Ooh our kitchen is almost done! I can’t wait to share it here and don’t know why I haven’t been posting more updates. We’ve been using our kitchen for a couple months now, but the finishing touches are finally in the works. A while back, we installed these open shelves above our dishwasher and I couldn’t be happier with them! They took way longer to get on the wall than we expected because of DIY’er error… or DIY’er ‘didn’t think ahead’. Speaking of didn’t think ahead… I didn’t get any nice styled photos of the shelves since the night we put them up (so you get this functional, but not totally tweaked photo) because our kitchen has been a work zone! I’m talking back splash, friends… if you’re following along on Instagram you might have seen a sneak peak and it really is coming together so well!
When we were planning the kitchen, my original dream was ALL open shelving instead of upper cabinets. My ever-logical hubby talked me out of it because no one wants to see everything we keep in those cupboards. Plus, for space- we needed an over the range microwave. There was no way around it. So I settled for this small little bank over the dishwasher, right before the dining room. The best part about these shelves? They cost us less than $20 each! (we used stain and clear coat we had leftover from refinishing our floors, if you don’t have those it will cost a bit more)
We picked up these Ikea brackets that are the same finish as our hardware for $13 bucks a set (score!) but were certain we didn’t want the standard Ikea fake wood shelving to go along with them. So off to Home Depot I went with the specifications for an almost twelve inch deep piece of wood that was one inch thick. I had some help picking out some gorgeous pieces of knotted wood, had it cut to size, and hauled those babies home. We stained them two coats, and did three coats of clear coat- this was no quick process. Then we went to install them and my dear husband asked if I’d like the gap at the top or bottom. The gap? What gap. There is no gap. There was a gap.
This is where I smack myself because I really knew better. When you buy lumber a 2×4 actually measures half an inch smaller in each dimension. I knew this… and still I didn’t question when the Home Depot guy gave me 1″ wooden shelving. Ugh. So every night for about a week my patient husband was growing less patient because I couldn’t decide if I’d like the gap at the top of the bracket or the bottom (the gap is because the bracket essentially caps the wood… the cap was loose because the wood was too skinny). When I told him I didn’t want a gap and that we’d have to figure something else out… his patience was pretty thin.
So back to the hardware store I went, with a bracket in hand. I asked more than one staff (read: every staff) at Home Depot for help and apparently they don’t make wood that’s actually one inch thick. Want to know what I ended up with? I made that poor girl tour me around the lumber department checking every piece of wood they had (not quite…) to see what fit. $16 later I came home with one piece of cedar fence board cut into two foot lengths. Guys, it fit perfectly. Snug two pieces in there and there was no wiggle room. There was knots in the wood like we’d wanted and we love that there’s two boards (so much more interesting!). Update: I’ve had a few emails that you’re having NO luck finding ‘fence panels. One very sweet commenter shared the secret… they’re not fence panels (Doh!) here’s what he had to say:
In case this helps, the 5/4″ wood you are looking for is decking, not fence boards. Fence boards are much thinner, up to 1/2″ thick. Decking is rounded over and much smoother than the rough sawn fence boards. Cedar is a soft wood so relatively easy to cut and drill.
If you want a more polished look, you can look for 5/4 square profiles in the millwork sections of smaller lumber stores. They are still narrow pieces of wood since it is millwork.
So after another five day process of staining 2x and clear coating 3x, we were ready to install. When you’re putting the wood pieces into the brackets, make sure you get the brackets all the way on! This caused us the most grief, we didn’t realize one of the brackets was on a bit crooked and it was impossible to get those shelves level until we figured it out.
We started by deciding the height of the bottom shelf first- about level with the deco strip of the other upper cabinets (that’s the piece of moulding along the bottom of them). We used these 150 pound wall anchors for the side of the shelf that didn’t hit a stud (I love these anchors!), and just two and a half inch regular old screws in the other side. I still need to make these silver (I’ve got my silver sharpie out, but have been
Then you could do a happy dance and test out the first shelf before you decide the heights of the others… I’d understand. But really, we put a stack of plates on to see how much room we needed between shelves. Can you tell Shane’s a bit done with my indecision? Once we got the right wood… these shelves went up easy peasy! We love them and I’m trying to find another place to put shelves in our home… maybe in our washroom?
I can’t wait to get the rest of the kitchen finished up and style these shelves! I also need to re-pot that spider plant, my Grandmas plant had babies so she gave me this little guy- I should probably switch to one of my pots so she can have hers back. I’ve already made some changes on the shelves… and the back splash is pulling it all together! Do you love open shelving as much as I do? Would you do a whole kitchen with open shelving… and let the world see everything you hoard in your cupboards?