When done well, open kitchen storage can be both convenient and aesthetically pleasing. Find out how to make open kitchen storage work in your home.


When I used to think of open kitchen storage my mind would wonder to cooking quarters stacked to the brim with odds and ends not used for much else other than collecting dust. But, these days, open kitchen storage brings more than a smile to my face.

When executed effectively, perhaps the best thing about open kitchen storage is convenience. Cooking ingredients and tools right at your fingertips when you need them. And, for an avid home cook or someone proud of their kitchen, it can’t get much better than that.

But, just like some of those cluttered kitchens in my mind’s eye, this type of kitchen storage can lend itself to overcrowding if you are not diligent. And, this is the very secret to mastering effective open kitchen storage – just keep it simple!

Easier said than done? Well, not really. Following are our team at Harrington Kitchens top tips for how to make open kitchen storage work in your home.


It is all within an arm’s reach

There is no use introducing kitchen storage that is out of the way and difficult to access. It simply collects dust and ends up as more of an inconvenience than a useful inclusion to the kitchen. Instead, consider integrating some open shelving above the cooking area to capitalise on convenience.

You should reserve the shelves lower down for the items which are used the most often; such as plates, dishes, cookware, and herbs and spices. Keep those shelves higher up for platters and special occasion chinaware that does not get used as often.


Add some character to your kitchen storage

While open kitchen storage should mainly be kept for business, it does not mean you can’t have some fun with it. A clutter-free arrangement can still make way for a couple of personal items or characteristic pieces. You might like to include a favourite holiday souvenir or memento to create identity and bring some personality into the kitchen.

A whimsical tea pot, biscuit jar, or a pair of novelty salt and pepper shakers can look a real treat atop open kitchen storage. A few pieces of art and small, simple sculptures can also work well scattered throughout open shelving.

If you are not necessarily a big fan of art or novelty items, try adding some character through the use of colour. For example, warm or earthy-toned dishware against a bold-coloured feature wall, like teal, adds instant impact to what could be an otherwise plain area.

But remember the primary rule for any open kitchen storage is less is more. So, keep any of these items to a minimum and avoid over crowding your space.


A seamless integration

If your kitchen features an impressively-decorated splashback or other larger focal pieces, make sure any open kitchen storage is kept basic.

As an example, if your kitchen has over-sized subway tiles, include open shelving that will seamlessly transition from this. Slick shelves with solid-coloured dishes will do the trick nicely. Avoid patterns and textures that will detract from the tiling which is already a feature. You want to complement existing kitchen fixtures and fittings not detract from them.


Good things come in small stacks

As tempting as it may be don’t overload your kitchen storage and shelves with a surplus of dishes and items.

The rule for when it comes to stacking dishes; keep the stacks small and don’t put too many plates and dishes on top of one another. This will help to maintain an overall clutter-free appearance and keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy.


Get hooked on it

Shelf hooks are a kitchen storage idea which are very often overlooked. These hooks provide a bit of extra storage without taking up a huge amount of space. Just like the name states, ‘shelf hooks’ are easy to add to the end of open shelving or at the back of the wall under shelving. They are great to hang coffee mugs, cups or cooking utensils such as spatulas, serving spoons and tongs.

The classic peg board also introduces surplus kitchen storage without a huge demand on space.

A peg board uses a similar concept to shelf hooks where it is fixed to a wall (or other smooth, sturdy surface) and ‘peg hooks’ are manipulated to hang items. The peg board became poplar back in the 1960’s and has been a handy kitchen storage inclusion ever since. You often see this used in kitchens to store smaller pots, pans and other cooking utensils.

* Tip: for more kitchen storage ideas take a look at some of our recent blog articles online below.


Open kitchen storage can be as elaborate or as simple as your kitchen allows. The trick is to find the perfect balance between your existing kitchen décor and the items you choose to put on display. Keep the storage functional and add just a splash of personality for the perfect recipe.

Need help making kitchen storage work for you? Our highly-experienced and professional tream can custom design kitchen storage solutions for any sized area. Our expertise ranges from simple open shelving and kitchen cabinetry to extensive Butler’s pantries that are fit for the Royal Family.

To find out how our friendly team can help, call us on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms.