Floating shelves

Open storage in the kitchen is sort of having an it-moment right now. Those gorgeously styled shelves of matched, or beautifully un-matched, dishware and quirky accessories look amazing, for sure. But for me, they seem a bit unrealistic – if you have company over, you’ll need to take those dishes down to set your table, and then the shelves won’t look beautifully styled any more (unless those dishes are just for show, but then you’ll need another cabinet with doors on it to store the dishes you actually use). This is why I mirrored our glass front cabinets. I love the look of glass front cabinets too, but I didn’t want them to look empty and unstyled when I had company over because I actually need to use the contents of the cabinets.

But to prove the point, lets looks at some pretty open shelving in some fancy kitchens:

Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper
Young House Love
Young House Love
Young House Love
Young House Love
Hooked on Houses
Hooked on Houses
Our Vintage Home
Our Vintage Home

Here are a ton more in these roundups from One Kings Lane and House Beautiful.

For our kitchen, I knew I didn’t want open shelving as our main source of upper storage. However, I knew I was going to have to deal with an awkward little space above the new dishwasher. The exposed edge of the backer board behind the tile would need to be concealed in someway and there was a bizarre outlet high up on the wall that would need to be hidden as well. See below.

2015-01-18 20.52.54

We could have used the same curved tile pieces as we did on the vertical edge and capped off the wires and cover the outlet with a blank and then hung some art over it and called it a day. But. I had plans to use that outlet to plug in some sconces over the windows. I couldn’t really have plugs hanging out in the middle of the wall and make that look good.

We could have hung a new cabinet in that space, but we were afraid it would really box in the kitchen as you come in the back door.

Shelves seemed to be the solution. I really loved these marble and brass shelves from CB2:

CB2 Marble and Brass Shelf
CB2 Marble and Brass Shelf

The price was pretty great – only about $50/shelf and I would have definitely gone with this solution. However, they were a fraction of an inch too narrow to cover the entirety of tile backer board.

IKEA’s Lack shelf was too wide:

IKEA Lack Shelf
IKEA Lack Shelf

Same story with all the other premade options I found. Unsurprisingly, none were EXACTLY the width I needed.

Fortunately, on one of my many late night romps on Pinterest, I filed away this tutorial from Shanty2Chic on how to build your own floating shelves.

Shanty2Chic DIY Floating Shelves
Shanty2Chic DIY Floating Shelves

Her tutorial was perfect.

We started out by marking the studs.

2015-01-25 17.55.15We cut the supports, leaving room for the finished wood to wrap the sides and then used our Kreg Jig (Seriously, get one of these!) to join the perpendicular pieces.

E0qCR7GEp4RJZcmk3gdxdW1pdX0nUh9Xg9HINYvTwkoAfter attaching the support to the wall into studs where we could, and anchored where we couldn’t, we dry fit the finish pieces:

2015-01-27 22.19.17We then attached the finish pieces to the supports, gluing and nailing, and then clamping into place to dry.

2015-01-27 22.19.24 2015-01-28 11.12.41 2015-01-28 11.12.47 IMG_4421After duplicating the process for the second, higher shelf, it was time to wood putty the nail holes and sand smooth.

2015-01-29 15.00.26Prime (and take an accidental selfie. Hey B):

IMG_5130Then caulk the seems and paint (this is apparently how we spent Valentines Day 2015 BTW):

suLzXVX_olQ4gD5Niqu2l4LAdznSmwWa3lhPscgASrcCaulking the seams really finished the look. They look completely integrated with the wall now, which is a look we could have never gotten with a store bought solution.

IMG_1169The finished look is really amazing. It provides a great spot to store my Grandma Maryann’s vintage canisters (she bought these with her first paycheck from the 5 and Dime store she worked at as a teenager as a gift for her mother) which we use to house coffee filters, coffee, dog food and crystal light, as well as some artwork on the top shelf, which hides that weird outlet.

IMG_1171IMG_1168PjIqWPPBU6mVlnzplAYTHg3ZvHiTNTcBl4RICrprfZ0