Kitchen Inspiration: Shelving Units on the Counter

Today has been a crazy shoot day for Domino and I am tired, but excited about how the projects turned out. :) I am heading back up to my parents house tonight to close out our Spring Break week with a bang. We’re going on a really cool hike that I haven’t done since I…

Today has been a crazy shoot day for Domino and I am tired, but excited about how the projects turned out. :) I am heading back up to my parents house tonight to close out our Spring Break week with a bang. We’re going on a really cool hike that I haven’t done since I was a kid, and I know my girls will love it.

I’m back to thinking about the shelving in our kitchen again. I took down some of the upper cabinets to make room for a symmetrical set of shelves, but I’ve not been able to find brackets that make me excited. Then I saw this pretty cute wall shelving unit at IKEA a while back and I realized I’d love a shelving unit rather than separate shelves. The IKEA one wasn’t the right look or size for my kitchen, and I want shelves that sit on the actual countertop, but they got me thinking for sure. Then Lauren Liess’ kitchen in the current issue of Domino seriously, seriously sealed the deal. Her custom ironwork shelves are TDF.

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I’ve got some project ideas in the works (I found some brass parts that could work really well), but one of my friends told me brass is lame now. I don’t agree with her (I think pretty much any real metal material is going to be a forever classic), but I sort of get what she is saying. I think I will always have brass in my home, but do I want a full set of brass shelves forever in my kitchen? I think if I used another metal too (like Lauren did), the mix will help keep things fresh.

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What do you think? I kind of thought copper was going to make a bigger comeback last/this year, but it hasn’t quite hit the stride that brass did four or five years ago, has it?

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24 thoughts on “Kitchen Inspiration: Shelving Units on the Counter

  1. That kitchen inspiration is beautiful, but I cringe when I think about how awful it would be in my own kitchen. We have an iron bed in my daughter's room and that thing is HARD. I would imagine my girls would shatter dinner plates right and left trying to put away the dishes. Doesn't seem very practical for the every-day dishes.

  2. I do like mixing metals and think brass is a classic look. Iron is more subtle so can see it in larger does. Brushed chrome/nickel get boring if that is all you use. I would use all of them! I agree that open metal shelving would not be practical for me either- the dust would get to me. AZ ranks as one of the dustiest place I have ever lived in…..

  3. I sometimes find it so depressing that as design bloggers things are "over" in the design world before the general public has even caught on to them. I used unlacquered brass to redesign a bathroom in my Victorian cottage 5 years ago – its actually period appropriate – but I remember thinking that it was the start of a big trend coming and how sad that it meant it would be "over" soon. I think you should do what feels right and organic in your space – that has always served you well. But I think the moodiness of your kitchen would call for the deeper color of oxidized brass rather than shiny.

  4. I know what you mean about the metals thing. None of it feels fresh, and I guess that's what I want. Copper should, but it just doesn't for me. I have to remind myself that silver and gold will always be timeless, as long as they're done well…not that cheap shiny fake stuff. :)

    I love the idea with the shelves!

  5. I agree with Ronda. Copper is the perfect metal for kitchen. I think copper is actually on its way back too. The new new look seems to be a metal mix of sorts. I gave no thought to open shelving being a pain for AZ dust..ugh. it may be, but what a look.

  6. I love this idea. I am planning a redesign of our kitchen this summer, and this is such a brilliant way to get more storage without adding heavy cabinets. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love copper and think it would be a really interesting choice, something unexpected. Trends can get boring, everyone's home ends up looking the same. If you like the idea of copper I say go for it! It's your home – decorate it for yourself!

  8. Totally disagree with your friend- brass is back!!
    But i think open shelving is very impractical. The dishes would probably become pretty dusty too, if the shelf i keep my pans on is any indication.
    Personally, I much prefer the combination of cabinets that sit on the counter & no upper cabinets, such as in this Melanie Turner kitchen seen here

  9. Aren't her shelves killer? I just saw them on her blog today and it was a good thing I was sitting down because my knees got weak. Your kitchen would look great with open shelving. I'm toying with the idea of putting some next to my fridge for wine and cocktail glasses, vases, etc. I'm not dusting a bunch of shelves but a few in one spot, I can handle!

  10. Oh my gosh, I love this kitchen so much! I haven't really seen that kind of upper shelving before, but I love it! That kitchen is seriously stylish. I love all of the artwork she fit in there too, though I worry about it getting damaged being behind the sink like that. The window behind my sink is always all speckled and yucky looking.


  11. I think copper or brass would be great with the dark grey in your kitchen, and with the counter tops. Anyway, if you went off the colour in a few years, you could always spray-paint it!

  12. It looks beautiful, but I think of what I keep in my upper cabinets and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work. Somehow I don't think boxes of macaroni and cheese would look very nice. Plus you'd almost have to have extra deep bottom cabinets or tons of counter space.

  13. I've always loved a mix of metals. I finally found some custom brackets I liked from
    Love them! And so many different finishes to choose from! No, I don't think brass is over.

  14. You could patina the brass you have using Birchwood Casey’s Brass Black. Super easy to use & right up you transformative DIY alley. It will turn the brass instantly dark…depending on the brass a blacker or graphiter gun metal finish. Brass would look “lighter” in visual weight than the iron so it might work really well for you. I think it’s the brassiness of brass that people get tired of but it doesn’t have to be brassy, it can be quite dark.

    Thanks for all the inspirations! I love your love of tools!

  15. I did open shelving by my stove and have learned you better have a really good vent hood or items close to draft will get dirty. I am big cook and do lots of sauteing.

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