Keeping It Simply Smart with Open Shelving // $100 Cooking.com Giveaway

Clearly, open shelving is the new trend in kitchen design. People are tearing down cabinets to make room for beautiful brackets and simple shelves.

I must admit I’ve been bit by the open-shelving bug as well. I’m a huge fan! While I’m not in the position to renovate my kitchen at the moment, I’ve been stock-piling my ‘I decorate — Kitchens’ Pinterest board with loads of inspiring kitchens for the moment I’m ready for a kitchen makeover.


And, as much as I love the idea of open shelving in the kitchen, they can get very busy, unorganized, and even messy very quickly. Recently, I was contacted by the lovely folks over at Perdue. They have a new program called K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simply Smart. I thought it would be the perfect time to dig through my open shelving and kitchen inspiration photos to see how other folks keep their open shelving simple, clean, and organized. Here are ten tips to keep your open shelving looking fabulous.


This kitchen has ME written all over it! Love the neutral gray background with pops of greens, oranges, and yellows. Tip One: While nothing is specifically organized on these shelves, the display reads as organized because of the similar color tones. Tip Two: I also love how this kitchen incorporates decorative items like the mini topiary trellis and artwork. It keeps the space feeling comfortable and more like home.

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I’m pretty sure I will never be this organized in my entire life, but my love of the color yellow has me drooling over this next space. Tip Three: Although this isn’t open shelving in a kitchen, it’s a clear example of how consistency in color keeps things very simple and organized. Tip Four: I also love how this space takes advantage of every free inch of room, using the inside door as an ideal place for spices and other bottled items.

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I love the collection of jars in this next kitchen. Tip Five: Having basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and frequently used spices within arm’s reach is a wonderful time-saver when cooking and baking. Tip Six: Not only can you easily see where things are, and how much you have of a particular item, it’s also very visually appealing.

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This is another kitchen space in which color is king. The molding and shelf color has me swooning! Tip Seven: Similarly grouped items on open shelves keep things looking organized and accessible.

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I am a utensil freak when it comes to cooking. I use so many spoons, whisks, and spatulas just to make one simple cake. This next collection is clearly for me! Tip Eight: I love how each category of item has its own little storage vessel. While I’ve attempted to recreate this in my own kitchen, I only have room for about two containers or things tend to get messy regardless of how hard I try.

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And last but not least, I simply love this idea from Barefoot in the Kitchen. I, like many, have a love affair with cake plates, and this collection is gorgeous. Tip Nine: By removing two doors from a builders-grade cabinet, adding some paint, and filling it with a beautiful collection, this set of open shelves becomes a work of art! Love that! Tip Ten: A beautiful collection of any similar items creates an eye-appealing display.

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Are you officially dreaming about how to make your kitchen more organized and efficient? Are you planning how you can tear down some cabinets to make room for some open shelves? I know I am!


………………………………………….


Now it’s giveaway time! Below are the details of the prize and how to enter:


*The Prize*
$100 gift card from Cooking.com


*Enter to Win*

You can receive a maximum of two total entries by selecting from one of the following methods:


A. Leave a comment answering the following question: “How do you Keep It Simply Smart in the Kitchen?


B. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post


C. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.


D. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Please, no duplicate responses. Again, each individual has two chances (from the above list) to win.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.



The Official Rules are available here.


This sweepstakes runs from 7/23/12 – 8/23/12


Be sure to visit the Perdue Simply Smart Chicken brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!
Like the PERDUE SIMPLY SMART Facebook page where you’ll find product info, recipes, and other tips from bloggers.



Good Luck!


  1. I am fortunate to have a lot of storage space in my kitchen, so I try to keep most counter items stowed away so that my counters stay uncluttered. Key word: try!

  2. I keep it simply smart in the kitchen by keeping lots of pre-chopped fruits in tupperware for my kids to take and eat. We also have a lot fresh sandwich ingredients for quick sandwiches.
    KellywcuATyahooDOTcom

  3. We are purchasing a home where the kitchen has two 24″ of open space above the cabinets. My dilemma is: Do I put more cabinets above in the space, or do beautiful open shelving? I love the way open shelving looks, but I am concerned about the amount of dust that will collect, and since it will be so high up, it might not be the easiest to keep clean. Whatever I decide to do, I am going keep it simple by putting the pieces I don’t use very often up high and put the things that I use more often within arms reach.

  4. Sometimes it’s hard to Keep It Simple Smart, but I find it helpful to to make freezer meals for the week or month. Allows for easy weeknight dinners.

  5. I stay Simply Smart by keeping the things I use most easily accessible and organizing snacks into individual servings when I get them so that packing a lunch in the morning is a breeze!

  6. I’m not sure I can ever embrace the open shelving look, so I’ll stick with my cabinets. One thing I do to stay Simply Smart is to put foodstuffs in jars and label them. That makes things so much neater on shelves and easier to find what I’m looking for.

  7. I keep it simple by only having what I absolutely need. Right now I am still in college and don’t have much free time due to homework, class, working, trying to have a social life and etc, BUT I have huge hopes for my kitchen in the future.

  8. We have barely any pantry space, so I turned a drawer into my spice rack back laying the spices on their sides. So much easier to find what we’re looking for!

  9. I try to only keep the things I use daily on my counters. Everything else goes into a cupboard wher I can easily reach it when I need it.

  10. I keep things where I am actually going to use them. It seems too many folks go back and forth all over the kitchen when cooking. Mixer and all baking items together, all my coffee cups and fixings with the coffee maker, cooking oils and utensils by the stove, etc.

  11. Two of the thinks I do to keep my kitchen smart are: I keep my most used utensils, spoons, tongs, pizza cutter, etc., in a metal wine carrier with 6 holders for each bottle. Can separate items into cubbyholes. Also, I have an extra freezer in which I keep most of my spices (because it get’s so hot here in Texas)and they are on a carousel which makes them very easy to find.

  12. I keep my most used and most loved utensils in a crock right by the stove so they’re always quick to grab. I even have multiples of my favorite spatula because I use it so much. And cleaning as I go is a MUST to keep things flowing.

  13. I try to keep it smart in the kitchen by keeping our wood-topped eat in kitchen table free of clutter…the only thing I allow on it when its not in use is a set of pretty plates in the center. The plates function as decorative but so easy to grab one when you need something to hold your snack or pop something into the microwave to heat up (we are a paperless house so only use real plates or linen napkins)

  14. I am an organization freak! I keep things stacked and sorted in all my cabinets. Even my junk draw has bins to hold the same items . I love using bins and baskets to keep things neat and tidy!

  15. I don’t have my own kitchen right now, but I find I enjoy a meal more if I just clean up before sitting down to eat. Yes, I often have to nuke my plate, but putting the dishes and silverware in the dishwasher and walking away is so satisfying! “I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for submitting this comment.”

  16. Greetings Michael!

    Oh boy! You picked a topic “near and dear” to me. :)

    Kitchen tips for regular people:

    1. Try to limit yourself to only one of each kitchen tool. Do you *really* need 5 spatulas? 4 sets of measuring cups? 3 sets of nesting bowls? I have one short spatula and one long one. I love to cook and cook a LOT and have never needed more than these two. I actually stole this concept from a very wise organization expert(Don Aslett) who pointed out that if you have more than one of something, there is the temptation to not *quite* keep track of stuff because in the back-of-your-mind you are always thinking you can find one. End result? You can’t find ANY. Don’t believe me? Ask ANY mother if she can lay her hands on a pair of scissors. I rest my case.

    2. This suggestion sort of goes along with #1- that is, before you get yet another appliance, tool, gadget- ask yourself if you will actually USE it. Yep. How many times have I looked at various gadgets in my kitchen and find I NEVER use them? Gah! Case in point- I got a kick-*ss bread machine (brand new) at a garage sale of a young couple who got three for their wedding. I figured I could use one and it was only $15 so what could be wrong with that? Well, that thing is a beast, takes up a huge amount of space, and I never use the thing. It’s going in the “Garage Sale” pile. I TOTALLY understand the allure of the SHINY new appliance, but first stop to think where it’s going to live before you bring it home. Ask yourself if you will easily and readily be able to access this new tool. Be especially wary if if comes with a cord! Reality check- I’m currently lusting for a mandoline. I have no idea where it’s going to park itself. Sigh. Well, I just got all my knives sharpened.

    3. Keep it simple and get the best you can possibly afford of the basics. I know this sounds like snobbery. And no, I have no Calphalon or Le Creuset in my kitchen. But get the best quality you can possibly manage as you will likely be using these for most of the rest of your life. It is *very* difficult to do anything well without good tools. Good does NOT have to be expensive. Get a good heavy cast iron frying pan ($20 at Target for an American made large-sized pan). Hit up places like Tuesday Morning or Big Lots for closeouts on very good quality bakeware. I just saw some Paula Deen cookware for sale at Big Lots and had to stop myself because I do NOT need another dutch oven/roaster/tea kettle. Costco sells a wonderful private label (Kirkland) set of stovetop pots and pans at a fraction of a similar set from one of the pricey brands. And no, your cookware doesn’t have to match. lol

    Have a great day and many thanks for the fun photos. Your blog always inspires me!

  17. We resist the urge to buy every kitchen gadget out there– we just keep what we use, and means our cabinets aren’t cluttered with random appliances. elizabeth dot k parisi at gmail dot com.

  18. Does anyone know where I can find cabinet doors like the 1st picture with the gray countertops??? I want them!

  19. I repurposed an old laundryhamper – basketweave (green) with lid to hold my bakeware – springform pans, pie pans, cake pans etc. This works out really well and I can easily access them. Also my pots are on a hanging rack which saves me from having to dig in cupboards for them.

  20. I try to keep as many multi tools as possible to void clutter and I reorganize and purge every 4-5 months to make sure I am not holding onto clutter

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  21. I keep it simply smart by eliminating all unnecessary tools and kitchenware. I try to only surround myself with items I love and use often. Martha(Donnie)W.

    ki4ggs(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. I purchased simple planks and cut them into sections using a utility knife. It made sectioning my utensils a breeze with no wasted space!
    Giddingslane at gmail.com

  23. I don’t have my own kitchen just yet… but I do have all my organizing plans mapped out on pinterest! We are looking into getting our own house soon! I cannot wait to put everything in order

  24. I keep everything simple by using baskets, labels, and purging every month or so…I’m always surprised at the things in my kitchen I don’t need or use!

  25. i meal plan too! i also try to plan meals that will use each other’s ingredients so i cut down on waste. scg00387 at yahoo dot com

  26. My pantry is grouped by type of item – ie breakfast, baking, veggies, pastas, tom products (we do a lot of Italian :) ), etc. I love it! Also, since I have started meal planning, a bunch of the “extra” stuff in the pantry is gone. If it is in there, we use it (for the most part :) )

  27. Oh..I love this idea of open shelf. My tip on keeping it Simpy Smart in the kitchen by storing extras equipment in the garage. But I’m very tempted to reorganize to make some open shelves.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  28. Since we have little counter space, we use two drawers for utensils – one for those that are specifically for use on non stick pans and the metal ones. We also have a cup next to the stove of wooden spoons because they work for everything.

  29. “consistency in color keeps things very simple and organized.” <–Words to live by! I love the idea of open shelving, but I’m just not sure I’m up to the task. I keep things simply smart around here by utilizing baskets and glass jars like there is no tomorrow!

  30. I organize by putting the most used ingredients at the most accessible places, and try to do as much in parallel as possible. Thanks for the tips and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  31. I try to be organized but I think I’m a failure. I have more “stuff” than I really have space for but there isn’t very much I want to give up. I’ve been going through my things and trying to downsize but it’s pretty hard.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

  32. I try to keep items stored where they make most sense — cereal by the fridge, pans by the stove, etc. I can’t make use of vertical space much, because I’m short. Sad.

  33. I help to keep it simple by making large meals so that we can eat them for lunch and sometimes even another dinner the next day! Saves time because I don’t have to cook as often!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

  34. I’m obsessively organized so I make the most of my space and time in the kitchen by having everything organized, plan meals, do ahead/in bulk as much as possible and shop with a list at the grocery store.

    mybeachylife at gmail dot com

  35. I redid the contents of my cupboards & drawers so that I have the things I use most closest to where I use them.
    Thanks for the contest.
    “I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for submitting this comment.”

  36. I make double batches of a few meals each month so I have a few nights I can just pull something out of the freezer and re-heat.
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

  37. We have very little storage so we have to be organized. Meal planning saves time, money and space.
    bingomamanorma at gmail dot com

  38. I do meal planning for every week so i get in and out of the kitchen! Thanks for a super giveaway!
    My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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