Floating Shelves

Another post from the front-line of Dining Room Rehab! We added some storage that happens to also be decorative. Fancy that. So my fantasy was to walk into a hole-in-the-wall thrift store and find an AMAZING china hutch/secretary/pie cupboard thing and snap it up for $30, paint it a snazzy color or line the back with wallpaper and then wow you with my skills. Well, I did some scouring, and I did some craigslist stalking, and I checked out ebay, and I'm sad to say that at least for the here and now, no such deal exists within driving distance. And even then, we don't exactly have a truck, so...

Plan B. Floating shelves.

Since I decided I didn't want to spend $300 on the china cabinet (as that is almost all of our budget for house projects right now!), we wanted the dining storage to be affordable and be big enough to fit some of my decorative dishes that are taking up space while not being admired in the kitchen cabinets. Floating shelves seemed to be the ticket.

If the wall space we were working with was bigger, I would have gone with Ikea shelves, as they are only $20 each (or ten dollars for a too-short one foot shelf). But they were unfortunately a little too long for our space. But lo and behold, we were at Storables (like the Container Store) and happened to see some that were only two feet long (they also had 3 foot ones). We went home, drew up a plan, and figured out our budget - three shelves would keep us just under $100, as the shelves were $30 each. So we went back and bought them out!

Back at home, we marked off where we wanted the shelves to go, using easy-to-remove painter's tape.

We vaguely checked this against a level - our 100 year old house is NOT level, so making the shelves perfectly level would actually appear to be crooked - so a little crooked was ok as long as things would stay put! Oh the charms of living in an old house!

Then we started laying out the pieces. Oops, each shelf only came with four of the necessary eight screws and anchors for the brackets. Ryan looks pleased here, but we were both actually rather irritated.

After a trip to Home Depot (we are there constantly it seems lately) and the taco truck, Ryan got to work drilling the holes, hammering in the anchors, putting up the brackets, and screwing everything into place. I was basically useless during this step - the small space and small shelves meant that an extra person would just be in the way. So three cheers for Ryan (who I think looks super handsome when he's doing home projects!)

Once we got two up, I thought I'd show you how the floating mechanism was working - the brackets are secured to the wall, then the shelf slides onto the posts. These ones fit pretty tightly, but I know the Ikea shelves have an additional step of screwing them into the posts from the bottom of the shelf. These look a little cleaner, which is nice.

I've already started moving some stuff onto the shelves, but haven't decided on a final arrangement yet! You'll see it when we post the final pictures. Here's what we've started with anyway:

Speaking of the elusive "final reveal" pictures, we still have a few projects to wrap up (and share) before the space is done. Still solving the chair problem, adding another piece of furniture, and some work on those bookshelves in the corner. I'll be sharing more projects next week and the week after, and then - THEN- will you see the full room. I know you're excited! Ryan is just glad I talked myself out of adding curtains, I think.