small things big impact – the kitchen shelves. finally.

Day 10 – kitchen shelves at last

Do you remember when we finished the kitchen makeover?

In fact, do you remember what it looked like originally?

You’ve come a long way baby!

Anyway, despite how great the kitchen looked after the makeover, it wasn’t really finished cause I wanted open shelves. The plan had always been for open shelves. I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to open kitchen shelves.

We finally have shelves!


Why the delay you may ask?

Well… I had to figure out what brackets I wanted. I knew what I wanted… the IKEA plain timber triangular brackets. But of course IKEA never has them in stock. Not that we even have IKEA in Tasmania…

Then I started to think I could make my own brackets. After all, I own two jigsaws and am not afraid to use them! But I couldn’t get past the technicality of how to fix them to the wall and my general fear of stuffing up*.

In the end I got the fancier country style IKEA brackets. They work. Though I’m not sure how strong they’ll be. They’re made of MDF (the website said ‘timber’… I guess MDF is a type of timber, but its not very strong). I managed to break one while putting the shelves up – once you pull a screw out of MDF its pretty stuffed. I’m not overly happy with that.

That’s why there are three brackets on the lower shelves – to be sure they’ll hold the weight of dishes. The top shelf doesn’t need three brackets as it won’t be holding any real weight.

Wayne jumps every time there’s a loud noise in the kitchen… he’s sure they’ll come down cause I’ll put too much weight on them!

The timber I used is laminated pine – a big slab of joined pine pieces, 30mm thick for things like table tops or counters. I bought the whole slab and had a nice buy at the hardware store cut 3 shelves at the right size for me.

Problem was pine is nowhere near the same colour as the benchtops, which is tasmanian oak, so I had to stain it. I experimented a bit and ended up using maple stain and three coats of polyurethane. I think the colour is pretty close.

I had a friend help me put them up. No way could I have done these without help, the lifting alone would have undone me. But its the maths I’m not good at. I measure, check, measure again and still stuff up.

*eg. The top shelf… It was meant to be at the same height as the top of the window frame. I calculated that the shelves were 35cm apart. I thought I was so clever when I subtracted 3cm from that for the thickness of the shelf and marked where the shelf should sit before I marked where to pre-drill for the brackets. I measured, marked, checked.. Then I got up lined the shelf up below the marks, not above, so I ended up putting the top shelf in 3cm lower than planned.

Well, I still love my shelves.

As you can imagine, I was eager to start using the shelves. I couldn’t wait to get out my kitchen scales collection! That end one on the right is one I bought a year ago and have had under the bed, just waiting for the shelves to display it.

The darker green baking dish is one I got at an op shop yesterday for the princely sum of $3.

And my crazed and chipped bird plate is on display again!

There’ll be changes to the shelf contents over the next few days for sure, but I’m loving it. And Romeo is loving it!

The idea is to keep everything we use on a daily basis (dinner plates, bowls) on the shelves within easy reach. Also, the my pretty bowls which are both useful and decorative.
Time to begin getting rid of all the not so pretty things we own…

This is the before and after of that corner of the kitchen. Pretty big difference, wouldn’t you say? We moved the window, sink and stove, got new appliances, timber lined the walls, removed the lino, refinished the timber floor and put in all new cabinets with a solid timber benchtop.

A big job but totally worth it!


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2 thoughts on “small things big impact – the kitchen shelves. finally.

  1. What in the world was this doing still in my “in-box”?!! {I'm cleaning out my computer!} Your kitchen is gorgeous and so functional! In our new kitchen, there are cheap cabinets and counter tops. No money to fix things yet, but we have thought about butcher block counter tops such as yours. Either that or stainless steel (a la restaurant kitchen) or concrete (like the floors we hope to have). I like your open shelving, but I feel better having things behind doors! I would like to put up some shelving, though, for cook books, my own scale collection (!) and vintage glass gelatin molds. It will take some time. Heck, I can't even make a decision on curtains (or how to make them) for the bow window looking out to the front of the house! Yep…time…


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