House & Home

Jars Make the Prettiest Open Shelf Storage

Open shelving filled with glass jars

In my kitchen, space is a premium. Not only are all the drawers and cabinets filled to capacity, but so are the counters (what precious real estate we could dole out to our appliances) and even the vertical space above our heads (by way of two hanging pot racks).

Adding to the problem was the fact that we had no pantry. And when we started buying in bulk because of our chickens, we needed to find a place in the house to stash all the leftover grains — the grains we shared with them, like kamut and oats — which we couldn’t fit in their coop.

Finally, the dear husband agreed to build me some open shelving in our kitchen along a wooden beam in the ceiling. The shelves hold cookbooks and our collection of wooden bowls on one side, and a row of beautiful glass jars on the other side.

Open shelving filled with glass jars

Gallon jars, half-gallon jars, and quart-size mason jars

Gallon jars, half-gallon jars, and quart-size mason jars all line up side by side in a delicious display of spices, grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, and dried fruit. What you might find up on the perch are three different kinds of cinnamon… a fragrant jar of lavender… sweet golden raisins and split green peas and brown sesame seeds. Multi-grain oatmeal. Korean black rice. Raw slivered almonds. Organic popcorn.

Jars of grains and legumes

A fragrant jar of lavender

Saigon cinnamon sticks

I feel very Laura Ingalls Wilder in my little country kitchen, living out my prairie fantasy in the middle of a city. It’s cozy and comforting and I end up cooking more. I wander the bulk aisles of my nutty-crunchy grocery store and wonder if I have room for the Madagascar pink rice I’ve been wanting to try.

Now if only I had a pretty open shelf for all my canning jars too…

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »