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kitchen storage on open shelves - how can I make it look tidy?

(15 Posts)
MamaChris Mon 08-Nov-10 19:48:13

Our kitchen really lacks storage. It is open to the rest of the downstairs, and opposite one worksurface we have a table, and on the other side of that, shelves. I use one of these shelves to store less used kitchen items - casserole dishes, baking trays/cake tins, serving bowls. But the shelf always looks a mess, particularly the baking trays etc. In an ideal world I would put cupboard doors on the shelves, but we're skint. Are there any other ideas for helping tidy up this shelf? It's the middle shelf of 3, about 1.5m long. The other shelves hold recipe books, boxes of craft stuff for ds, vases and tablecloths. Plus a few misc toys of ds's that I really must find a home for blush

lalalonglegs Mon 08-Nov-10 20:11:07

The only way you can do it is to edit the items that you put on them - baking trays and odds and ends are never going to look that great I'm afraid. It would be better to put things that matched up there - sets of plates and bowls, a row of saucepans that were the same style but different sizes, jars of things (either identical jars with different things in or a quirky mix of different sizes and shapes).

Basically, have a think about everything you have in your cupboards and choose the best stuff - if you think of a classic Welsh dresser, people used to put their nicest things out on it so you have to think in terms of display rather than convenience. You can then mix in a few bits and pieces such as vases and toys - it is really difficult to achieve though, that's why magazines pay stylists to do it for them. Alternatively, you could make fabric curtains to go across them but I always think they look a bit naff.

1percentawake Mon 08-Nov-10 20:17:28

Nice baskets of some kind to keep your baking trays and crafty stuff in?

My Mum has open shelves in her kitchen and chose this style when she had her kitchen done recently. She's put some plants and ornaments amongst her pans/pots and it looks nice - a bit different!

magichomes Mon 08-Nov-10 20:23:33

Boxes, or baskets. Try Ikea, or Muji. You might also get lucky in Homebase.

You can also try cake/bread tins. Bread tins are a good size for baking trays.

Old picnic hampers from Ebay look great too, but can be an awkward size for shelving.

ChineseGinger Mon 08-Nov-10 20:42:42

I store my baking trays in the oven.

MamaChris Mon 08-Nov-10 20:46:33

baskets, good plan. like the idea of picnic hampers - might be big enough to put some of the uglier things in, if they will fit on the shelf. can't really restrict to nicest things, as need most used things to hand when cooking, and we don't have matching sets anyway. probably don't have the style instinct to mix in vases, toys, plants etc and have it look good, but nice baskets mixed with a stack of dishes, vases. this could work

CG: baking trays perhaps not right word - muffin trays perhaps?

ChineseGinger Mon 08-Nov-10 20:49:21

My muffin trays live in the oven too, along with my pizza stones & roasting tins.

MamaChris Mon 08-Nov-10 20:51:29

you must have a bigger oven than us then!

Pannacotta Mon 08-Nov-10 20:51:55

I agree, try and store your baking kit somewhere else and keep the shelves for groups of the same thing, ie pile of plates/bowls/stacked glasses etc etc.
It looks much better and you dont need to be a stylist to make it look good.

ChineseGinger Mon 08-Nov-10 20:57:41

I overspill into the grill at times. grin

ConnorTraceptive Mon 08-Nov-10 21:02:06

I have shelves in my kitchen I have cookbooks (stacked lying down) and all my cooking oils, salt and pepper grinders and some nice pasta jars on one. Then on the other more cook books, cake tins that store snacks etc on the other.

I actually think it's easier to have the stuff you use more often on the shelves

MamaChris Mon 08-Nov-10 21:04:27

agree CT, if the shelves are in the kitchen, but these shelves are on the opposite side of the dining table to the kitchen.

MamaChris Mon 08-Nov-10 21:06:05

your shelves sound nice, btw, and in the proper position!

ConnorTraceptive Mon 08-Nov-10 22:08:18

Ah I see, missed that bit about their position, perhaps not the most useful place to put your pasta and oils then!

I would go with some nice storage baskets then

PaisleyLeaf Mon 08-Nov-10 22:25:54

Are little pantryish curtains naff?

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