Open Shelving Inspirations for Dining Rooms

Have you met Jami yet?  She’s the genius behind the blog Freckled Laundry.   I discovered her early on in my blogging days.  In fact,  she is one of the inspirational “seasoned bloggers” that I referred to yesterday.  Let me make it clear, however, that by “seasoned” I certainly don’t mean “old”!!  She is, in fact, a young mom who has encouraged this “older mom” to carry through with some creative dreams of my own…  {Thank you, Jamie.  I wish you lived closer.  I’d love to have a coffee time chat with you!}

Anyway, the other day she wrote this post asking for opinions on an idea of open shelving for her dining area.

I was so excited with her plan that I  could hardly stand it.  In trying to formulate a response to her question, I realized it was far too long to just write in that little comment box…

So, Jamie, this is for you!Smile

In the course of my own  research, I’ve  collected a whole passel of pictures for kitchen and dining areas.  In analyzing them carefully, I realized that every. single. one. had open shelving.  I love that look.

Last year, I took the plunge and did it in my own kitchen.  (You can see it here if you missed it.)  I haven’t regretted it for a minute.

Here are some of the inspiration pictures of dining rooms that are part of my collection:


Ashley’s open shelving at the Handmade Home was made out of reclaimed barn wood.  The “ladders” on the side were made by a welder friend.  If you go over to her blog, you can see how she decorates and styles the shelves for different occasions.  So fun!

One of Jamie’s dilemma’s is what to do with the lower shelves.  She’s afraid if she puts doors on them, they will hit the table when they’re opened…

Hmm… what to do?

Perhaps an idea would be to put a lovely vintage fabric curtain (or painter’s dropcloth) to cover “unsightly” items on the lower shelves.  That way you can push it over to access things, but you don’t have to worry about the doors banging into things.  I did a variation with my lower cupboards last year.  The curtains are attached to an upper drawer, so when you pull the drawer open, the whole curtain moves forward.

open cupboard          shut


I discovered Kim at The Restoration House with an amazing kitchen makeover last year.


She has inspired me use more white things on my shelves.  I just love that.

And, finally, over to Jen at the Old Painted Cottage


I had a terrible time choosing a photo to show you…   But, look!  I never noticed that she has a curtain covering her lower shelves…That’s the idea I was thinking of!

Jen has an amazing gallery of before and afters of her cottage here.  I’ve studied them all.  {A. Lot.}  She does such beautiful work.

So, there you have it, Jami ~  The longest “comment” I’ve ever made on anyone’s blog!Smile

{Oh…one more thing!  If you’re wondering how I “live with” open shelves, I wrote about that here.}

I’m so looking forward to your dining room transformation.  It’s going to be beautiful, I just know it!…

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  1. Ritajoy,
    Oh my goodness. This was such a thoughtful post for you write for me. Thank you so much! I appreciate your sweet words and I wish we lived closer too! I love the open shelving images that you’ve shared. I have a couple of them in my inspiration file. I about fainted the first time I saw Jen’s home. They are all SO charming. You all helped me get over my food-on-display hang-up and I will def. be doing some open shelving on that wall….laundry on the bottom shelf is a great idea because I do need more storage for the not-so-pretty stuff…and it will help with ‘out-of-side-out-of-mind’ for my twins. I can’t wait to get started. Thank you again so much for thinking of me and sharing some of your research. 🙂 That was such a nice thing to do.


  2. oooehh. i love that curtain-attached-to-drawer idea..

    I am actually coming to your site re. the FOLLOWER linky blog hop, and am just about to be following you ! 🙂 Will you follow me back?? Thank you so much when you do.

    PLUS: There is also a party on our blog, where you can feature ‘your best creative work’. There are some great projects to see already, but we want to see your work!

    Anyhow, use this link both to FOLLOW and to PARTY:

    Hope to seeing you around!!
    Have a happy, creative day!

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