What Depth of Shelf is Best for a Kitchen?

10 Minute Read

Kitchen shelves are often added for storage, but there are many other reasons that you might decide to put shelving into your kitchen. We’re huge fans of using shelving as a way to provide visual interest and decoration in a space. In this post, we’re taking a look at everything kitchen shelving – from the right type of shelf, to the best measurements, to the material and colour, and of course, the benefits of adding one or more shelves to a kitchen.

Why add open shelves in a kitchen?

If you’re already thinking about adding open shelving to your kitchen, then we probably don’t need to tell you any advantages of kitchen shelving, because you’ll already have your own reasons for wanting to install them! But many people wonder what the point of adding shelves to a kitchen is – and whether they need to add them in their own kitchen. Your reasons may or may not be the same, but these are some of the reasons that people add them.  

To add extra storage

Of course – this is the main reason that people add shelves to any room in the home. In kitchens where storage space is already at a premium, then adding shelving can give you the extra space you need in your kitchen cupboards. The key to using shelves well is to plan what will be on them – you definitely don’t want them to feel overloaded and cluttered. 

With the right storage solutions, you can free up your cupboard space. Using jars and bottles, you can store bulky dry foods such as pasta, rice and cereal on display, or you might set up your mugs and jars with hot drink supplies to look organised above your kettle, and to keep everything within easy reach. 

To look great 

When they are styled well, shelving can really add to the ambience of the kitchen. In smaller kitchens, having open shelves can make spaces feel bigger than if you were to add a full cabinet, because they don’t enclose the space. In larger kitchens, shelving can be styled to add character and visual interest as an alternative to artwork – especially if you add plants to your shelf

Rustic Country Bedroom Decor
Rustic Country Bedroom Decor

More affordable than adding cabinets 

If you’re on a tight budget, then adding shelves to your kitchen is a much more affordable option than buying new cabinets to match your existing ones, especially if the kitchen isn’t being manufactured anymore. And because shelves are pretty easy to put up, most people can do the installation themselves in a matter of minutes, saving on installation fees. 

What type of shelves are best in a kitchen?

There are two types of shelving that work well in kitchens – floating shelves, and bracket shelves. Which type is right for your kitchen will depend upon the style of kitchen that you have, and the look that you want to create. 

Rustic Country Bedroom Tips

Floating shelf

Floating shelves don’t have any fixtures on display – this is what gives the impression that they are floating. They are best in kitchens where clean, unfussy lines are required, such as minimalist designs and modern décor.  

Bracket shelf

Bracket shelves are exactly what they sound like – where the brackets are on display. If you prefer a rustic, or perhaps an industrial interior décor style, then this type of shelving is more likely to suit your kitchen.

Rustic Country Bedroom Tips

What depth of shelf is best for a kitchen?

We recommend a minimum of 15cm. Much narrower than that, and there isn’t enough space to store what you need to – even if the items are purely decorative.  

How thick should a kitchen shelf be? 

This depends on what you’re going to be putting on your shelf. If you’re using our solid wood shelves, then a 2.5cm is plenty to hold up to 35kg – but you may prefer a thicker shelf if it suits the space better. 

How long can a kitchen shelf be?

The shelves in our range can be made to be up to 140cm – although because we make all our shelves to order, if you need a specific length, we can make them to suit. If you want a longer shelf, we can advise you on the best way to add that shelving.  

What material is best for a kitchen shelf? 

While there are manufactured options, we always recommend solid wood for shelving. That’s because (unlike some manufactured wood options) not only is it strong and can stand up to being moved, but it is also a much more sustainable option for the planet, so when it is time to replace it, it won’t cause harm to the local area. When you choose solid wood, you can also pick the right colour to coordinate with your kitchen too. 

What colour shelf is best for kitchens?

There’s no single correct answer to this question, since it will depend upon the kitchen you’re adding the shelf to. But when you’re choosing a solid wood shelf (especially if you choose pine from our range) then you can colour match to the other wood in your kitchen – or go for a contrast, of course, depending on the wood finish that you decide on!

If you’re shopping our range, then you can choose from nine different shades of wax finish, including antique pine, old pine, medium brown, rustic pine, dark oak, Tudor oak, walnut, and shabby chic – as well as natural oil, which is great if you’re going to be installing your shelf in an outdoor kitchen.  

Final thoughts 

No matter what size or colour, kitchen shelving should definitely be on your list to consider, whether you’re adding it for practical storage, or for visual effect. You’re certain to find the type of shelving you are looking for in our range, and if you’re also in the market for a new kitchen table and benches, check out our styles here – your shelves will match perfectly! When you’ve styled your shelves, tag us in your #shelfie posts @bensimpsonfurniture, so we can share them. 

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