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The Kitchen Open Shelving Got a Fresh Look

I hope you’re not tired of my turquoise kitchen because today I’m sharing a closer look at the kitchen open shelving!

How to Style Kitchen Open ShelvingWalnut Salad Bowls on Open ShelvingVintage Kitchen Open Shelving

It’s difficult to see each piece in a pulled back shot of the kitchen open shelving and I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what’s on those shelves now, so today I’m zooming in and sharing some stories, sources, and links to similar finds.  So many of you love vintage and treasure hunting as much as I do, so I hope this is a fun little tour!

For new readers: back in 2014 I revealed my budget-friendly turquoise kitchen makeover. Click that link to see the oak ” before”.  Because this affordable kitchen makeover was meant to be temporary(ish), I wanted to have fun with it and live out my dream of aqua cabinets.  I matched the paint on the cabinets to my favorite vintage Pyrex pieces, which definitely brought cheer to the kitchen open shelving.  I bought some things intended to carry over to the real renovation whenever we tackled it (like my Modernica stools) and, because I envisioned a walnut or white kitchen when we renovated for real, I ordered them in my favorite color.  It was a lot of turquoise, but I loved it!

Turquoise Kitchen Cabinets and Open Shelving

This makeover was intended to tide us over while we saved up for a kitchen renovation (plus we wanted to live in the space to best figure out what we wanted/needed).  Well, it’s four years later and we keep draining the kitchen reno savings account, so this projects keeps getting pushed back.  It’s okay, I really (really) can’t complain because we’ve bought some fun stuff, some practical stuff, and hey – the temporary renovation has been holding up quite nicely.  Even though I’m cooking more now than ever, I still love the kitchen open shelving (I wrote about whether it gets dusty and grimy here) and the solid maple counters Hubby and his Dad built have obvious signs of love and use but they still look gorgeous.  We did tackle one thing that really bugged me – those scratched vinyl sheet floors – and, miraculously, the painted vinyl floor is also holding up too, despite some pretty heavy abuse from the puppers.

Aqua Kitchen Design with Open Shelving

So having to wait a bit longer for a renovation isn’t really a problem, except that I was starting to feel that renovation itch! I was craving a change, but what?  I modernized a sentimental piece of art with a new wood burned frame and that’s what motivated my kitchen open shelving refresh.  I just shopped the house!  Basically I had my bake and cookware out, and my serving and drink ware stored behind cupboards, and I just switched the two – although I did leave some vintage Pyrex on the kitchen open shelving and I did add one or two useless decor pieces for color or texture.  It’s a much more eclectic, relaxed and even muted vibe, with an emphasis on organic textures, which is the direction my decor is taking all over the house.  I’ve been favoring texture over patterns and feeling inspired by all of the nature around us – not just the lake, which is why I’m introducing more earthy greens and wood elements.  Here’s a closer look at everything on the kitchen open shelving and on my counters!

Eclectic Kitchen Open Shelving

You might recognize the DIY walnut trivet we made for my Mom?  She downsized and I nabbed it back – until she needs it again.  A walnut cutting board is next on my wish list.  On top is a set of vintage teak condiment bowls.  I dreamed about a set like that (better than my usual apocalypse dreams haha), so finding them for $2 was literally a dream come true.  I was always using my little teal VQ Hepburn radio in the kitchen, dragging it from its spot in the office, so I made it a permanent home here.

Vintage Look Teal RadioVQ Hepburn Radio in Teal

Adding more wood tones, especially teak and walnut, was definitely a conscious decision because although you won’t see me pair much orange or red (my least favorite color ever) with aqua and blues, I do love how wood warms up my favorite cool hues.  Some of the pieces, like walnut salad bowls and the teak condiment bowls are practical, but adding a plant is totally useless!  I just wanted to add a little life – although I’m not sure how long this fern will hang on.  But I already had the Case Study table top planter and was excited to use it again after storing it for after my last plant died.  The turned teak candlestick holders were a ridiculously good price (maybe $2?) . Wood candlestick holders are such a bad idea, so we only use them for dinnertime when we can keep an eye on them!

Case Study Planter Table Top Size with Fern1960s Vintage Teak Candlestick Holders

I moved almost all of the patterned Pyrex in favor of solid turquoise, but of course I kept my rare blowing leaves casserole on the kitchen open shelving – it’s my favorite pattern of all time!  The atomic starburst is the only other patterned Pyrex I kept out – it’s one of my early finds.  I have a gorgeous teal space saver in the Etsy shop right now, with a similar vibe and a gold wheat sheaf design.  You can also buy this adorable starburst inspired embroidered tea towel – such a cute way to get the look because the starburst Pyrex is difficult to find.

Vintage Styled Kitchen Open ShelvingBlowing Leaves PyrexStarburst Pyrex

Relaxing the look of my open shelves was a chance to display an Iittala Solaris platter I scooped up at a yard sale years ago and my vintage Iittala Kuusi glassware with the trees.  Iittala was always difficult to mix in with the retro 1950s designs of my Butterprint and other vintage Pyrex, but now that the emphasis is on texture and not pattern, I’m finding it easier to bring out and mix in my old favorites.  The pottery pieces are the only new-ish things.  I sold a McCoy Harmony piece in the shop (I was over the orange) and then days later I thrifted this pale green McCoy vase.  Boomerang vintage!  The green textured pottery piece is a little pitcher (perfect for maple syrup) that I bought on Mother’s Day this year, when my Mom and I made a day trip stateside to hit up our favorite flea market.  (Here’s an equally gorgeous green pottery pitcher and a brown pitcher I have in the Etsy shop right now).  That raku pottery bowl is something I just thrifted recently.  It was made by a local potter in the early ’90s and my Mom has some of his work (she even made her own raku pottery bowl, in the photo with the pink peony).  I was always fascinated by raku, so when I found this for $4 I scooped it up.  Hubby says it’s ugly, but I love how it echoes the charred finish on my new kitchen art.  Little details like that make me so happy!  (Here’s a similar raku bowl and this turquoise vase is raku but a completely different look).  That little grey piece is my only Russel Wright pottery – someone said it looks like a bed pan and now I can’t un-see that, but I wanted more pale grey up on the shelves and it’s a handy serving piece (here’s a similar serving bowl although this Beauceware planter I have in the shop has an even more similar vintage shape.

Pottery Collection - Love the Raku and McCoy Harmony VaseHandmade Raku Pottery

Speaking of pottery, I still love the pottery mugs Hubby’s aunt made and thoughtfully sent to us.  Is there anything better than pottery in the mail?  She no longer makes pottery, so these have become even more special. I used to “save” them and keep them locked away in a cabinet because I was too worried we’d break one, but that seems silly so now we use and enjoy them daily  and I love seeing them on our kitchen open shelving.  This pottery mug has a gorgeous chalky brown and pale aqua glazes – if you’re in the market for a cozy pottery mug!

Brown and Blue Pottery MugsVintage Kitchen Shelving Decor

The teal blue glasses are something else I inherited. My maternal Grandmother loved this shade of blue and so do I.

Vintage Teal Glasses

I’m always looking for ways to make storage pretty in my small kitchen, because it clears up valuable cabinet space and helps me eek out more storage.  I bought this modern spice tower awhile back and I LOVE it.  It’s such a small, unspecial thing but I also took a clear stacking glass container set from my grandparents’ house when we had to empty and sell it.  I got sentimental about everything, but I’m glad I kept it because I recently put my three most used loose leaf teas in it.  The exercise required to bend over and find my tea in a lower cabinet was too much, lol.  I make tea a LOT, so why wasn’t it handier to grab?  Read this post to find out how I squeeze more storage out of my small kitchen.

Modern Spice Tower Rack StorageClever Idea for Storing Loose Leaf Tea

I’m up to my old tricks again and painted my knife block a pale blue chalk paint (left over from the cabinet I made over for the fish room makeover).  I love my white kitchen knives but the matching steak knives got rusty, so I swapped in a vintage bakelite set (although I am now obsessed with this insanely affordable muted aqua set)

Painted Knife Block Idea

Here’s a reminder of the “before” – although I was always rearranging the kitchen open shelving a little.  This is just the biggest change to date!

Turquoise Kitchen DesignAqua Kitchen

It’s amazing what this little kitchen open shelving refresh did for my contentment!   I can definitely live with this kitchen for the next 100 years it takes to save up again.  The new relaxed aesthetic and color palette (mint, turquoise, teal and forest green count as different colors lol) flows with the rest of the house so well now.  I’m feeling really wild and crazy though, because I recently bought a Keurig and a new kettle and they’re both WHITE!  What is happening to me?

Blue Kitchen with Open ShelvingHow to Style Kitchen Open Shelving

And remember the before?

Sources (or Similar Finds):

I’ve been listing a lot of new finds in my Etsy shop, (like this blue stripe Cathrineholm Bowl) so if something you liked went missing from the shelves – it might be there!  At the very least you can find a curated selection of vintage goodies, handpicked by me.  It’s difficult to find identical links because so much of what I own is a hand-me-down or thrifted, but I’ve compiled some similar items – or things with a lakehouse vibe, below:

Sources (or Similar Finds):


Modern spice tower | Glass Stacking Jars Set with Lid | White Rosti Denmark Kitchen Utensil Holder | White Kitchen Knives and Wood Knife Block | Turquoise Knives with Knife Block | Large Glass Canisters for Dry Goods


Grey Ceramic Serving Bowl | Green Pottery Pitcher | Brown + Aqua Pottery Mug | Blue and Brown Pottery Mug | Turquoise Raku Vase | Brown Pottery Pitcher | Cream West German Pottery Vase | Mint Green Vase


Iittala Glass Cake Stand | Iittala Centerpiece Bowl | Iittala Drinking Glasses | Teal Drinking Glasses | Iittala Pitcher | Vintage Iittala Glass Vase | Bakelite Covered Glass Cake Stand | Teal Green with Gold Wheat Sheaf Space Saver Casserole | Turquoise Butterprint Pyrex Bowls


Teak Condiment Bowls with Spoons | Walnut Cutting Board | Case Study Table Top Planter with Walnut Legs | Case Study Grey Planter Bowls with Walnut Stand | Full Size Case Study Planter with Walnut Stand | Walnut Candle Stick Holders | Walnut Salad Bowls | Walnut Bowls


VQ Hepburn Vintage Style Teal Radio | White Keurig Single Serve | White Enamel Kettle | Turquoise Tray with Handle | Cathrineholm Bowls | Blue Stripe Cathrineholm Bowl | Krenit Bowl | Pyrex Starburst Inspired Tea Towel







  1. July 24, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    It looks lovely – light and bright, but I think the touches of wood really help to warm up the overall look. Great changes (and I love pottering around our house freshening up the look, too) but the most important thing is that you love it. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      July 24, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Thank you! So happy to hear someone else likes to putter around too!

  2. cathie
    July 26, 2018 / 12:16 am

    Not sure why I feel bad saying this but I like the earlier, second version – the one with the dark kitchen floor shown in the photo – much better, it was perfect. It had just enough contrast with a few wood items here and there but was still predominately turquoise. I also liked the plant grouping much better than the single plant in this new version. This newly updated version, there’s just too many different kinds of items and too many patterns and colours, its too mish-mashy. Before it was just all kitchen, now there’s a radio, a plant, a bunch of mugs, its still neat and tidy but not as co-ordinated as before. Its why I don’t like open shelving – a few mugs here, a few glasses here, a cake plate, its all stuff we need but displaying it can be tricky. That said, this was still a good write up, I enjoyed reading about the history of the items. I especially like the blue glassware the bakelite knives.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      July 26, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      It’s totally okay to not like it now! I loved every version so I’m so happy to hear you liked that “era” – in addition to sweet comments at the time, I also got a lot of negative comments about it being TOO matchy-matchy, lol, so it’s really nice to hear someone else appreciated it. That was my reason for keeping it almost all Pyrex – I liked how coordinated it was. But I am just loving the change because I stare at these shelves every single day and I was craving a shake up. Who knows what it will look like next?

  3. Laura Webb
    July 26, 2018 / 8:27 am

    Your kitchen looks amazing! What a great way to make it look new and fresh without the cost or hassle of renovations.We have a vinyl floor in the kitchen as well that could use a touch up. I never considered painting the for the floor but will looking into it.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      July 26, 2018 / 1:20 pm

      Thank you! I am so, so happy we tried painting the floor! It was easier than laying a new cheap vinyl floor because the same flooring extends into the hall and laundry and half bath and that would have been so many cuts around door ways and corners and stuff. It took some patience and prep but I can attest to the durability. And Szuka is a beefy, 115lb dog who tears around the house, but she’s never scratched through. I would do it again for sure! I recommend some products and what prep to do in my tutorial:

  4. Barbara Mascia
    September 13, 2018 / 8:11 am

    what is the name of the color and where did you purchase the paint? . Beautiful color and kitchen.

    Thank You.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      September 13, 2018 / 2:17 pm

      The turquoise? It’s CIL Niagara Mist 🙂 Thanks so much! So glad you like it.

  5. Marijo H.
    July 4, 2020 / 1:50 pm

    Hi Tanya,
    I really like how bright your kitchen is. Do you miss having a range hood? I’m thinking of what to do with my massive range hood ‘cover’ when I want to put shelving on wall above my stove. I have seen the really thin kinds on the market that could be attached under the shelf.

    • July 5, 2020 / 11:15 am

      Thank you so much! I don’t miss the range hood because it didn’t work – something wasn’t right about it (former owner installed it). It was just decorative, haha. Same thing in my last house, weirdly – house was built such that it didn’t work. But my current home does have a whole home air exchanger with a fan to the left of the kitchen so I do still get the cooking smells, etc., out of my kitchen super quickly. The whole home air exchanger made it possible to give up the range hood but when we renovate we will install another one and this time it will work! Those thin ones looks great!

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