Monday, October 8, 2007

Building open shelving for the kitchen

Long time, no blog. Suffice to say, we've been busy. But we're back in action & still plugging away at the kitchen shelves. Which led us to recall that when we started planning the shelves, we couldn't find any info telling us how to do it. I'm sure pro carpenters know, be we didn't. We deduced how it might be done from the many photos we have of open shelves in bungalows. A key component of our design is that we wanted the brackets to be spaced evenly, not at the sometimes random places where studs are. So the following illustration shows our design, that works with that constraint. Enjoy! Comments welcome...

1. After cutting and sanding everything, you need to notch the brackets to fit the cleat.

2. Pilot drill and screw the brackets onto the cleat. Note – things are upside down and backwards at this point.

3. At this point, we painted the bracket-cleat assemblies and the shelves.

4. Here’s where this starts making sense: because the brackets are acting as braces against the wall, they don’t necessarily have to be screwed to the wall. So you didn’t have to make sure you were spacing them out to match existing studs – you could space them evenly.

So now you need to attach the cleat part of the assembly to the studs at the height you want – you have to be sure to hit studs if you want the shelves to stay attached! You can also screw through the brackets into the wall if you think you need to.

5. Last step: screw the shelf down to the cleat-bracket assembly. Then just fill all your screw holes, touch up with paint, and you’re done.


Sandy said...

I just knew I saw someone opt for open shelves instead of cupboards! You might want to check out the Chicago 2-Flat blog. I don't know what happened to my original comment post, but maybe it wouldn't accept it because I put a path to their blog in here. You can see the shelves in nice detail in their blog under the after section on the right-hand side of their blog. I think you can "Google" Chicago 2-Flat and it will lead you to them.

Whiskey pixie said...

Thank you so much for posting instructions. I have been looking all over for a "how to" guide to building open shelves. Yours look great!

Rachel Schell said...

thank you! thank you! I've been looking for some plans like this for my kitchen. the cabinets are horrid and we don't have enough space. I think the shelves will make a huge difference and make the space feel more open!

Anonymous said...

Count me as another one who you have just saved. These are EXACTLY what I've been trying to come up with because of the whole uneven stud thing and you explained so clearly the perfect solution. THANK YOU for taking the time to do this. You reached out and helped someone and I'm really grateful!