Interiors stylist Susanna Hawkins says this is the secret to making your open shelving look good

Susanna Hawkins from ShNordic shares an open shelving styling secret for the perfect #shelfie

deVOL kitchen with open shelving
(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Kitchen open shelving has been very à la mode for several years now, and it's an interiors trend we think will hang around. They're wonderful if you like your kitchen ideas to look laid-back and lived in and relatively cheap to install, but styling them? Harder than it looks.

Susanna Hawkins is a Scandinavian interiors stylist and blogger who shares photos of her stunning, light-filled home in Bath on her Instagram, @shnordic (opens in new tab). Her cozy Nordic style is a homely blend of old and new pieces with lots of warm pinks, soft textures and impeccably styled open shelving.

According to Susanna, if you want beautiful open shelving, you need pick one or two key colors and the rest will take care of itself.

deVOL kitchen with open shelving

Open shelving styling by deVOL Kitchens (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Susanna Hawkins' open shelving styling secret

'I’m a fan of curated clutter!' says Susanna. 'My best tip would be to keep the color palette limited, that way the shelves won’t end up looking too busy.

'I also like including different textures as that adds depth and makes the shelves more interesting,' she tell us. Her own kitchen shelving ideas (see below) include seasonal blooms and plenty of white and cream kitchenware with accent colors.

She incorporates some lovely metallic pieces, as well as natural materials like wood and wicker which keep things neutral. We love the blue tones in Susanna's fourth #shelfie below, which give the whole display a sense of cohesion.

Susanna's open shelving styling secret encourages us to show a lot of restraint, sticking to a select few colors. Limit what you display on there to things you really love and that mean something to you. The rest can be stored away in cabinets.

Susanna mixes petite decorative pieces with a heavy wooden tray and lasagne dishes, creating a relaxed and visually interesting display. Planning your future open plan kitchen design? Open shelving is one way to make your kitchen feel a little less kitchen-y, and the gives you the chance to rearrange things when you fancy a change.

deVOL kitchen with open shelving

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Susanna Hawkins is working with the first machine-washable rug brand, Ruggable. Take a look at her edit on the Ruggable website, which features subtle designs with simple shapes and a few wildcards.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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