DIY Open Shelving

Our kitchen nook needed a little something, so I added elegant DIY open shelving.  It is an easy project – I did this solo one morning!

There is a large empty wall in the space, and I have struggled with decorating it since we first moved it.  I tried stenciling it (see more details on that stencil HERE) and eventually added shiplap (see that DIY tutorial HERE).

Although I loved the texture the shiplap brought to the space, I still struggled with what to put in the space.  I felt my bench and hutch looked cluttered in the space.  I dream about building a large built-in buffet, but we have other large projects that need to come first.  I decided to build some inexpensive open shelving.

I began by taping out my plan for the shelves and added some faux lighting (I’ll talk more about this later) above the shelving.

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For this project, I used:

  • 2 10″ x 8′ boards
  • 6 brackets ( I bought these from Lowes)
  • 3 wall lights (I found mine on Amazon)
  • gold spray paint
  • primer
  • paint
  • Electric sander
  • Drill

I began the project by sanding down/smoothing my boards.

I added a couple coats of primer and a couple more coats of paint.

I “installed” my lighting.  I looked everywhere for battery-powered wall lamps without any luck.  I ended up finding some gorgeous wall lights on Amazon, and decided to add them to my space.  I’m hoping my electrician (aka my dad) will help me install the lighting down the road, but it will probably prove to be a little tough since I added shiplap.  However, I love the look my (faux) lights add to the space!

After the lights were added, I installed the brackets for the shelving.  I spray painted the brackets to match the finish of the lights.

I added my painted boards, and the open shelves were done!  The entire project only took me a few hours (solo) to install.

I styled the shelves with some plants (see where I found them HERE) and white dishes (click HERE for an inexpensive was to get the look).

I now love this wall!

Where could you use some open shelves in your home – if you don’t already have any?


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  1. Diana says

    Open shelving are popular and a great way to organize space. I love these DIY. I got some great ideas from this article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Connie says

    I saw your article in Romantic Homes and I got your email from the magazine. I love the whole project. I am wondering about the brackets, where did you get them. I love, love, love them.

    • Connie says

      Thank you so much Sara!!! That is wonderful, I am going to copy but I will keep them in the dark-oil-rubbed bronze. I will be using them in the kitchen and my faucet happens to be dark oil-rubbed bronze.

      You are so sweet!!!

  3. Tiffany Bush says

    This may be too old of a post for you to respond, but did you worry about screwing the brackets into studs, or how did you insure that they will hold? I’d love to do something similar above the toilet in the guest bath, but want to make sure they are sturdy. Thanks!

    • sincerely, sara d. says

      I didn’t worry to much about studs since I was going into shiplap, but yes you should consider studs and try to hit them whenever possible! Anchors are also good for this brackets that aren’t hitting studs. Good luck!!

  4. Suzanne says

    I’m new to your blog, Sara, and I love your style! …So, by faux lighting do you mean that the fixtures are hung, but not wired and not functioning? Clever…

  5. Botanic Bleu says

    I found your shelves in an older issue of Romantic Homes that included your web address. After being inspired by your shelves I am adding similar shelves in my garden shed. I am writing a blog post about the shelves and included a photo of your shelves with a link back to your blog. Please let me know if would rather I not use one of your photos. If so, I will delete the photo and only provide the link back to your blog.

    Thanks for the inspiration.



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