Hanging shelves in the kitchen

January 16, 2018

Hey hey! My late owl-ness has kicked in HARD on these shorter days. Goodness, I cannot get my mojo going till evening everyday, hence these posts getting later and later. It drives me crazy and it's worse than ever lately. 

I've been organizing like crazy when I get into gear lately! The bug has bitten me and I've gone through a bunch of stuff. I finished up the mud room closet, the area under the kitchen sink and now I'm working on getting my closet under control. I'll share those areas with you soon, but for today I wanted to show you the shelves I hung in our kitchen awhile back. 

We had a spot that called for an upper cabinet in our plans, and when I was looking for a place to add shelves (because I love them in a kitchen), I knew that was perfect. It's right by our fridge and I had the cabinet removed and a sconce added on the wall. The wall was bare for a couple months but I finally got these up!

I knew I wasn't going to be able to get both brackets into a stud (if you're going to put any kind of weight on shelves you need to make sure they're in a stud or you use a really good anchor). I found these at the hardware store -- they hold up to 100 pounds. I knew my shelves wouldn't be close to that even with dishes, but I usually over compensate with something like this:
Regular anchors are either screwed or inserted into the wall and when you add the screw they open up a bit on the other side of the drywall to hold them in place. Toggle anchors have a mechanism that actually flips open and then braces against the back of the wall. So they are your best bet for anything really heavy. I used similar anchors (made for exterior) when I hung our window boxes on the old house years ago. They stayed put forever!

These are particularly great because they are self-drilling. No need to use a bit to start the hole off like usual: 

They were SO easy to get in the wall. That pointy end makes it quick and simple. I used my drill:

I got frustrated though, because when I added the screw, it just kept turning and wouldn't tighten. Whether you're in a stud or an anchor -- your screw will get to a point where it will get tight and stop turning. That's when you know it's secure. These just kept turning. 

I finally read the instructions and realized you have to keep turning for the toggle to open up in the back. It takes a few seconds but eventually they will tighten up. Just a little heads up for any of you that use them. :)

Someday I'd like to add thicker shelves, but for now I just used inexpensive wood. It's just thick enough that the little detail at the end of the brackets overlaps nicely: 

I found these shelves at the Crates and Pallets booth at the Haven Conference last year. They generously offered to send some my way when I needed them. I love that they're simple and a little more industrial than what I used in our last kitchen. As I've said a few times, I'm craving a simpler look in this house and loving it! And I think all rooms need a touch of black so I knew that would work even with the other metal tones. (They come in a variety of sizes, I used the 12 inch.)

You don't have to match all your metals -- spaces are a whole lot more interesting when you don't!:

I just used what we have to fill the shelves -- our everyday dishes are here and the top shelf is more for display: 

I haven't even begun to organize the kitchen cabinets, so what we keep on there may change with time. (As usual, I will add a list of sources at the bottom of the post!)

I'll share a proper tour of the kitchen soon! Still some little tweaks I'd like to make first. But getting these up and the island counter stained and sealed has finished this space off beautifully: 

I stained these in the same color as the island!

Our accent lighting in this room is my favorite -- I love to have the cabinets lights on or just the sconce above the shelves:

I firmly believe open shelves will stand the test of time -- and I find them to be very functional. Even if you don't use them everyday, they are still a pretty way to break up a lot of cabinets in your kitchen. I love them!:

Have you incorporated shelves into your home? I had them in our kitchen and basement kitchenette in the last house and will do the same in this one too. I'm on the lookout for the perfect thick wood for these shelves to chunk them up a bit -- I would love to find something old to use. 

For now I'm thrilled to have even more pretty storage in the kitchen! If you have any questions, let me know! 

Some affiliate links included for your convenience!:
Brackets: Crates and Pallet
Anchors: Most hardware stores, I found mine here
Large glass jars: Walmart or Target
Island pendants: We got these through the builder but these seem to be identical
Brass sconce: Again, not our source but you can find it here!
Island stools: Target
Large cutting board: IKEA

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  1. I've been reading how open shelving in kitchens is going out of style for 2018 because items on the shelves don't stay clean (dusty), they are a lot of work, and styling is non stop.

    1. I completely disagree with that article. 😊 I’ve never understood that — when you use the dishes they don’t get dusty. 😂 I’ve had open shelves for years and never had to clean them often. I don’t change mine up so they are zero work.

    2. I think everyone should do what works for them and their own unique lifestyle. Who cares what's considered "on trend" or not. It's your home, so do what you love. You don't have to impress anyone. And if all you do is follow the trends and what everyone else is doing on Pinterest and blogs, you'll constantly be chasing yourself, you'll never be satisfied, and you'll end up broke!

      I know shelves in my house would collect dog hair and dust and my hubby would use them as a resting place for his stuff (wallet, chapstick, keys, etc. I'm constantly monitoring our mantel because he's puts all kinds of stuff up there! Drives me nuts!) but just because I don't want them in my home doesn't mean they aren't beautiful in Sarah's!

  2. What fridge do you have, and do you like it? I really want a water-in-the-french-door fridge but hear so many horror stories that I'm torn. Actually I just really want crushed ice on demand :). Yours looks so nice!

    1. Hmmmm... I have a water in the door french door fridge and we haven't had any problems.

  3. I know it's probably provided by the builder, but what subway tile do you have? Is it more of a handmade look tile? It doesn't look like a standard tile in the photos but it also doesn't look so rough like some of the more "rustic" ones I have found. Love the shelves with the sconce. My kitchen reno is starting next week and I have a spot planned for open shelving, but didn't think of adding a sconce. I love the idea.

  4. Where did you get the wood art that is above your doorway?

  5. The former owners of our house did MANY things wrong. If there were people that should have not been DIYers, they win!! In the fall I painted our entry way, stair well and powder room. They had these anchors in the walls for EVERYTHING. I mean the doorbell that weighed a few ounces had them in it and I know the canvas prints they had up certainly did not require an anchor. Patching the wall was really not fun at all. I am a fan of anchors when they are needed.


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THANKS so much for reading!