Lead image The AlnoStruct design by Alno is available in Old Oak Smoke Grey wood veneer, shown here, as well as Reddish Brown for a tactile finish with attractive knots and grains. Prices from £25,000.


While a sleek, seamless kitchen scheme certainly looks stunning with its showroom-chic, having a collection of pots, pans, cookware and ceramics on show will add personality and character to any space. Hidden kitchens aren’t for everyone and for many, this is the one room where we can chat, entertain, cook, dine and spend time with family and friends so it’s important to minimise mess and learn the art of a beautiful display. This latest trend is all about embracing clutter and making it work for you, both practically and visually. It’s the antidote to concealed kitchens, with everything from open shelving, dressers, sideboards, islands and even bookcases providing the perfect platform to show off a selection of your favourites.


Above The string® shelving system in ash with white panels can be purchased individually and is fully customisable, with prices from £35 online and in-store at Utility, Haus and Skandium.


‘Featuring a display area in your kitchen will inject a degree of character and bring a bespoke, personal feel to the design,’ says Graeme Smith, senior designer at BioGraphy Kitchens. ‘A carefully curated collection of vibrant accessories – either colour co-ordinated for a tailored look or an eclectic mix for a sense of fun – will add to the visual appeal. Displays will not only add to the design but can be entirely practical too. A herb trough, set in to the worktop, will create a natural, living display and the herbs are easily to hand when preparing a meal.’ There are plenty of ways to make the look work. Consider using different levels of storage for varying heights, or adding artwork to vast white walls, double or triple rows. You could also use suspended shelving and a hanging shelf above the island. Make a gallery out of bookshelves alongside a bank of built-in appliances and dress to impress with an eye-catching table setting.


Above Case Creations is a system of dovetailed solid oak box shelves. Each piece is made from a series of standardised cubes, with prices from £2,400 for the model shown at Tomas Kitchen Living.


‘Keeping the tone and colour of any shelves in a similar key to the worktops, reflecting either the material or colour, can create a calming backdrop which can then be broken up with selected display objects,’ advises Nicky Spear, who works in business development at Sustainable Kitchens. ‘Dressing the area with contrasting books or attractive storage jars can also really complete the look and in addition to standard shelving, features such as peg rails can also be incorporated. They provide a practical hanging space to create a form of wall art with easy accessibility.’ It’s time to go forth and embrace the shelfie.


Article by: Hayley Gilbert