6 items that act as works of art on your open shelves but are also perfectly practical for daily use

Styling your open shelves won’t be an issue any longer with these arty items that are also made for everyday use

home office with blue open shelves styled with various items
(Image credit: Manolo Langis. Design: Brandon Architects and Brooke Wagner Design)

Styling open shelving can be a bit tricky. You probably face the dilemma of whether to display items that are pretty but aren't used much, or those that you use day-to-day but might not be as display-worthy. The thing is, as a matter of priority, whatever you go for should look good, otherwise, it defeats the purpose of an open shelf altogether. 

Designers have a sense of this situation and are on a mission to solve it by creating pretty objects that you simply won’t want to keep hidden behind cupboard doors. Some artists and artisans have themselves turned their hand to creating items that aren't just for art’s sake, but also for practical use. I’m noticing more and more out there: perfectly functional objects like vases, plates, and even your run-of-the-mill pepper grinder, all looking so beautiful they're like actual pieces of art that you'll want to showcase proudly. 

Some are an investment, some are more accessible - no matter your budget, you'll find an option available. Here are some of the best objects out there that are perfectly suited for use, and for styling your open shelving.

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.