kitchen. At the same time, the transparent bottoms cleverly disappear under your favorite objects and draw full attention to them.

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9. Decorative plate racks

Traditional plate racks are a special storage option for your beautiful clay plates. You may remember seeing them in your grandmother’s kitchen. They are particularly good for showing off painted plates. You can create a plate rack with a modern touch by repurposing modern picture rails and arranging your plates on them instead of hanging up pictures. They are guaranteed to be an eye-catching feature in your kitchen, as well as a wonderful photo scene.

Conclusion: kitchen accessories as exhibits

In 2021, kitchen utensils are no longer just practical, but are becoming accessories that can be displayed and can become striking features in your kitchen. As a nice side effect: they are bound to make cooking and dining (even more) fun.

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