Southern Lady Magazine

Spruce Up Your Kitchen with Structured Style

Keep your kitchen in kilter with organization-inspiring open shelving that adds plenty of style while conveniently displaying cooking essentials.

It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home—and there’s no better way to keep that heart pumping than with periodic doses of decorating first aid. Clutter can squelch culinary creativity in a hurry, so it’s important to clear the counters and clean out the cupboards.

Though it has its beginnings in another era, open shelving has made a comeback in the kitchen. All the necessary accouterments are easy to find, and the very nature of these exposed spaces inspires a certain orderliness. Line up canisters single file in descending size, then nest teacups and saucers in tidy rows. No need to fumble when it’s time to set the table. Place plates in precise piles at an easy-to-reach height, and display pretty glassware for all to see.

Baskets of all shapes and sizes are perfect for organizing shelves. Repurpose wire locker baskets, like those that lined the gym walls in your high school days, to hold neatly folded dish towels and cloth napkins. Use woven rattan or wicker baskets to house cutlery and to add a variety of interesting textures to the overall look.

Applying the same principles you would when filling bookcases, mix a bit of décor among the storage elements to add visual interest. Ceramic pitchers and mixing bowls in warm, bold hues are not only functional but also eye-catching. Antique kitchen utensils make great accessories: display vintage eggbeaters or whisks in glass jars, or use well-worn cutting boards as bookends for your cookbook collection. For a personal touch or two, tuck in a framed family photo or a carefully cultivated pot of English ivy. Use your imagination, but remember neatness counts. These wide-open spaces offer a clutter-free view that is certain to keep your “heart” happy.