open shelves + subway tile

Hello friends!

It has been one year since we sold our home and started building our new one.

Now, I would love to say that everything is finished and we are living in domestic bliss, however, such is not the case.

After taking about 7 months off (hubby had another project to complete), we have begun work again!

In the meanwhile, we’ve been staring at everything that needs to be done, and we, meaning me, each have our own ideas of what should be first, so we had to prioritize !

One of the projects I am eager to start is actually going backwards !! I have always loved the look of open shelves in the kitchen, but totally capitulated going with upper cabinetry, with the ever present re-sale mantra going on in my own head. So needless to say I have been obsessing dreaming of open shelves.

 subway tile

I am also wanting to put subway tile in as a back splash, and the two just seem to go hand in hand!

Sometimes I am a little late to the party, but this is something that can easily be done after the fact.


I have one upper cabinet that is situated between the window and glass door, that can be moved to the laundry room creating the perfect place to add this element.

tile dark grout

One of benefits of taking our time is that I have plenty of time to decide, not counting budget constraints, on what to pick for some of the finishing touches.

tile pantry

simple one shelf

 Of course it also means that I can keep changing I mind every time I see something I like!! In fact I have picked three different light fixtures for the island and can’t seem to pull the trigger on any of them!


And the great debate between rustic reclaimed wood for the shelves….

small shelves+lighting

Or something in a metal wrought iron fashion…

steel shelving

steel+wood shelf

subway tile wood counter

Both equally beautiful when paired with the smooth white tile…

subway tile dark wood

Even this small nook looks great with the simple addition of a shelf.

small space shelf

rustic wood shelf

reclaimed wood shelf

 In Darryl Carter’s kitchen rustic shelves are tucked into nooks…

darryl carter

And this stunning beauty elevated and placed center stage…

darryl carter shelves

 Lauren Liess placed a free standing unit on top of the counter on each side of the range…

lauren liess

Maybe a combination of the two, kind of a Restoration Hardware industrial look…

rustic shelves

We’ll see… not exactly top on the list, but like Scarlet O’Hara says….

I’ll worry about that tomorrow!!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods…





9 Replies to “open shelves + subway tile”

  1. I am drooling over all these pictures!!! We have the most 90’s kitchen in the world and I swoon over open shelves and subway tile backsplash. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!!


  2. Shelves are my worst nightmare, good job we are all different or life would be very boring. I love pristine kitchens, everything behind a door and as much as possible off the worktops. Good luck with your projects, I am sure they will be fantastic when finished and give you a great deal of pleasure

  3. Loved the pictures, great inspiration. Living in California, I like looking at the pictures but scared everything would fall in even a slight quake.
    I’d chose your self material based on how you like to clean. Smoother surfaces can take a quick wipe, whereas a rustic wood if not sanded very smooth on the shelf side would be harder to keep clean.
    Can’t wait to see what you choose.
    P.s. Re lighting fixture, maybe you just haven’t found the one that calls your name.

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