Kitchen with Open Stainless Steel Shelving

Planning a Kitchen with Open Shelving (Stainless Steel)

While it took us a little while to warm to it, we've fallen in love with stainless steel open kitchen shelving. No longer do dorm room kitchenette shelves, or run-down first apartment disasters come to mind when trying to imagine how open kitchen shelving would look in a grown-up kitchen. We can probably thank HGTV's Joanna Gaines of "Fixer Upper" for reinventing the look and bringing it the mainstream. Joanna Gaines' drool-worthy kitchens give a new meaning to DIY and rustic. When plotting out just how you are going to turn your open kitchen shelving dreams into reality, there are a few things you will want to consider.

First things first: space. How many shelves will you need to mount in the space you have available to hold the items you need to store? Assess the items you will need to store, and lay them out on the floor or counter top in rows. Measure the available space you have for shelving and then take a measurement of each row of items. Reduce items if necessary and add them to other rows when length is an issue. Take the width and length and determine what size shelf you will need. Usually 10 or 12 inches is standard.

Now you will want to source material that inspires you and fits into the look you want to achieve and the functionality you require. Stainless steel is found everywhere in the kitchen, from your sleek  appliances to your mixing bowls and utensils. The reason for stainless steels popularity in kitchen has to do with more than just it's pretty looks. Stainless steel is a metal alloy with 10 -11% chromium. It is strong as all get-out, it doesn't chip, bend, or crack easily (though it does scratch), and it stays shiny over years of use. Even if the metal gets scratched, the chromium forms a film of chromium oxide over the surface that prevents the steel from rusting by shielding it from air and moisture.  This film is passive and non-toxic, and most importantly, it gives us all the excellent properties of stainless steel without the worry of rust.

Lastly, you will need to consider the bracket to mount your custom open shelving.  A good rule of thumb is that for heavier shelf material (think granite or thick butcher block) and items, you will want a bracket that has a high weight bearing capacity. Again it is hard to argue with the properties of stainless steels. It is strong, can withstand high temperatures and is non porous making it safe for food preparation.  Place a stainless steel bracket approximately every 15-16 inches of shelf length. A bracket that is one to two inches shorter than the shelf plank is sufficient. Simply put, stainless steel shelving brackets provide  high weight capacity and work well in kitchens because the stainless steel is versatile, corrosion-proof and easy to clean, withstanding the elements natural to a kitchen such as grease, heat, and moisture. Are you ready for stainless steel open kitchen shelving?

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