Julia Trendell, the design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens, discusses how to incorporate open shelving into your design:

Whether you need to make the most of every last inch of space in a small kitchen, or you have the luxury of more room to exercise creativity, there’s no doubt that storage will be up there with the most important considerations in your kitchen design.

“While there will certainly be a need for solid cupboard doors in your layout, open shelving should not be forgotten, thanks to the balanced look and functionality that it can offer. To soften a look, consider integrating open shelving alongside doored cabinets, which will allow you to strategically hide anything that is less aesthetically pleasing behind closed doors while showcasing your most prized possessions or items you use most frequently on shelves. Think statement jugs, matching glassware and neat crockery – displaying these items will not only create a stylish feature in their own right, but they will also be within easy reach when you need them most.


However, make sure that you don’t overfill this space; instead keep a minimalist look by rotating your most display-worthy items for an instant kitchen update.

“Open shelving can make particular sense in smaller rooms, where you may need to maximise space that could otherwise be lost, for example with floor to ceiling storage. Keeping space open in this way helps to create a more airy and streamlined look, avoiding an abundance of cupboard doors.

When imagining how open shelving could look in your kitchen and surrounding areas, such as utility, lounge and dining spaces, don’t feel restricted to cabinetry alone. Bistro shelving can be used to create a more informal and slightly industrial look, with the flexibility to customise not only the length but the material, too. You can continue the colour scheme with your surrounding cabinet, or for a look with real stand out, try incorporating your worktop material, which provides consistency with the overall design, while also adding an accent that can really pop.

The design of our kitchens has changed over the last 10 years, and we now have more open plan living arrangements incorporating an adjoining space, which might be used for dining, living or even a home office. Using the same kitchen furniture throughout the space can provide a space-saving, seamless look as well as being much more cost-effective than bespoke built-in furniture. The use of open shelving in open-plan arrangements combined with the right accessories provides a softer, more relaxed and bespoke feel, signposting the different use of the space.


“For advice on how to incorporate open-shelving or any other bespoke features you would like to introduce to your kitchen or surrounding areas, speak to your kitchen designer, who will have expert knowledge of how to bring your dream kitchen to life. They will have designed endless kitchens before yours and will be able to offer helpful tips that you may not have previously considered.”

Benchmarx Kitchens offers a free online design service available to allow you to create your dream kitchen from the comfort of your own home.

For further information on all of the Benchmarx Kitchens ranges, to request a brochure or book a design appointment, visit www.benchmarxkitchens.co.uk.