Kitchen Shelves: After… sorta.

Since Steve and I both work full time I can’t really do a sweeping reveal of a dramatically different before and after. I mean, I could, but there would probably be a few months of crickets chirping between posts. (Which actually might be kinda cute — maybe it could be a love story.) Alas, the cricket thing probably won’t work, so instead, you get to see snippets of all of our work-in-progress.

Although we still have a way to go with our kitchen makeover, I’m pretty darn happy with where we are today. Let me start by showing you what our kitchen looked like last weekend, and what lead to this whole shelf-idea in the first place:

We were pretty pleased with how things were progressing but wondered if there was a way to open up the kitchen a bit more, since we finally decided on leaving the cabinets in their natural finish. (We just couldn’t paint them. I know it’s what all the cool kids are doing — but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to deface the wood.)

We wondered if replacing the single cabinet to the left of the sink with open shelving would create a more modern, open feeling in the room.

Our hunch was: Yes. Yes it would.

So, we got to work. We picked up a few boards of pine, and The Lumberjack locked himself in the garage for an entire afternoon. (Oak was double the price, and all of the pine was already in the neighborhood of $90! Yikes.)

Here are the basics of our floating shelves: Top, bottom, sides, and then a piece for the front. And then the whole, hollow, kit-and-caboodle would slide over a horizontal 2″ x 2″ anchor that we would be attached to the wall.

Steve had to do a lot of gluing, clamping, sanding, and weighing-down of the wood with weights because some of the pieces were pretty warped. We needed them to be as flat as possible since, you know, they were going to be shelves and all. The whole assembly process of these shelves took the majority of after-work hours during this entire week.

Olive supervised, obviously:

Then, after many days of waiting for the wood to flatten and for the glue to dry (Did you know wood glue is stronger than nails?! Neither did I. Crazytown.) We had some pretty gorgeous, new shelves to hang.

In the picture below, the shelf on the left is fully assembled and awaiting a sanding session, and the one on the right just needs it’s face put on. Sorta like Oprah before a live show.

FINALLY! We were ready to hang. I’ve been waiting for this day forever (really it was only 4 days).

Disclaimer: We have a bunch of friends visiting this weekend! So we’re putting this project on hold until after they leave. The shelves still need to be stained — which is a completely different ballgame. More on that later.

Use that wicked imagination of yours and pretend the shelves are stained, and the walls are painted. (Getting painter’s quotes next week!)

OPENNESS! Holy cow I just stood there with my jaw on the ground staring at the wall. My husband is like a superhero who’s special power is woodworking. Super Steve! I’m so proud of him. (I guarantee he’s blushing right now.)

And, we even managed to get in a new light:

$24 for a TWO-PACK at Menards! Did you guys know how awesome Menards is? Because I didn’t, and now I do, and I sort of feel like I’ve found the fountain of youth awesomeness.

So that’s our big shelf reveal! I can’t, can’t, can’t, wait to get some paint on the wall and get these bad boys stained. Once they’re the same color as the cabinetry, the weight of the room will feel much more even and balanced.

The staining portion of this project will be an adventure, as we needed to buy two different colors of stain because there wasn’t just one that matched our cabinets. Cross your fingers and as my Polish friend would say, hold your thumbs. We’re going to need all the luck we can get with that one.

We’re so excited to host some of our favorite people this weekend. Perhaps I’ll be back on Monday with pictures of our shenanigans. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

**update** Here they are in all their finished glory:



Read the post with behind-the-scenes pictures and info about how we straightened out the wood.

Read this post to see the shelves stained and lookin’ mighty fine.


16 thoughts on “Kitchen Shelves: After… sorta.

  1. Hi Moriya,

    I love your blog and get such a kick out of the changes to your new home. I myself just bought my first house and it’s basically a construction zone. The kitchen and living room are nearly complete. We finally moved in a two chairs and the dining room table last Sunday. No more eating off of a board positioned on two compound buckets. Now on to the bedrooms and office, bathroom last.

    Congratulations on the house and Lumberjack, too. Olive is beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Wonky Wood | The Harpster Home

  3. Good stuff! That lumberjack sure is one handy fella–certainly a good compliment to his artistically inclined bride! Thinking this might inspire a shelving project in the nursery this weekend.
    Thanks Harpsters!

  4. I love these! Cannot wait to make some myself! I have a few spots in my house that need these! Can I link to your post from my blog as a reference?

    • Ahh I wish I knew! I bought these stools already looking like this from Craigslist! The woman I bought them from reupholstered them herself. might be a good place to start!

  5. Hi, just saw your post and really liked this idea. O have wanted to do this kind of shelving in my living room for a while, more specifically under the tv. I was wondering if you can give the dimensions you used for your shelves to use as am example. thank you so much and nice diy, I loved the changes!!

  6. Pingback: 21 DIY Floating Shelves Ideas

  7. Pingback: 80 DIY Shelves for Your Home | Rilane - We Aspire to Inspire

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