Shea McGee explains why you should never hide your cookbooks in the cupboard

Here's how to make the most of this kitchen staple, according to the Utah-based designer

SheaMcGee's cookbook tip
(Image credit: Studio McGee / Photo by Lucy Call)

Cookbooks are an obvious kitchen staple – but you could be styling them wrong – according to Shea McGee. 

The Studio McGee founder and Dream Home Makeover star has shared her modern kitchen ideas that go against conventions – and her cookbook tip will elevate the busiest room of your home. 

If your cookbooks are hiding away in the cupboard, the designer urges you to bring them into the forefront of the space – but she is not alone in her admiration for this age-old accessory. Here is everything you need to know about the Shea-approved staple. 

Shea McGee's kitchen cookbook secret 

SheaMcGee's cookbook tip

(Image credit: Studio McGee / Photo by Lucy Call)

'Books might seem like a slightly more obvious kitchen-decor item, but we're here to argue that you don't need to tuck them away in your cupboard,' Shea says in her post. Instead, the designer recommends stacking them 'vertically or horizontally under bowls, alone, or in shelving for more dimension.'

Shea adds that, when it comes to modern decorating ideas, she is leaning towards the unconventional. Her rearrangement of this kitchen favorite is an example of her movement. 

'Although we love the typical styling vignettes and pieces you might find in a kitchen: see oversized branches, a crock with wooden kitchen tools, pretty displayed cutting boards; lately, we're favoring the unexpected,' she says. 

SheaMcGee's cookbook tip

(Image credit: Studio McGee / Photo by Lucy Call)

Shea also suggests that changing the placement of your cookbooks allows you to soften the aesthetic of your kitchen without having to endure a complete remodel. 'The "rules" of kitchen styling are a thing of the past,' she explains. However, she is not the only interior expert who is rethinking the cookbook's placement in the kitchen. 

The Founder of LES Collection (opens in new tab), Lauren Sands, is similarly making a statement with her colorful cookbooks – on the nights she is entertaining – and the days she is not. 

'I love bringing books into every room in my house, but especially the kitchen,' Lauren says.

SheaMcGee's cookbook tip

(Image credit: Studio McGee / Photo by Lucy Call)

'I have a collection of cookbooks, [and] from a design perspective they bring in colors and textures that pull in the reach of the kitchen decor. It's nice to have cookbooks on hand for inspiration for entertaining.'

 If you need us, we'll be investing in some new appropriately colored cookbooks.  

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.