Kitchen Upgrade – DIY Open Shelves
I needed additional storage space in my kitchen. So an easy kitchen upgrade is to DIY a few open shelves and a basket system that will give an empty wall a face lift and add a bunch of storage space for dry goods and snacks.
My kitchen is updated, but it is small and lacks serious storage space. I don’t have a pantry so my groceries end up permanently sitting on my counter.
I have two empty walls that are not being utilized right now, one will eventually house additional cabinets but that’s an expensive kitchen upgrade that will come in time. The other wall is a bit smaller and part of the dining area, so I decided open shelves and a basket system would be the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing solution to improve storage.
This wall is just under 6.5 feet long, so I trimmed all of my wood down to 4.5 feet and centered them for a nice placement that maximized the space without overwhelming it.
This sizing also worked out perfectly because the baskets were 16″ long. I had just enough room to fit three baskets on each piece of wood with space between so they didn’t feel too crowded.
The baskets hold my son’s snacks, so in addition to storage they allow him to be self sufficient. He can grab something to eat whenever he wants rather than asking me to get up and get something for him.
He knows anything in the lower rack is fair game. Now our new storage space is also super convenient too.
To make the open shelves, I grabbed a single 12 foot piece of 8″ wide by 2″ thick pine from Home Depot and had them make two 4.5 foot cuts in store. I also used 4″ x 1″ pine to hang the baskets. All of my hardware (including the baskets) came from Amazon.
Hardware used for my DIY Open Shelves
Hint: Click on the items within the image to buy them for your own shelves
Originally, I was trying to match the stain on my living room furniture that is a washed out oak look, but the stain I picked out was more gray. I hated the way it looked, so I went back to the drawing board.
This dark brown that I ended up using is called Special Walnut, and I knew as soon as I started applying it that it was exactly what I wanted. It really popped next to the black finishes and it warmed up my all white and gray space.
Organize your open shelves
Because I lack a pantry, boxes of dry goods in various shapes and sizes are difficult to find a place for. Acrylic canisters give a clean and uniform look to those items, and they can be displayed out in the open without looking cluttered.
Once I moved the dry goods to the canisters, it wasn’t long before I forgot what each container held. These little chalkboard label stickers are the perfect solution. I can write and rewrite on them as often as I want.
Watch-outs when building open shelves
1. Identify your studs before drilling into the wall even if you want to use wall anchors. Knowing where you need large holes for anchors and where you don’t will save you time.
2. Secure the shelf brackets to the wall before screwing them into the wood shelves, but make sure your lines are level.
3. Test your stain on a small piece of scrap wood before you stain everything. The picture on the can of stain is not necessarily how your final color will turn out. Stain is very finicky to work with! Practicing on a small piece of wood you’re not using for the project will save you time and money, especially if you’re not happy with the result of your first choice.
This was an easy kitchen upgrade that required very little Do-It-Yourself skills; I didn’t even have to cut any wood myself. Let me know what you think of my end results in the comments.