Designer Amber Lewis's kitchen shelving styling tips will instantly elevate a space – and you probably already have what's needed

Interior designer Amber Lewis just took to Instagram with her top tips for styling kitchen shelves. This is how to get the look at home

Three kitchens with curated shelves
(Image credit: Future)

Even if your kitchen has open, exposed shelving, these small spaces are often an afterthought, swept under the rug thanks to the chaos of everyday life. The shelves accumulate kitchen appliances, glassware and clutter quite quickly, and often aren't the first part of the room to get a refresh.

Luckily, Amber Lewis – founder of Los Angeles-based Amber Interiors Design Studio and owner of Shoppe Amber Interiors – just took to Instagram to share her top four tips for styling kitchen shelving, and the results are stunning. Easy and quick, they provide a convenient roadmap to curating an eye-catching vignette on your kitchen shelves. This is how to make your kitchen shelving shine.

Amber's top tips for styling kitchen shelves

These are Amber's top four tips for making your shelving a defining feature of your kitchen design scheme – get your favorite art and cookbooks ready!

1. Include artwork

A kitchen with light green cabinets, a white kitchen island and wooden shelves

(Image credit: Future)

Although the kitchen probably isn't the first place in the home you'd think to implement art, Amber's first tip is to 'add artwork for an unexpected personal touch.' Layering framed kitchen art amongst your appliances, dishware and design accessories brings character and charm into this small space. 

Make the shelves your own by choosing art that reflects your personality and the things you love. Just because they're meant for storage first doesn't mean they can't be heartfelt or lovely to look at.

2. Use cookbooks as decor

A kitchen with yellow cabinets, a white oven and stacks of cookbooks on the counters

(Image credit: Future)

'Use cookbooks as decor, mixing stacks vertically and horizontally for a balanced look,' Amber adds, placing stacks of aesthetically pleasing cookbooks reflecting the kitchen's color palette throughout the shelving setup. Organize your cookbooks in sporadic stacks for a collected yet put-together look.

You probably already own a few cookbooks, making this an easy tweak to make in your space. Be strategic about their placement, and let them shine as their very own design features. The precarious pile on the kitchen countertop can finally be relocated, finding a sophisticated and smart home on the shelves.

3. Use accessories of varying heights

A white kitchen with an island and shelving

(Image credit: Future)

When styling any surface in the home, it's a good idea to introduce objects of varying heights, and the kitchen shelving is no exception. Amber adds that mixing and matching tall and short items – think sculptural vases paired with small succulents or ornate pitchers paired with a collection of dessert bowls – 'creates visual interest' on the shelves.

Play around with the placement until you've achieved a balanced vignette, and don't be afraid to change up the arrangement every once in a while to refresh the look.

'The best part? You can easily swap out items as the seasons change, as you curate new pieces in your collection, or as you simply just need a refresh!' Amber adds in the caption.

4. Integrate various textures

A white kitchen with a large range hood and shelving

(Image credit: Future)

Finally, Amber suggests that you 'mix textures like smooth ceramics and woven baskets to add depth' when organizing your kitchen. This combination lends itself well to a transitional, old-meets-new look in any style kitchen, bringing both organic details and sleek statements.

Many kitchen essentials naturally contrast with more earthy materials like wicker, natural wood and rattan, and house plants add another point of interest to the space.

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Amber's top four tips for kitchen shelf styling are incredibly easy to follow, making a curated and collected kitchen accessible to all. Give your kitchen shelves a refresh this spring by rearranging what you already own and dedicating a bit more thought to the look of your kitchen's most functional spaces.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.