DIY Decor Kitchen

SEMI-DIY FLOATING SHELVES

kitchen window shelves

I know this is kind of strange – for me anyway, not Ash – but when I hear the word “shelf” or “shelved”, one of the first things I think of is the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy, Ethel and Fred think Ricky’s movie, Don Juan, has been shelved and they try to cheer him up. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the husband of an avidΒ I Love Lucy fan. But this post has nothing to do with I Love Lucy. It does, however, have to do with shelves. Three of them!

Yes, as the above photo proves, we finally got around to installing the floating shelves in the kitchen! Like the rest of the kitchen, you could call this project “Semi-DIY”. Basically, we took an existing product and made it into what we needed. Here’s what we did…

Each shelf needed to be 8 inches wide and 10 7/8 inches deep. First, we picked up two 24″ white Allen + Roth floating shelves from Lowe’s (these) with the intention of cutting them down to size. If you’re a visual thinker like Ash, maybe a picture will make more sense. (Thanks for the illustration, sweetheart!)

Once we made double-sure we had the right material, we headed over to the lumber department and asked them to cut the shelves for us.

Sure, we could have easily done it ourselves, but with their big, precise cutting machine, this was a lot faster. There was less chance of the process completely destroying the shelves or causing the paint to chip, too. And hey, it was free!

When we got home, we ran into one little snag. We totally forgot there is a small piece of molding in the corner between the subway tile and the cabinet. Rather than cutting a notch in the corner of each shelf (which could have been messy due to the thin material they’re made of), we cut a piece out of the molding. Using the scrap piece of shelving as a template, we marked where the molding needed to be cut. We then put a piece of painters’ tape on the cabinet for a little protection. We scored the edges of the molding, and with a little chisel action, the pieces came out perfectly.

The shelves came with a long bracket to “invisibly” mount them on the wall, so we cut the bracket to the depth of the shelf using a hack saw.

Now it was time to put the shelf on the bracket, but with only the bracket holding the shelf on, there was nothing holding the back of the shelf to wall, which caused it to wobble a bit.

To solve that problem, we took two pieces of scrap wood and glued them to each other then we wrapped the pieces with duct tape to act as a vice and let them sit to dry. There are screw holes in them because we were initially going to screw the pieces on the wall, then slide the shelf on. But the bracket was in the way, so that obviously didn’t work out. No worries, that’s where Liquid Nails come in!

We slid the pieces into the hollow part of the shelves, put a few dabs of Liquid Nails on the now not hollow part of the shelf and put them into place. After making sure the shelves were level, we caulked around the edges to make them look nice and finished. To make sure the shelves were totally secure, we let them set for 48 before putting anything on them. By Saturday morning, they were ready for styling…

On the top shelf is a mercury glass bird Ashley picked up at HomeGoods (for just $5.99). On the second shelf is a can of Bentley’s dog treats. (He gets a treat every time he comes in from “going outside”.) The can is from Harry Barker, but we refill it with Bentley’s prescription dog treats from the vet. (He’s allergic to pretty much everything.) On the bottom shelf is a conveniently placed glass jar filled with some rolled up dishtowels. The glass jar (without the lid) is from Crate & Barrel, and the dishtowels are from Anthropologie. I wouldn’t have known all of this if Ashley didn’t tell me… I leave most of the shopping to her.

The shelves are super sturdy and look as though they came with the cabinets. They didn’t even need a coat of paint, like we originally thought, because the cabinets and the shelves match perfectly – much to our surprise. This entire projects only cost about $35 and some change. Not bad for “custom cabinetry”.

Once the shelves were hung, we felt it was due time to hang the light fixture (from West Elm) above the sink!Β We ordered the silver light kit and spray-painted it our go-to finish of choice, Oil Rubbed Bronze. We really like the modern meets industrial look, and painting the hardware a darker color really helps it stand out against the white subway tile and cabinetry.

Here’s another shot of the new shelves and light fixture…

And a wide shot…

The sun was glaring through the window, but since we’re on a roll, how about one ultra wide shot…

Check out this before-and-after comparison. I feel super-accomplished every time I look at this picture…

The last two things on the grand ‘ole kitchen To Do List are finding a window treatment (the typical white blinds just aren’t cutting it for us) and bar stools for the peninsula. It’s so awesome to think the kitchen can be deemed “officially done” with just a shopping trip or two, hopefully!Β 

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren
    May 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    WOW guys! The transformation is simply incredible!!

  • Reply
    Rach
    May 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    What a difference! Mind blown!

  • Reply
    Laura
    May 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I really like what you’ve done with your kitchen! It’s completely different from the before. I’m a new reader and I can’t wait to settle in tonight and read all of your old posts!

  • Reply
    Naomi
    May 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    It’s really a night and day transformation! I love the birdie πŸ™‚

    β™₯Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

  • Reply
    Sarah G.
    May 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve been following you all for a while now but just saw you Apartment Therapy post. Love it! I was all, “I know them!” HA! Love this kitchen! Great job, guys!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Haha, thanks! Yeah, we just realized it was up! When they emailed us for photos a few weeks ago, it lit a fire under us to get the shelves and light fixture done. Thanks to Apartment Therapy, we’re just about finished! haha

  • Reply
    Leslie at Habitual Rearranger
    May 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I love the integrated dishwasher! Definitely on my dream home wishlist:)

  • Reply
    Moriah S
    May 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Your kitchen is SCREAMING “Come cook with me!!!!!!” Very well done!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    May 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I am in LOVE with your kitchen. Absolutely gorgeous. When can I move in? πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    BRENDA C
    May 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Greg and Ashley, I love your kitchen! What I would give to wake up to that every morning!

  • Reply
    Kelly Melton
    May 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    It looks so clean! I am a clean freak and am obsessed with this look. Clean, white, bright and plenty of space to work. A dream kitchen for sure!

  • Reply
    Nan D
    May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Really love those little shelves.

  • Reply
    Laurel
    May 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I would never have the nerve to paint the cord and housing to a light fixture but you did and it really makes it stand out. What kind of paint did you use?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks! We used Rust-Oleum’s Metalic Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint (here). We love this stuff!

  • Reply
    Brie
    May 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Where did you get that rug in front of the sink? Love it!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks! It’s from West Elm… Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/MdqeqP

    • Reply
      Brandi
      May 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Target has similar rugs from “Privet House” – $20. πŸ™‚ They have tan/white and tan/green.

  • Reply
    John @ Our Home from Scratch
    May 22, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Clever solution! I like it.

  • Reply
    Ruth
    May 22, 2012 at 3:25 am

    You should be proud. What a transformation. I love the light fitting and the pictures on the right hand wall.
    Great kitchen to start the day in.

  • Reply
    Brandi
    May 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

    You guys make this look so easy! πŸ™‚ Great job. Love the light fixture too.

    PS – My dog is allergic to pretty much everything as well, and I give her small carrots and fresh green beans as her “treats”. She loves them. I also mix sweet potatoes in with her dog food, it is great for dogs and she really enjoys it!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 22, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Hm, really? We’ll have to remember those ideas : ) Thanks!

  • Reply
    sarah
    May 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I have a VERY similar kitchen layout! Love the look of yours – those cabinets are gorgeous. I had never thought of the floating shelf look – great idea!

    http://twentyonefiftynine.blogspot.com/2012/03/then-and-now-kitchen.html

  • Reply
    Audrey
    June 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Your kitchen turned out great! I love your blog and style. Do you mind telling me where you got your cabinet hardware from? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks! The cabinet hardware is one of the many choices Kraft Maid gave us. It’s called the Aged Collection. I’m not sure you can buy it separately, but here’s a VERY similar, practically identical, version: http://bit.ly/JyGGUs

      Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    joy c.
    June 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    thanks for the DIY shelving idea!! πŸ˜‰ my husband won’t believe me when I said it’s possible to use just but 1 cheap floating shelf and make into 3!! i showed your blog and he said yes! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Nicole M
    June 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Oh you guys got the chrome lightbulb with the light too! How does it look with the light on?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

      I actually didn’t think I would like it at first, but now that we’ve lived with it for a while, I love it. It gives off a really nice ambient light, and it’s not harsh at all. It’s not the kind of bulb if you’re looking for bright “working light”. But if you want a nice soft glow, it’s perfect! I’ll have to take a photo and post it soon!

  • Reply
    Emily Morrison
    June 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Quick Question! Do you happen to recall how many square feet your countertops are?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      February 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Our countertops come in at around 60 sq feet. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Christine Taylor
    August 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Hi there! I did a search on Pinterest for Cambria Torquay countertops and found a link to your beautiful kitchen…what an amazing job/transformation! What color paint did you use to accent your kitchen (specifically in the third to the last photo?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      August 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks so much! We used Martha Stewart’s Cobblestone. Hope that helps! : )

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Just found your blog! The shelves are great and I love the white tiles! Are they “subway tiles”?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      August 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Thank you! Yep, they are 3×6 subway tiles : )

  • Reply
    Sandy
    November 1, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Your kitchen looks so clean, love the style cabinets you choose!
    I’m using white subway tile also. Trying to decide between white or gray grout?? What brand name and color/name did you use for the grout?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      November 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Thanks so much! The grout is by Laticrete and the color is called Smoke Grey. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Terri
    July 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Ashley, I luv your site! I just found it today and it makes me want to do so much. I can’t do a lot as I have RA. This is the first site, that I have ever emailed. This is after years of looking at sites. However I looked at your site, I loved it and it made me smile. You and your husband, do sooooo good!

  • Reply
    Gail
    August 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Your kitchen looks wonderful! Just curious – are you still happy with your decision? I am just about to sign with Lowes for Karftmaid cabinets having made the same journey that you did before arriving at my decision. Have you been happy with the cabinets and with Lowes?

    Good luck with all your future projects!

    Gail

  • Reply
    Ellie
    April 28, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Adore your kitchen! I have been planning on doing white cabinets with white subway tiles, but I can’t seem the find a counter top I like, would you mind sharing what you did, brand, etc.?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      May 8, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Thanks so much! If you click over to the Projects page, there’s a section dedicated to all of our posts having to do with the kitchen, including the countertop selection and buying process.

  • Reply
    Joyce
    October 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Great job. Looks absolutely amazing.

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