8 tips For Creating Successful Open Shelving (and a pantry)



We love our new open shelving and pantry! It’s everything we had hoped for! It totally opens up the kitchen and I love the modern look of it all. When I posted the picture of the kitchen reveal last week, I got a ton of questions about how to create open shelving, how to make it function well in your kitchen and what we did with the rest of our stuff! I decided it would be a good idea to go into the nitty gritty of it all so you can feel confident if you are thinking about making the switch in your own kitchen.


Metal shelving brackets
Drywall/wall anchors
2”x10”x8’ wood cut to shelf lengths
Minwax Weathered Oak Stain
Foam brushes
Masonry drill bits
Various glass jars/containers



1. Take all the measurements for how long you will need each shelf. When you don’t have all the tools, Lowe’s is there to help! They cut all our wood for us to the exact measurements we needed. I wanted a thicker shelf so we went with 2” thick wood.
2. Stain each of the shelves. We used a Weathered Oak stain and I love how it gives it a reclaimed wood type look without the hassle of finding reclaimed wood. It’s the perfect stain color.
3. Take measurements on your shelves where you want the brackets to go and screw in each bracket to the shelves. I decided on placing the brackets 7” in from each end of the wood.
4. For the pantry area, we used heavy-duty dry wall anchors. I didn’t like where the studs where in relation to where I wanted to place the brackets, so the anchors let me do whatever I wanted. TIP: Measure twice! Drill once. haha. Learned that lesson a few times.
5.With a level, measure out all your spacing for your shelves. For our pantry, the shelves are 16” apart and for the kitchen, they’re 12.”
6. Drilling into tile is intimidating!! We watched soooooooo maaaaaaaany YouTube videos (anyone watch the videos with Shannon?). What helped us the most was to get a masonry drill bit, make an “x” with masking tape to give some texture for the drill bit to stick to, and using a sponge, drip water on the drill bit while drilling into the tile. We used these anchors to hang the shelves over the tile.
7. Start organizing, styling and putting your new shelves to good use. You will love how open it makes your new kitchen!




Tips for having open shelves and pantry:

1. Clean and purge! You will be surprised about how much you have when you empty your kitchen all out. I ended up donating about half of what we kept in our kitchen. I only kept the things we use everyday.
2. Find the balance between function and decoration. When you take your upper cabinets down, the shelves need to be functional, as well as look good. For us, we kept all our dishes a single color (white) or clear glass so it didn’t look messy or overwhelming.
3. Maximize the storage in bottom cabinets. Look into organizational items, like wire racks, that can really help organize every inch of space. It really makes a huge difference if you aren’t wasting space!
4. A closed-door pantry. We are lucky enough that we actually have a pantry with two doors. We moved the items that we didn’t want on the open shelves in there (i.e. kids plastic cups and plates). We also have our large bulk items from Costco in there. Everything else gets put into the glass jars on the open pantry shelves.
5. Dry goods. I love the bulk section at our local co-op. I get most of our dry goods from there and keep them in large mason jars on the shelves. It makes for a perfect open pantry – they all look so beautiful with their subtle colors and interesting textures. We keep an array of nuts, seeds, flours, sugars, oats, shredded coconut, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc… in our jars. We store our packaged snacks/food in cabinets to help keep an organized and minimal look.
6. Transfer all your spices to clear glass jars. I love these spice jars from Amazon and how they look on the shelf together.
7. Get creative, use hooks under the shelves to hang mugs, or try hanging bowls/baskets for fruit.
8. Have fun! That’s the best part of having open shelving. You get to rearrange and decorate anytime the mood strikes. Let your creative side go wild!







This post is in partnership with Frigidaire Professional, but all words, opinions and styling are my own. A big huge thank you to Frigidaire Professional and Lowe’s for helping our kitchen dreams come true.

You can see the full kitchen reveal post here!

  1. Sophie •

    Can you please do a post on what is on the shelves/what you store in the pantry?

  2. I love the look of open shelves, but I just feel like they can be so impractical? I guess for things that you use everyday then it would be fine. I’m absolutely loving your new kitchen!
    xo April | April Everyday

  3. Laura •

    I’m working on mine now. It’s true we collect so much stuff we don’t use. I’m going to have my pantry still but some stuff out on shelves in glass. Mostly open pantry would be insane in my house with these hungry boys. They would eat coconut flakes and chocolate chips by the shovelful. I practically need a padlock on the food.

  4. Laura •

    PS I love it it looks amazing it looks beautiful I’m stealing all your ideas

  5. What a beautiful kitchen you have. Like it so so much.

  6. I LOVE your kitchen Jen!! I’d love to believe I could pull that off but…haha. 🙂
    (Maybe when my boys are grown!) 🙂
    Much Aloha and hope I get to see that in person one day! XO

  7. Tania •

    Love the new kitchen!! So much light 😀
    Could you tell me where you got your fruit bowl?

  8. Jenni •

    Hi there. You guys did an awesome job. I found this post searching for black brackets, I hate to bug you with this question but I’m trying to find the brackets you used. The link you have does link to black brackets at lowes but yours are just a little more design forward and the look I’m going for? When you have a minute (I’m a mom of four little ones so I know you don’t have much time haha) could you let me know where you purchased yours?

  9. Юлия •

    Open shelves are very uncomfortable , because all that is in them is heavily covered with dust .

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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