Suit your shelfPosted: March 18, 2012
I delight in open kitchen shelving. I recognize it’s not for everyone (what with its propensity to gather dust and all), but being able to display my prettiest pieces in a clever way makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. For me it’s one of the best things you can do to give your space personality and functionality.
When we bought the house, it was listed as having an eat in kitchen, but there really was no earthly way to fit a table inside comfortably. We have a formal dining room, so rather than even pretend like putting a table in the kitchen was a viable option, we figured it best to use that space for storage. HOW to use it was the question. For a brief period we used a metal shelving unit to store the knick knacks and what nots, but found that a tall vertical storage solution wasn’t helping us really access the space as efficiently as we could. Built in shelving seemed a more fitting and fashionable option.
Unfortunately for us, throwing a few shelves on the wall wasn’t quite as easy it may appear. Why? Because of this…
Knotty pine wood paneling across the wall was sort of messing with our vision when it came to shelf placement. It had to go. So out came the crow bar to pry the wood from the wall. That’s when we found this.
See that!? There’s no wall behind that wall! Just like that, the project turned from a fun and fast DIY to a major interior overhaul. Guess this spring break is going to be less about binge drinking and concert going and more about drilling and spackling.
This is when living less than a mile from Home Depot really comes in handy. Without missing a beat, Handyman Heath jumped in his trusty ranger and picked up two 8′ by 10′ sheets of drywall and some spackle to get the project started.
Installing the sheetrock was pretty straight forward: place it in on the wall, make sure it’s level, and drill into the studs. Voila! Instant wall! Where it got tricky was getting the new wall to blend with the existing wall. That meant spackling the heck out of the area where the walls meet, sanding it down, texturizing the wall, and going over the whole thing with a coat of paint. The spackle/sanding/painting part, is one we repeated 3 times to make sure everything was nice and even. It’s wasn’t exactly easy for two newbies to blend two walls together.
But finally, we got everything to look smooth as silk and had one bright green (Spritz of Lime is the official color) wall instead of a dated, beat up panelled mess. Two days later, the shelf construction could begin.
We decided we wanted to make the shelf brackets ourselves because what we found in stores didn’t have quite the geometric look we were going for. Handyman Heath said it was a job he could handle so he set to work hammering out 9 triangular brackets. This process took nearly as long as building the wall. For starters, cutting the wood at the right angle is a meticulous process. Plus, because the brackets have to support substantial weight, being accurate and checking your work is crucial.
Nails and wood glue were used to keep the brackets together. Then any edges or gaps in the brackets were treated with wood filler, sanded and painted. The hope was it would appear as a one seamless piece when all was said and done.
Lots of drying (and patience) later, the wall was complete, the brackets were finished and it was finally time to put it all together.
We also picked up this piece from Ikea to get some extra counter space (which has already paid for itself in handiness). The final plan is to paint the bottom a fun turquoise blue color (to match the future backsplash), but after all the elbow grease we put into getting the shelves up this weekend, we will save painting the counter for next weekend, but we’re hoping for a result that resembles something like this.
As usual, there is still much to be completed, but it’s always good to check another project off the list.