35 Open Storage Ideas for Every Room of Your Home

Forget about out of sight, out of mind. Try our open storage ideas to organize items in every room of your home.

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finished kitchen plate rack wall

Nicole Pankopp

Closed cabinets and shelving units provide instant storage satisfaction since you can shut the doors and hide what’s inside them. However, there’s a tendency to haphazardly stuff things behind closed doors without much thought to their organization. Open shelving, on the other hand, calls for more intentionality. Open storage not only organizes your belongings but also makes them a part of your home’s decor. Discover stylish and functional ways to store your favorite items out in the open.

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Raise the Bar

kitchen buffet bar herringbone tile
Ryan Bent

Rather than cluttering up kitchen cabinets, create a special spot in your home for barware. Using a small area of wall space, hang sturdy floating shelves to store pretty glassware, cocktail shakers, and an ice bucket. A base cabinet with open shelving holds wine bottles until they're ready to be uncorked.

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Create Bedside Built-Ins

blue white bedroom basket fiddle leaf fig potted plant shelves
David Greer

Rather than add another piece of furniture to a small bedroom, maximize square footage by creating a built-in bookshelf for storage. Take the shelves up to the ceiling to maximize space. Alternate between books for bedtime reading and decorative items such as candles, framed artwork, and plants to give your bedroom a peaceful ambience.

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Store Spices

built-in spice rack

James Schroder

Inspire your inner chef by keeping herbs and spices at your fingertips. A small open shelf in the kitchen is the perfect place to feature your collection. Add a dowel to keep them in place. For the ultimate spice organization, use matching jars or group similar bottles with each other.

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Pick Up Boots

hooks entryway hunter green wall panels boots basket
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

If boots are a regular choice of footwear, give them a permanent home in your entryway. Install wall-mounted hooks with closely spaced pegs near the door. Then, hang the whole family’s boots upside-down to keep floors clean and prevent having to stumble on them in the doorway.

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Hang Up Your Hats

hat and tote bag wall

Adam Albright

Hat walls are a trendy storage solution that's here to stay. That's because they’re both pretty and functional. Give your favorite hats a storage spot by utilizing an empty wall in your bedroom or closet. Arrange hooks so that the hats are spaced out equally, whether in a straight line or a custom design. Consider this open storage solution to be wearable art.

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Use the Area Above Your Fridge

white kitchen with stainless steel fridge
John Granen

The area above the refrigerator offers plenty of storage space that's often left untouched. Maximize the forgotten area by adding a wine rack. The elevated location also helps avoid accidents if you have little ones running around your house.

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Customize Mudroom Storage

baskets in a mudroom

Jeff Herr

Whether your home has a dedicated mudroom or a faux entryway, it can benefit from open shelving. Use matching bins or baskets (like these Better Homes & Gardens Rectangular Water Hyacinth Basket, Set of 4, $40, Walmart) to store off-season gear, such as winter accessories in the summertime that get swapped with beach hats and bags in the colder months. Open cubbies in base cabinets hold shoes so they’re easy to kick off but not trip on. If you have space, add open shelving for library or school books so they don’t get lost ahead of their due date.

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Install Accessible Storage

green cabinet with open shelving for decor
Jason Donnelly

This kitchen workstation has it all: A row of open shelves next to bold green cabinetry is the perfect mix of style and function. Store things like cutting boards (or this Better Homes & Gardens Charcuterie Board, $16, Walmart) and mixing bowls in cabinets, then use the shelves for everyday ingredients like sugar and seasonings. Plus, the open shelving lets you display decor in your kitchen.

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Tidy Up Firewood

long black shelf with firewood storage
Adam Albright

On chilly nights, there’s nothing better than sitting around a warm fireplace. Make it easy to spark the fire with nearby logs using a wall-mounted rack. Store your firewood reserves in it for easy access while also giving your living space a cozy look. Plus, this open storage idea can be utilized inside or outside the house.

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Mount Plates in the Kitchen

finished kitchen plate rack wall

Nicole Pankopp

Serve up your favorite recipes on beloved plates, platters, and boards to family and friends with ease. This DIY plate rack from Simply Aligned Home features shallow shelves and dowel rods to hold pieces in place. Organize plates, along with a few cookbooks and serving utensils, to form an aesthetic display that you can pluck from quickly. Now, you can present a trendy butter board in the blink of an eye.

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Create a Home-Office Haven

shelving on wall with ladder
Joyelle West

Whether you’re working from home full-time, have a hybrid schedule, or just want a place to take care of household business, an organized home office is crucial for success. Give yourself a leg up by adding ample storage. Open office shelving that takes up an entire wall provides space for all the necessities while making a design statement. Fill open shelves with books, baskets of electronics (use this Better Homes & Gardens Natural Maize Colored Stripe Basket, $30, Walmart), and even decor items to create an appealing yet useful display.

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Install Laundry Room Shelves

open shelving with woven storage baskets
Adam Albright

Make the task of doing laundry a little more pleasant with a pretty presentation of cleaning essentials. Install open shelves between cabinetry and add coordinating baskets to store laundry products or backstock items with labels. Use a high shelf to display a collection of ceramic vases.

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Display Dishware

white open kitchen shelving with black subway tile
David Greer

A small shelf that displays knickknacks elsewhere in the house can also work in the kitchen to display dishware, providing a handy arrangement for items used regularly. Bringing furniture like this into the kitchen makes the functional space feel less utilitarian. For a well-designed look, make sure the piece relates to the room's decor.

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Perfect Your Pantry

pantry open shelving
Michael Partenio

Simple white shelves can turn any pantry into a well-organized space. Install open shelving for easy access to staple ingredients and equipment. Adjustable shelving allows you to change the height to better accommodate your lifestyle, whether you're a baker who needs room for a stand mixer or a frequent host with a supply of serving boards.

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Add Garage Shelving

open shelves in a garage

Samantha Pregenzer

Floor space is usually limited in a garage, especially if it also holds a car or two. There are a variety of garage shelving ideas, but open ones make it simple to grab and go on your way out. Assign each shelf a category, such as shoes, sports equipment, or sunscreen, and use containers to corral smaller items together. If your tools are also kept in the garage, consider hanging a pegboard with a couple of customizable shelves for accessible storage.

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Hang a Pot Rack

copper pots hanging in kitchen
Bryan E. McCay

A simple pot rack keeps oversize pots and pans within reach of this kitchen's main work zone. Hanging large items from the ceiling frees up cabinet space in a small kitchen. The pots and pans also contribute to the cozy, lived-in character of the room.

17 of 35

Combine Cabinets and Open Kitchen Storage

open shelving kitchen with pink patterned china plates
Robert Brinson

Every efficient kitchen needs a combination of open and closed storage. This wall of cabinetry boasts tons of storage. To provide visual relief from the wall of closed cabinetry, decorative wooden open shelves were added. It's a prime spot to place pristine dishware and decor items.

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Store Dishes on Contemporary Shelves

Contemporary kitchen shelves

Werner Straube

Simple wooden shelves lend a rustic touch to this modern kitchen corner. Thin metal wires suspend the shelves from the ceiling so they appear to be floating. The shelves' rough, unfinished surface adds another layer of texture to the kitchen's tiled walls, stainless-steel appliances, and stone countertops.

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Add Storage to a Small Kitchen

Light Colors in a Small Kitchen

Michael Partenio

Open shelving and glass-front upper cabinets help to visually expand this small kitchen space. The open shelves hold everything from serving platters to baking supplies, while the cabinets store everyday dishware and other small items. The narrow island, fashioned from an old table, provides additional open storage without cluttering visual space.

20 of 35

Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving

Just because your home has standard cabinets doesn't mean your dreams of open shelving can't come true. Dedicate some time to a weekend DIY project. Watch this simple step-by-step to see how to convert your cabinets into beautiful open shelving. This also gives you a great opportunity to give your cabinetry a fresh look with paint.

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Add Above-the-Range Storage

Above range kitchen storage

Werner Straube

Store frequently used cooking supplies, such as olive oil and spices, on a small stainless-steel shelf above your kitchen's range. This shelf's stainless-steel finish allows it to blend in effortlessly with the rest of the kitchen's appliances, hardware, and decor. Magnetic knife strips hold containers of herbs and spices below upper cabinets.

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Keep It Simple

Kitchen shelves

Lauren Krysti

Three simple shelves mounted to a wall in this kitchen offer open storage space for small items such as teacups, saucers, and cookbooks. Mounted in front of blue mosaic tiles, the shelves are both functional and decorative elements of the kitchen. Two tiny lights installed on the bottom of each shelf ensure it's never hard to locate needed items.

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Decorate Shelving

Decorative shelving

Robert Brinson

Beaded board behind these open shelves adds to this kitchen's cottage charm. Everyday items such as bowls and plates are stored on the lower shelves, while infrequently used items are stored on the upper shelf. Although the shelves answer the call for simplicity, the lacy scrollwork brackets add a touch of ornamentation.

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Serve Up Style

white kitchen sink open with cabinets and shelving
Robert Brinson

Remove the doors from your cabinets to visually expand the look of a small kitchen. Here, rows of open shelves lend storage and display space for a collection of classic dishware. Give your quaint space some depth by wallpapering the back of the cabinets (make it renter-friendly with removable wallpaper!). This simple pop of print or color will add tons of personality to your space.

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Go Modern

open shelving with wooden shelves and metal frame
John Granen

Incorporate an industrial feel to any room with open shelving units. Place the shelves on any wall to add extra storage, then display your favorite books and knick-knacks. Place baskets on the shelves to hide away seldom-used or unsightly items.

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Create a Kitchen Office

built in kitchen desk with shelving and cabinets
Shaun Sullivan

This workstation makes use of an awkward kitchen corner to ensure every bit of square footage has a purpose. The built-in unit features open shelving and many drawers. The desk area is outfitted in the same marble countertop as the rest of the kitchen, which helps the desk blend seamlessly with the rest of the room.

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Layer Shelving

kitchen corner blue open shelving stand mixer
Robert Brinson

Layers of open shelving allow you to place items on upper and lower shelves according to how often they're used. Here, small, frequently-used items are placed on the lowest level. Larger items or those used only occasionally are out of the way on the top.

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Incorporate a Storage Niche

Kitchen storage niche

John Bessler

A niche built into the range alcove creates the perfect spot to stow away everyday cooking items such as spices, condiments, and cooking oils. Create similar storage elsewhere in the kitchen by building shelves between wall studs. Keep only the items you reach for most on the open storage to prevent clutter.

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Decorate with Stainless-Steel Shelves

Stainless-steel shelves

Milligan Consulting

A pair of stainless-steel shelves adds a splash of modernity to this traditional-style kitchen. The narrow shelves not only offer open storage space for decorative dishware, but they're also sturdy enough to support the microwave, which frees up counter space for food prep. Black wrought-iron brackets on the bottom of each shelf are a nod to the traditional tone of the rest of the kitchen.

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Incorporate Vintage Pieces

Vintage wine cage

Tria Giovan

A vintage wine cage was repurposed to store the homeowner's collection of dishware. The caged-in upper portion boasts three rows of wire shelves to ensure everyday items have proper homes. The open lower portion is outfitted with shelves that stow away large items such as baskets, serving bowls, and a microwave.

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Use a See-Through Solution

kitchen open storage shelves wine glasses
Brie Williams

Need an open storage idea for a small space? Tall, narrow glass shelving fits into tight nooks and allows for light to filter through a space. Bold, printed wallpaper or classic penny tile makes a great background for glass shelves. Use the open shelves to store glassware or bar essentials.

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Add an Industrial Edge

Industrial shelving

Brie Williams

A sleek metal shelving unit matches the contemporary, industrial design of this kitchen and blends with the stainless-steel island, stainless-steel appliances, and concrete flooring. The unit provides overflow storage for food and dishware that don't fit in the kitchen's limited cabinet space.

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Give Your Kitchen Dimension

wooden kitchen island and cabinets
Laurey Glenn

This hybrid cabinet/open shelving kitchen is the best of both worlds. Store your less aesthetically pleasing items (think: small appliances, pots, and pans) in cabinets, while showcasing dishware in upper cabinets outfitted with glass doors. For bonus open storage, use the lower level of a kitchen island for cookbooks or large serving dishes.

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Open Up Overhead Compartments

Kitchen overhead compartments

John Bessler

To increase storage space in a kitchen with limited square footage, look up. Here, a row of cabinets stop short of the ceiling to offer stowaway space for a trio of wicker baskets. An open shelf below, outfitted with more storage bins, helps break up the wall of cabinetry.

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Give Your Island Some Style

black kitchen island dish storage shelves
Laura Moss

A pair of open shelves transforms one side of this kitchen island into a display space. Place mugs and crockery for an easy to-get-to option. Other ideas include showcasing cookbooks and cooking magazines or special occasion glasses and dishes.

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