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All images courtesy of Neptune

The latest interiors trend that will completely transform your kitchen

All you need are some shelves.


And no – it doesn't involve knocking down your walls, buying new cabinets or even picking up a paint brush.

If a full kitchen renovation isn't on your calendar for the near future, the next best thing is to find simple ways to refresh your cooking space. Believe it or not, achieving an entirely new look doesn't have to mean knocking down all of your walls, buying new cabinets or even picking up a paint brush. If you settle on the right mix of accessories, whether it's a stylish set of stools, lighting, crockery or artwork, you can pull off a noticeable transformation that'll make you love your kitchen even more.

One such way is the introduction of open shelving. If you had been renovating your kitchen just a few years ago, a wall-mounted cabinet that lived above your countertops would have been the obvious and only choice. But now, open shelves have become a must-have item in so many kitchens today. Maybe it comes off the back of the minimalist trend or perhaps it's for overall ease. Either way: open shelving has the ability to not only organise your kitchen but transform it too. 

The great thing about opening shelving is it can be introduced to your kitchen in a number of ways. The most simple way is to just add shelves to any empty wall space in your kitchen and voila! However, free and empty wall space isn't always a luxury in most kitchens. If that's the case, might we suggest taking down your overhead cabinets and replacing them with shelving. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. All you'll need is a drill, some screws and a shelf or two. Alternatively, there is one clever hack that means you can leave your kitchen cabinets where they are. Taking off the doors to your cabinets creates opening shelving that's requires little no effort, although you may wish to paint the inside of your cabinets to really create a sense of freshness. Or, depending on your cabinet heights - you could always treat the tops of them as shelves and get displaying. 

Whether you’ve opted for a small pocket shelf, several floating shelves or a whole wall of open kitchen shelving, there is an art to deciding what goes on what shelf. It takes a certain kind of finesse to nail shelf styling but the good news is that once you get the formula down, you'll be able to style these function shelves again and again to constantly transform your kitchen without spending a single cent. 

But what is this magic formula? We're glad you asked. We reached out to in-house stylist at Neptune, Meaghan Hunter, for her insider tips. Keep scrolling to discover how to style your open kitchen shelves with ease. Oh, and the best thing is once you nail these basic components, they can be applied to almost any shelf in your home. 

1. Zone In

"The first step to cultivating harmony in your kitchen space is the art of kitchen zoning," says Hunter. "This is the process of giving each cabinet a specific purpose. That could be a breakfast cupboard, where granola, coffee mugs and the toaster live side-by-side, or perhaps a baking area on an island, where you keep jars of flour, measuring scales and baking books within easy reach."

2. Category Is...

"Organising your open shelves by purpose, rather than type of object, will make styling them in an eclectic, but considered way, much easier," explains Hunter. "Once the practical pieces have their home, the next step is to introduce the slightly unexpected. Open shelves are the perfect opportunity to introduce things like paintings, plants, books, decorative ornaments, collected finds from nature walks, and even lighting."

3. Pop of Colour

"A good tip to prevent the arrangement from feeling overly stylised is to brighten things with small pops of colour and life, such as children’s pictures or postcards," advises Hunter. "Simply tuck them in amongst your crockery and glassware. These objects might also be an opportunity to introduce a little accent colour, especially if you prefer to keep your crockery classic and white."

4. Forget symmetry 

"When you consider placement, my advice is to go for a look that is asymmetrical but visually balanced," says Hunter. "While a symmetrical arrangement might be pleasing on the eye, it can feel quite traditional and possibly even a little dull, not to mention it is easier to see if something is out of place." She suggests creating little clusters of objects with some thematic similarity, for instance crockery of different heights and shapes, but united by the same colour and material. "Arranging in this way means that you won’t have lone and lost-looking objects floating around, or a disparate display of many individual, but unconnected, pieces," explains Hunter. "Thinking about the way you vary heights, materials, shapes and orientations around your shelves like this will breathe interesting and visually balanced sentiment into the space, allowing the kitchen to step forward as a comfortable and engaging space within your home."

Neptune is one of the best known and most recognisable furniture brands in Ireland. Inspired by English country living, their timeless aesthetic, uncompromising quality and expert craftsmanship, has made them a hugely popular across a wide variety of home furnishings. From furniture, lighting, soft furnishings and accessories, to paint, tiles and flooring. See Neptune.com for Irish stockists.

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