Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Boost Your Kitchen Organization with Open-Ended Shelves

Gabriela Connell
4 minute read

If your kitchen cabinets are stuffed to the brim but you still lack storage, it may be time to try open end shelves. These innovative shelves provide access to wasted space in corners and at the back of cabinets for enhanced organization.

Installing open end shelves is an easy and affordable way to gain storage without a major renovation. Read on to learn how they work and get ideas to maximize your kitchen’s storage potential.

What Are Open End Shelves?

Open end shelves are exactly what their name implies – shelves open on one or both ends. This design allows you to access the entire depth of a cabinet or corner.

kitchen cabinet open end shelf

Unlike regular cabinet shelves that only provide usable space in the front, open end shelves let you take advantage of all available space. The open ends eliminate wasted areas in blind corners and along the back walls of cabinets.

Corner Shelves

Corner shelves are a popular type of open end shelf. They come in several shapes to fit different corner cabinet configurations.

L-shaped corner shelves join two shelves at a 90 degree angle. Pie cut and diagonal shelves are triangular. You can also find adjustable wire corner shelves. All provide storage in hard to access corners.

Roll-Out Trays

Roll-out trays mount to the insides of cabinets and slide out on wheels or tracks. This provides easy access to everything from spices to pots and pans.

Roll-out trays come fully assembled for quick DIY installation. Many feature smooth ball-bearing glides and soft-close mechanisms.

Pull-Out Shelves

Pull-out shelves are mounted on slides or tracks within cabinets. They allow you to fully extend shelves to see and reach the entire depth of the cabinet.

Pull-out shelves require a bit more work, but provide a custom built-in look. They can be sized precisely for your needs.

Benefits of Open End Shelves

Installing open end shelves in your kitchen provides a variety of benefits beyond increased storage space.

Increased Storage

Open end shelves are a great way to make use of the awkward, narrow spaces in corners. They also help you access the back few inches of wall space in cabinets that normally go unused.

The additional space is perfect for bulky bakeware, cutting boards, appliances, and other hard to store kitchen items. You can organize and see everything easily.

Improved Accessibility

Ever had to remove everything from a cabinet to reach something in the very back? Open end shelves eliminate this problem.

Pull-out shelves bring the entire contents up to you. Roll-out trays glide items out of deep corners. You’ll stop digging and shuffling just to find what you need.

Enhanced Organization

With open end shelves, you can arrange items precisely how you want them. Group like items together or divide shelves into compartments.

Seeing everything eliminates forgotten items getting buried. Custom organization keeps your cabinets tidy and efficient.

Choosing the Right Open End Shelves

When shopping for open end shelves, keep these tips in mind:

Measure Carefully

Take exact interior measurements of your cabinets so shelves will fit properly. Make sure to account for any pipes, wires, or obstructions inside cabinets.

Know whether you need standard sizes or custom cut shelves. Measure multiple times for accuracy.

Material and Style

Open end shelves come in various materials like wood, metal, or plastic. Choose a finish that matches your kitchen’s decor.

Consider optional drawers, raised edges, and tip-out features. Look for durable construction that will hold heavy items.

Installation Type

Is DIY installation feasible or will you need a carpenter? Determining whether shelves should be freestanding, mounted, or built-in will impact the cost and labor.

Make sure required mounting hardware or slide tracks are included with shelves. Understand the full installation process before purchasing.

Getting the Most Out of Open Shelves

A few tips to maximize the storage potential of your new open shelves:

Adding open end shelves is an easy and affordable way to double your kitchen’s storage capacity. Take advantage of all that wasted space in corners and the back of cabinets.

With a variety of styles to choose from, you can create a custom storage solution. Get ready to organize kitchen tools and appliances better than ever before.

Implement a few sets of open shelves in your kitchen and you’ll be amazed how much extra room you gain. Meal prep will become more efficient and cleanup a breeze with everything in its handy spot.