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Rustic Open Shelves for a Bogcore Kitchen

Open shelving isn't for everyone, but it is essential to the 2020s bogcore kitchen. My family's DIY kitchen elegantly blends cultural influences from our ancestors which include Depression survivors, Viking-descended woodbillies, theater people/carnies, art fags, and Slavic sluts. My husband and I have crafted a wall of shelving and a pantry that combine rugged practicality with queenly flamboyance. Minimalist jars of raw ingredients line up alongside a vase of old peacock feathers. A ceramic sculpture displays our collection of grocery store spatulas. In the pantry, a large, cheap microwave nests snugly among rustic baskets, oiled wood carpentry, and our collection of well-loved, antique cast iron cookware.


Bogcore is a welcoming, inviting, embracing aesthetic that can truly absorb and accept just about anything, with style. For example, I can hang up a dish towel from a wide range of colors and patterns that will work within the look of the kitchen. I don't have to be picky about exactly what "goes" in here. It's maximalist and unfussy. It has good flow and energy for people who use the kitchen liberally. And these flexible, open-hearted shelves can be styled and restyled easily, to suit different seasons, rotated collections, changing moods, or new habits. 

To create our bogcore open shelving look, I blanketed the kitchen walls and ceiling in the same deep forest green (Courtyard by Sherwin-Williams) to create a moody, outdoorsy backdrop. My husband drove way out to the country to buy some Michigan black cherry slabs with attached bark from a hobbyist on Facebook, and he hauled them home in our vintage pickup truck, cut them to size, finished them in a clear epoxy resin to make them impervious to all the boggy steam that we'll generate on the stove underneath, and installed them on sturdy metal brackets screwed into every available stud along their length, for maximum strength. (Those slabs are heavy!) 

While our kitchen was under construction, I sorted out everything we had, just like Marie Kondo showed me how to do through the YouTube, and I chucked or squirreled away everything that was not both highly useful to us and aesthetically pleasing to display on the same wall. I grouped together bright white ceramics, shiny glass and stainless containers, and boldly colored pieces and moved them around until I was pleased with how the items on the shelves glow against their dark background.

Inside the pantry, I went for an opposite effect by using light paint and wallpaper to brighten the partially enclosed space, which I filled with mostly dark objects. I particularly like how the cast iron skillets, dark stone mortar and pestle, and deep green enameled pot contrast with the silvery birch wallpaper and pale gray back wall.

As suggested by the chalk marks and exposed wiring, our kitchen isn't completed yet, so I will post more photos when we get it all done--I hope by the end of next week. In the meantime, you can enjoy more of my modern suburban bogcore home decor aesthetic on Pinterest and Instagram.

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