02/25/2015 09:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Make Open Shelving Work for You

photography by JUSTIN BERNHAUT
basic instinct
Not a fan of vibrant colors in the kitchen? Mixed materials can pair together in effortless harmony.

photography by SIMON UPTON

light approach
A colorful light installation can instantly brighten up any space - minus the hassle of committing to a wall paint.

Rental kitchen? Here's what you need to know.

photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

platform cues
In an all-white space, opt for a set of colorful floating shelves and pair them down with contrasting dishware for an added effect.

photography by ANNIE SCHLECHTER

all shades on deck
Proudly display your most colorful kitchen gear - stick to a select number of hues to keep the look cohesive.

See our decorating tips for small kitchens here.

photography by DAVID MEREDITH

nature's calling
Earthy tones and fresh greens add an instant touch of life. Brighten up bland shelves with a rustic bowl filled with fresh fruits and goods!

photography by KENNETH KOCHEY

in focus
Dual-tone shelves create the illusion of added depth, in an otherwise cramped space. A soft color for the backdrop spotlights the accented details of the dishware.

photography by DAVID MEREDITH

sunny side up
Sprinkle in a vibrant touch of color, in the form of accessories and small appliances, to liven up the space's aesthetic.

photography by CARTER BERG

the party shelf
Entertaining decor often tends to be the most visually-appealing one. A mix of party props, photo snapshots, and dessert recipe books give these shelves a light-hearted feel.

photography by JASON PENNEY

blues rule
That unique dish collection you can't help but show off? Play it up in a shelving unit that borrows from a dominating chard from the set.

Use a vibrant accent in a complementary tone for the perfect contrast piece.

photography by DAVID MEREDITH

the food does the talking
Open shelves aren't just for the dishes. Keep your culinary necessities at hand and display items with creative packaging.

See more creative tips for styling your kitchen shelves here.

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