1395 New Square Inches

That's a lot of new space.

The moment is finally here! Our kitchen shelves are done! Technically the shelves are in our dining area, but it's almost apart of the kitchen, so kitchen shelves is what I'll call them. When we bought our house, we knew down the road something would have to be done about storage. If you look in our home tour  you'll see we don't have very many cabinets, and the cabinets we do have aren't the most useful (non adjustable shelves-ugh!). So we set out to make plans on maximizing our space and trying to make it look good. I looked forever for open shelving and brackets that would fit in our design aesthetic AND be affordable. If I found something I liked, it was thousands of dollars or if something was affordable-we hated it. It wasn't until my friend SarahB had B install some kitchen shelving that was both beautiful and within our teeny budget- we didn't have to look any further. Her shelves turned out stunning and we like them so much- we bought them! Only in a smaller version. Since we planned on installing our shelving in our dining area, we needed something with a very shallow depth so the shelf wouldn't interfere with people sitting down at the table. If you can remember, our dining room looked like this:

Kind of plain and very boring. Plus there was a whole wall of unused potential space. Operation: Install Shelving Here. The shelves and brackets were from Ikea. We also bought screws and molly's from Home Depot. This is how we did it:

First, we gathered all our ingredients supplies in one place. I find it's easier than having to run all over the house looking for an item. Don't ask me why B needs all those levels-I'm still trying to figure that out.

This next step was probably the hardest and most critical: figuring out where to place the shelves. This step took us forever. We each took turns holding a shelf while the other one stepped back to see if it worked. Mind you, we had to consider how it looked from the dining area, how it functioned in the dining area, how it looked from the kitchen, and how it looked from the living room. That is one drawback of having such an open layout. Everything has to vibe and flow with everything else. We finally reached a decision (about 57'' from the floor) and B marked a level line where the self would be going.

After that, B went over the area to mark where our studs were. We needed to know if we were drilling into a stud (recommended) or if we had to put in a molly. Side note: Since I didn't want to worry about the amount of weight I could put on these selves, B used super heavy duty molly's. Each one would hold about 35lbs when anchored in 1/2 inch drywall.


Next, B screwed in a bracket. Pretty self explanatory.

Right on the money
Here is the middle shelf of the bottom row completed:

Make sure everything is level!

After our bottom row was complete and level, we moved on to the top row. The placement of this row wasn't as time consuming as the bottom. We wanted just enough room for an 8x10 photo so the top row wasn't too close to the ceiling, making things look 'top heavy'.

After this step, B removed all the shelves from the bottom row to make the next step easier. Since we are super picking about everything lining up perfectly, B used this method to make sure the brackets were exact: He leveled (technical term: Plumb) the bottom bracket to the top bracket vertically and then each top bracket was horizontally leveled. Like so:


After that, he screwed the brackets to the walls, making sure to put molly's where there were no studs and leveled, leveled, leveled. Here are the completed shelves:

The next step was my big debut. Once B and I finished cleaning up, I got to work on styling. These shelves were put up to serve as extra space to store all our food. We keep most of our non-perishables in mason jars and we quickly ran out of room in our cabinets. Now all our pretty glassware gets to be seen! I was so happy. Just because these shelves were meant for storage didn't mean they couldn't be pretty. I quickly set to work displaying some of my favorite items. We couldn't be happier with the results. So happy, I took about a million pictures:

I'm thrilled. Not only do I feel like these shelves added so much vibrancy to a once very boring area, but I HAVE SO MUCH MORE cabinet space in my kitchen! Seriously, I have a whole unused shelf in an upper cabinet! It feels so nice to not have to cram everything together in our cabinets. Now, we can easily see and grab our snacks, pastas, and baking ingredients! B and I call it 'living art'. Plus I get to display things I couldn't before. I can't wait to add more items, take away a few, and see how our 'living art' changes! I have a couple ideas up my sleeve and as always- I'll keep you posted!


  1. Yayyyyyy!!!! This post makes me so happy! And I had to laugh at all the levels. Brian left one of his levels in our playroom, and I was like, "How is he going to hang their shelves without his level?" Now I know. ;-)

    1. I have no idea why he needs so many levels. I think he owns, like, two pairs of shorts. But levels? a man needs a lot of those!


    I HAD NEVER EVEN HEARD OF MOLLYS, AND WHEN I HAD, I THOUGHT THEY WERE DRUGS. Both would have been helpful during my shelf hanging extravaganza, tbh.

    It looks so good, but this post is bringing out a lot of feelings.

    1. haha Meg! When B told a certain friend with Red hair he had to go buy Molly's, that said friend asked B why he was doing drugs. That being said...maybe you should just invite me over for drinks and B will come along and fulfill all your handyman needs.

  3. Looks great....AND makes me miss my open shelving in the Homewood kitchen all the more! Trying to figure out how to get more of that up here! Enjoy....

    1. Easy. Buy the house and hire B as your handyman! Open shelving wish granted! ;)

  4. The shelves look SO good. I hope to have an open shelf kitchen in the future. Hopefully I will never have to hang the shelves myself or everything will fall of one side!

  5. Those shelves look amazing. Your whole home is incredible. I just spent over an hour on your blog today and it's fabulous. You guys have done a fabulous job on your home. Can't wait to see what the summer bring! Tell B I said Hi, this is Teresa's sister, Natalie.


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