open kitchen shelving revealed!

The wait is over! Today, I'm happy to reveal our new open wood shelving in the kitchen.

What do you think? I decided to use raw, unfinished black walnut for the shelf and that surprise element I alluded to in my last post is a long, horizontal strip of mirror that reflects back the marble backsplash and light from the windows on the opposite wall. In part, the reason I went with the walnut is to compliment the Limited Edition Eames Hang-It-All which hangs beside it. I originally thought I would use white oak but when I saw the soft but rich tones of this wood I changed my mind. The whole room now looks something like this:

If you remember, I was working with a couple of restrictions on the design of this shelf. First up, I didn't want to spend more than $500, second, I was working with a really tight turnaround time as I wanted the shelf ready for a photoshoot and finally I wasn't sure if there would be any damage to the back wall. I called up my friend Dawson of Relik Design who made my bed and asked him whether or not he thought this was feasible. Luckily, he agreed that if I produced the design, he would get me the shelf, on time and on budget! The mirror actually ended up being a helpful design element as it provided a way for us to hide the hardware we were attaching the shelf to the wall with.

Here's a look at the before and after.

Pretty big change, right? I'm really happy to finally have some wood in the kitchen. I would urge anyone who is thinking of doing an all white kitchen to consider adding some wood elements to the room whether it be the floor, countertops or shelving. It really warms the whole room up and provides some contrast against all the white. In fact, the whole room feels much lighter and more cohesive since we added the open shelving.

I've also had a few people ask me whether or not I'm worried about the dust but I honestly can't say it is a problem. These are the glasses and dishes we use on a daily basis so they are constantly in and out of the dishwasher. Wiping down the inside of the shelf is no harder than wiping the countertop below it.

I"m very happy with the way this shelf turned out. I love being able to see all of our plates and glasses on display and to be able to reach them easily. Might just be the best $500 I've ever spent. I think my little helper would agree!

Image credits:
All The Marion House Book (except images 1 and 2 - Kristin Sjaarda)