open kitchen shelves


Last year I posted this picture of the long wall in my kitchen. It seems so odd to have this much kitchen square footage with no cabinets or storage solutions, but this space was originally designed for a bistro type setup. There is just enough room for a small table and chairs. We’ve never used it that way. Instead we have a large island and a very blank wall. It’s been my biggest trial and error with furniture and wall d├ęcor over the years.

The vanity in the photo above is a beloved piece that came from my grandmother and I adored having it in the kitchen, but it only took about a week for Caleb and me to mutually agree that it was not practical. So I began cooking up ideas for a more permanent piece with greater storage potential.

I’m really digging open shelves right now. And the rustic industrial look. And casters! Mmm… casters. I asked Caleb if we could put some on the bottom of the dining table. He just stared at me blankly, “You want to roll the table around?” No. I just want to look at them every time I walk through the room. There isn’t a single caster in this house! Can’t we do something about that??

So with my list of “wants” in mind we set out for the hardware store.


 pictures from Caleb’s phone

We spent so much time in the plumbing department that day Jonathan finally fell asleep. He’s almost five and doesn’t nap anymore so this happens…. hmm… never.


Came home and got right to work milling the boards. We used the cheapest pine available. My favorite to work with because it’s so gnarly and imperfect that a light stain and distressing treatment makes it look miraculously better. Unfortunately, the boards are usually pretty warped so they only make good shelves if you can embrace that look.

011 008

Check it out: socks and crocs. That’s some stylish garage attire right there.


We used a tongue and groove to fit the shelves together and secured with lots of wood glue. Next up, a coat of gray stain.


I let that dry overnight and the next day I gave each shelf a barn wood treatment with some white and black paint we had on hand.


before and after

I sealed these up with a light coat of polyurethane and we let them cure for several days before drilling holes and assembling the shelves. There are no pictures of that process. Probably because we decided to do it late one night. I was an extreme kook. I was tired of the mess in the garage. I was using a power tool way past my bedtime. These things should not be documented.

Anyway. The finished shelves:

02006005 004 007 003002

shared here:

Home Stories A to Z


Anonymous said…
Mom said, "That looks NICE!"
I agree.
Good job!
BRILLIANT! I think it's so cool that you decided to make your own shelves. They look fantastic & so current. Do you know how much they would be charging for these at Restoration Hardware?? Thanks for the awesome inspiration. I am pinning!

Warmly, Michelle
Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust