31 Modern Kitchen Shelves Ideas – Open Kitchen Shelving

Having recently moved home (and country, but that’s a story for another time), I’ve been enjoying getting into my new kitchen.

While I have plenty of storage in my kitchen cabinets, I have some items I’d rather show off. So, I’ve been trying to think of some kitchen shelf ideas. With the right shelves, I can have these items on display.

What I have discovered is that there are zillions of options for kitchen shelves! You’ve got the choice of material – wood, steel or plastic-coated. Then there are all the color options to select. And, don’t forget about the shape! I’ve put together this list of kitchen shelf ideas to help you narrow down your choices.

Modern Kitchen Shelves Ideas for Saving Your Space

1. Wooden Floating Shelves

Wooden Floating kitchen Shelves

I love the concept of floating shelves. It adds a touch of interest as people viewing your kitchen will look for how they are staying up.

They will give your kitchen a rustic vibe and are the perfect place to pop your cookbooks. Choose a natural wood color for optimal effect. I like darker woods too, but I think these colors are better on a different type of shelf.


2. Pale Wood with Black Supports

Pale Wood with Black Supports Kitchen Shelves

The contrast of the pale wood with the black supports is lovely in this kitchen. Personally, I would pair it with some black kitchen items to tie it in to the kitchen. Perhaps a black kitchen towel or a black kitchen knife set. Then I would have chopping boards on the bench in the same wood tone as the shelves.


3. Green Box Shelves

Having shelves that come in a box format give the illusion of a kitchen cabinet without doors. The one in the image is a nice style and the green is gorgeous. This would look great in a modern white kitchen with some green plants around.


4. Retro Wood

Retro Wood Kitchen Shelves

Something about these shelves is giving me a retro vibe. If you have a home built in the 60s or 70s, I think it’s just wonderful if you find home accents to match. This shelf is a great choice for this. There is just something about the color of that wood giving me retro vibes.


5. Hexagons

Hexagons Kitchen Shelves

Try something different and more modern with hexagon shelves. They can look very classy and fresh if done right. Don’t put too many of these in, though, or your kitchen will be reminiscent of a beehive. You could easily store spice jars on these, or your teacups.


6. Black Steel Hexagon

Black Steel Hexagon Kitchen Shelves

Another hexagon option, however, this one is quite different. If you have an industrial feel to your kitchen, this one will blend in beautifully. Those with black kitchen accents might find that this is the piece which ties it all together.


7. Lime Green and Turquoise

Lime Green and Turquoise Kitchen Shelves

I know, these are bright! But sometimes, a dash of color is just what a plain kitchen needs. I never thought I would enjoy lime green and turquoise together, but this kitchen makes it look amazing. It’s fresh and modern and would look great with a more neutral kitchen.


8. Wood Shelf with Drawers

Wood Shelf with Drawers Kitchen Shelves

This versatile option is not only useful but stunning as well. Why get just a shelf when it can function as drawers too! The color of the wood is giving it a retro feel which looks fabulous.

It would suit a kitchen with wooden accents or white benchtops. If you have cute retro kitchen scales, this would be the spot to showcase them.


9. ‘Picture Frame’ Shelves

‘Picture Frame’ Shelves Kitchen Shelves

These shelves are cool because they remind me of picture frames. They look like they belong in a country-style kitchen. The kind with a massive wood table complete with benches. They offer a fantastic solution if you want to frame any items you have to show them off.


10. Diamond Shelves

Diamond kitchen Shelves

So, these are likely the exact same shelves as the ‘picture frame’ shelves but hung differently. I love the creativity here for hanging them differently.

It would add a cool focal point to your kitchen. They just aren’t very practical for actually storing stuff. But, if you just want to show off some small items, they will look very good.


11. Hanging Shelf

Hanging Shelf Kitchen Shelves

The great thing about this shelf is that it would be so easy to hang! I have no experience myself in putting up shelves, so this is a very tempting option. You’d just need to put a picture hook in the wall and hang it off there. I’d suggest you don’t put anything too heavy on the shelf though.


12. White Shelf with Wood Supports

White Shelf with Wood Supports Kitchen Shelves

This has a clean feel to it that would look great in a white or grey kitchen. Rather than having a simple white shelf, the wood brackets make it more interesting. They look very functional as well, like they could hold some crockery.


13. Shelves with Hooks

kitchen Shelves with Hooks

This set of shelves is giving me serious kitchen envy. These are some of the most functional but beautiful ones I’ve seen. The hooks for hanging cooking implements would come in handy.

You could put this near your induction cooktop for easy reach. Having everything you need nearby to your oven makes cooking so much easier.


14. Cabinet with Shelves

Cabinet with kitchen Shelves

Why not have the best of both worlds? A cabinet that has shelves on top will have your kitchen looking neat and tidy. Put any items that will look cluttered out of sight in the cabinet. Then you can use the shelves for anything you want in easy reach. Mugs, bowls, you name it!


15. Plain Shelves with Colorful Accents

Plain kitchen Shelves with Colorful Accents

Who says that if you have pale shelves you can’t add color? Installing plain shelves gives you the option of changing up your color scheme whenever you want. Add items of your current favorite colors, like in the picture shown. Then when you want to feature a different color in your kitchen, it’s easy.


16. Giant Shelves

Giant kitchen Shelves

These massive shelves are long enough to fit plenty of stuff on them. The way this kitchen is styled is very matchy and it looks great. They have highlighted the wood of the shelves with matching items as well as white ones to match the bench.


17. Chalkboard Wall

Chalkboard Wall Kitchen Shelves

Chalkboard walls are very trendy, but you may not have space in your kitchen. If you’re going to have shelves, you could paint the wall underneath with chalkboard paint first. This will give your kitchen a unique look.


18. White with Pink Accents

White with Pink Accents Kitchen Shelves

This white on white kitchen is brightened up by the pink items placed around it. That’s where shelves come in handy – you’re showing off your wares. If you have white shelves it is so simple to add a splash of color with what you choose to place on them.


19. Cup Hooks

Cup Hooks Kitchen Shelves

Give your shelves a dual purpose by adding cup hooks underneath. You can place anything you like on top and hang your beautiful teacups underneath. These Kermit green shelves can spice up your bland kitchen. They would become the main feature of any kitchen with this gorgeous color.


20. Carved Shelves

Carved Shelves Kitchen Shelves

The intricate feature on the edge of these shelves adds a touch of something special. I can just imagine them in a cupcake shop or rustic style kitchen. It transforms the white shelves into something much more interesting.


21. Different Lengths

Different Lengths Kitchen Shelves

Rather than having unique shelves to add interest, you can make them more interesting by using different lengths. In this example, the lower shelves are shorter than the upper ones. Personally, I’d switch it. That’s the beauty of this idea, you can change it up to match what you like.


22. A Range of Styles

A Range of Styles Kitchen Shelves

You may think that having a range of shelf styles in your kitchen will look cluttered. This kitchen proves that it can be done. They have made it look put together by having different shelf styles but all in the same color scheme. It works beautifully, in my opinion.


23. Overlapping Shelves

Overlapping kitchen Shelves

Rather than adding color as the feature, you could hang your shelves in an interesting way. In this kitchen, they have made the unusual decision to hang them to be overlapping with each other.

It adds interest while maintaining a monochromatic color scheme. Just be sure that they are overlapping enough that it looks intentional.


24. Square Shelves

Square kitchen Shelves

These shelves are great because you have plenty of nooks and crannies to separate your crockery. You could have one square for plates, one for bowls and so on. They look funky as well. If you want something even more interesting, you could freshen them up with some color.


25. Freestanding Shelves

Freestanding kitchen Shelves

The shelves on the right in this kitchen are freestanding. These can come in handy if you have extra floor space in your kitchen and not enough cupboard space. You can put heavier items on the lower shelves and the lighter items you use a lot on the higher ones.


26. Z Shape

Z Shape Kitchen Shelves

These funky z shaped shelves are non-traditional and very quirky. They offer an alternative to boring, straight shelves. Usually, they wouldn’t fit much on them, but this option has gotten around that by adding cup hooks.


27. Hanging Rod

Hanging Rod Kitchen Shelves

This kitchen finds more space by using a hanging rod instead of a shelf. The metal pipe offers an industrial feel while all the hooks coming off of it give a sleek and organized way to arrange your kitchen implements. Place it over where you prepare your food for ultimate convenience.


28. Match to Your Bench

Match to Your Bench Kitchen Shelves

Shelves that match your bench can give your kitchen a stylish feel. In the image, you can see that it looks very sleek and organized. The combination of wood and white is really lovely. It would be easy to clean too, which is always a bonus.


29. Rustic Shelving

Rustic kitchen Shelving

This set of shelves would look great in an old-fashioned kitchen. The handy knobs at the bottom could be used to hang your tea towels, oven mitts or other items. It is an ideal place to showcase any cool kitchen items you own. For example, if you have a funky old coffee grinder or flour sifter.


30. Color Explosion

Color Explosion Kitchen Shelves

If you can’t choose a color for your shelves, why not paint each shelf a different color? These rainbow shelves are bold, bright and utterly beautiful. The style with the different sized boxes is trendy and adds to the overall look. I think the range of colors used works better on this than it would on plain matching shelves.


31. Contrasting Colors

Contrasting Colors Kitchen Shelves

Rather than going for every color under the sun, you could choose just a few colors that contrast with each other well. If you love yellow, try matching it with orange and having a few shelves of each color. Or go for full contrast with yellow and purple.

Using contrasting colors is a great way to make the shelves the most eye-catching feature of your kitchen.


There are so many kitchen shelves ideas on this list, I have no idea how I’m going to decide which shelves to get! A splash of color can turn shelves into a very funky kitchen feature. Or, going with white shelves in an unusual style can be eye-catching too.

When thinking about kitchen shelf ideas, you must consider what the style of your kitchen already is. Unless you’re doing a full renovation, you can’t base the rest of your kitchen around the new shelves.

If you already have a rustic style kitchen, find shelves that go with it. If your kitchen has a green theme, offset it with white or find shelves to match.

You can use the shelves to change up the style of your kitchen if you have a plain but functional kitchen already. The rainbow shelves are a bold choice that in this instance could pay off. Choose whatever matches your personality and you can’t go wrong!

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