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Four Styling Tips For Open Shelves

Design — June 12, 2019

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We always get asked about these two open shelves in our kitchen and while they serve as more of a decorative purpose than an every day functional purpose, we wanted to share our four tips we follow when styling them!

01 // Repetition

When it comes to design, one of the things we are always mindful of is repetition. Repeating elements in your home will bring cohesiveness and a great flow throughout. Regardless of if the repetition is color, pattern, millwork, texture… repeating these things really helps your eye to move and flow easily throughout a space.

For our open shelves, you will see we have repeated groupings (of threes), color, & textures. The pots are similar in color and texture, the Kinfolk magazines are white just like the mat in the artwork, the greenery is repeated on both shelves, and the three pitchers, carafes, and vases are grouped in threes and also repeated on both shelves to create balance.

02 // Balance

Balance is also key when styling open shelves. You want to make sure both sides of the shelves are even weighted for visual purposes. You will see we created balance by grouping three items on the top left and also three items on the bottom right. We also created balance by using greenery on both shelves on opposite sides. Now, sometimes, creating balance means choosing one item and centering it on one of the shelves and then layer around that centered item- similar to how we did on our top shelf with the artwork.

03 // Layering

Layering is a great way to add dimension to a space. Our shelves aren’t very deep so we are limited to the amount of items we can layer but you can see we have layered the artwork on top of the cutting board and then overlapping some of the other items slightly. On the bottom shelf, we also layered by staggering the items on the right instead of placing them all in a straight line.

04 // Greenery & Artwork

Adding greenery to your shelves bring life to them. We chose to add a Jade plant and also an indoor succulent that both requires very little water and low light. Pothos, ZZ Plant, Orchids, & Snake Plants are all other good options for open shelves.

Lastly, artwork! Adding artwork to your shelves creates a story and adds visual interest. We chose to keep our artwork monochromatic for these shelves, but if you are wanting to bring color into the space, artwork is a great way to do so!

We have sourced some favorite styling pieces to get you started and hopefully inspired!





We hope these tips are helpful and inspire you to create beautiful open shelves in your kitchen! If you use any of our tips, be sure to tag us on Instagram (@laineandlayne) so we can see!

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  1. […] wall in our kitchen has gone through quite the transformation over the past seven years, from stacked open shelves and artwork, to just a brass utility rail and a mirror, to now this DIY shelf Justin made and an […]

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Laine and Layne is a home and lifestyle brand located in Northeast FL. Through simple and intentional design, we hope to inspire you to create a wholesome home.