Before & After: Kitchen with Open Shelving

Before & After: Kitchen with Open Shelving -  A Side of Fabulous

Today I'm featuring a quick kitchen makeover. When I say quick, I mean it. 

One hour quick. 

Mind you, the client did quite a bit of work before I arrived, adding to our efficiency.  

My client had recently moved into her home. The new kitchen was not only smaller than the old kitchen, it also had open shelving, adding to the need for organization so that it looked as nice as it functioned. 

(Unless you don't care, but since you're here I suspect you do.) 


Pro tip: when you move into a new home, set up the kitchen as quickly as possible. Having one area settled in gives you a sense of peace while you're dealing with the rest of the house, and the kitchen is a quick set-up.  I've often come into client homes as soon as they've moved in and gotten them reasonably unpacked and set up in an afternoon. Plus, you'll be able to feed yourself while dealing with the rest of the home. (Always a huge bonus.)


At the end of the initial consult, my client asked what she could do to make our kitchen work session go quicker. 

Since it was a small kitchen and not a lot of things, I asked her to pull everything out and sort like with like. (NOT what I would recommend if it was a large kitchen, had a lot of clutter, or was for someone super-overwhelmed.)

I also had her make a mental note of what items she used most often to least often so I could place things according to use and priority. 

Before and After: Kitchen with Open Shelving - A Side of Fabulous Blog

When I arrived, everything was laid out as I asked, so I immediately got to work determining the best place for everything to go. 

I started by visualizing cooking a meal in the kitchen, then got to placing things where they would be easiest to reach for:

  • Most often used items that were also the prettiest went into the open shelves.
  • Everything else went into surrounding cabinets - pots and pans in cabinet to bottom left of the stove. Tupperware, small appliances, and most used spices in the upper right corner. Large appliances which were used every day stayed on the counter.


Pro tip: when possible, place spices within immediate reach of your dominant hand while cooking. If all don't fit, at least have salt & pepper, and most used spices in that location.


Before and After: Kitchen with Open Shelving - A Side of Fabulous Blog

Open shelving tip: no matter how organized things on an open shelf are, if they're not tidy and straight, it will look disorganized. Make sure that items that are nestled together or nestled snugly. (If things don't fit within each other properly, separate them or put them behind a cabinet. Any and all labels face squarely forward. Sure, it seems a little "Sleeping with the Enemy," but it will look fabulous.

A huge part of organization looking organized is simply taking the extra moments to straighten everything appropriately. 

Total time: 1 hour 

Does your kitchen have open shelving? How do you make it work? Or are you having problems with it too? Share with us in the comments!

Melinda Massie - A Side of Fabulous

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