This new storage trend combines two kitchen staples – for an organized space

When the kitchen island meets open shelving, it’s a match made in storage system heaven

Open-shelving kitchen island trend
(Image credit: Space Theory)

Open-shelving is here to stay – but not as you know it. The storage trend of the season has arrived in the shape of an open-kitchen island – an emerging must-have that merges open-shelving with the statement kitchen island. 

This modern kitchen idea celebrates style and simplicity whilst offering an abundance of storage space for your everyday essentials. It is, therefore, easy to see why this feature is having more than a moment. 

Designers can’t get enough of this stylish storage idea, but what is making them so excited? Here, the experts reveal why there is a demand for the open-shelving kitchen island – and how you can style one in your home. 

Open-shelving kitchen island trend

(Image credit: Space Theory)

‘Expectations are rising for what it feels like to live in our homes,’ says Michelle Kalsi, the general manager at Space Theory (opens in new tab). The Seattle-based company (that designed the island above) are leaders in the open kitchen island revolution. The trend, Michelle suggests, is a natural fit for those who have a high expectation of what they can get from their homes. 

‘We want the mundane things we do every day to feel simple and natural – and part of the aesthetic experience,’ she says. ‘We think it’s the way of the future.’ 

Bo Hellberg, the CMO at String Furniture (opens in new tab), agrees. ‘When you cook a lot, you want lots of open shelves, so everything is easily within reach,’ he explains. This island not only offers space for utensils, crockery, and cookbooks – but it allows you to exhibit your favorite pieces in organized style. 

How to style the open-shelving kitchen island 

Open-shelving kitchen island trend

(Image credit: Space Theory)

The open-shelving interior design trend is known for its ability to show off chosen pieces to all who pass through your space. However, this transparency makes it even more important that your island is kept in order. 

In reference to Daylight, Space Theory's new stand-alone kitchen island, Michelle recommends investing in drawers that ‘provides an aesthetic order to keep things looking good yet relaxed.’

Peter Erlandsson, the Co-Owner of String Furniture, also urges you to use your open shelf to showcase your individuality – and exhibit objects you have collected throughout your lives.

Open-shelving kitchen island trend

(Image credit: Space Theory)

‘Whether it’s a collection of specific objects like crockery or crystal ware, or just sentimental bits and pieces, give your clutter a new lease of life. Every ornament, shell, fridge magnet, and dog-eared book can make up a mosaic of colorful references to your life,’ he says. 

If you need us, we'll be investing in the kitchen statement we never knew we needed, until now. 

Megan Slack
News Writer

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.