How to make plain ol' shelves look cuter in kitchen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're moving to an apartment with no counter space. Dh says he'll put up some shelves for me to store things etc. He already has some plain wood and will just put up shelving brackets and put them on the wall.

The problem....it just doesn't sound that cute. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make it look a bit better after the shelves go up?

Maybe paint them?

What about some sort of little fabric curtain to hide what is behind it or something? I'm not sure I know how to make that but I do have a sewing machine.

Any ideas?

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#2 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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How handy is your DH? What kind of tools do y'all have? I ask because I have found that a bit of routing on the edges of the shelves and supports can make all the difference. Paint is also a big difference. Staining is faster, though, and can look just as good depending on the rest of the room.

Personally, I do not care for the look of fabric curtains covering shelves. They collect dust and no one seems to take them down often enough to wash them. Just my personal bias, though. To make them is fairly simple. You can use a skinny tension rod between vertical walls/cabinets to hang simple curtains (homemade or store bought). If you do not have vertical walls/cabinets in the appropriate places, then you can hang a dowel with brackets from the ceiling in the appropriate places.

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#3 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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Shelving brackets can be cute, if you find the wood ones with carving or beveling. That, plus painting, should make them pretty adorable!
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#4 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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Well not sure what look you do like, but I'll give you some I like.

I once saw Martha Stewart bend doilies down to create a scallop edge on a shelf.

You could hot glue silk roses to the edges. (I have beadboard in my kitchen and simple white cupboards and I effectively use silk flowers and swags without giving that cheesy 80's country effect, my house looks vintage and cheery.)

Make a drop out of fabric off the edge of the shelf, not a curtain just a little something for pizzazz. Like triangles. Pretty old hankies that have holes are stains are perfect for cutting into triangles, or folding over. You'd have to measure and attach them to a fabric shelf liner. Easy and cute.

Anyway as you can tell I like farmhouse/cottage/victorian.
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#5 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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You could also find all sorts of trim (think pompoms!) at fabric stores and hot glue that to the edge of shelf. Could glue - vintage postcards, slides, copies of family pics. . .
I really love the crafty chica's style http://www.craftychica.com/welcome.html. Maybe you'll get some ideas there.

I had some shelves in my lr years ago that were just 2x4s. I covered them in fabric, stapling it on the bottom or back. Probably the bottom, but not sure, it was 7 years ago. They did get pretty dusty.

And just a thought before you get started - make sure the shelves are wide enough to store whatever you want on them, leave a little space so you can push items back towards the wall.

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#6 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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This may not be 'cute' but can be interesting, colorful, etc...

Instead of shelves on brackets, why not build your shelves like cubes on the wall. Paint the shelves white and the back of the shelves another color; something bright or pretty to match your decor. My husband is currently building shelves in our basement and we decided to do something like this and I think it looks nice.
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#7 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
You could hot glue silk roses to the edges. (I have beadboard in my kitchen and simple white cupboards and I effectively use silk flowers and swags without giving that cheesy 80's country effect, my house looks vintage and cheery.)
Do you have a pic? sounds pretty but I can't really imagine it

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#8 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by weliveintheforest View Post
Do you have a pic? sounds pretty but I can't really imagine it

Mmm no. I made that one up for you from my imagination. I would totally do it to my own kitchen though!

I can describe how and what I'd do though-

I'd paint the shelves white, maybe on eggshell and scuff the heck out of the paint that new/old look. Then I'd depending on level of friskiness cut some oil cloth (available at better fabric stores) to line the shelves with in a nice print.

Choose what colors you want to go for- and then go to a craft store and get a chain of roses, or single faux roses. They also sell clip on flowers- then you'd just run a line across the front of the shelf and clip the flowers to it (or tiny LED lights, that would make it all sparkley amidst the flowers!).

If you go with a chain of flowers you can pin/tack or hot glue the strand straight to the edge of the shelf without as much drama as single blooms.

If you want to go super gung ho crazy you can add charms, maybe skeleton keys or old bottle openers. Sort of like a garland of delight?

That probably made you more confused.
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#9 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
Mmm no. I made that one up for you from my imagination. I would totally do it to my own kitchen though!

I can describe how and what I'd do though-

I'd paint the shelves white, maybe on eggshell and scuff the heck out of the paint that new/old look. Then I'd depending on level of friskiness cut some oil cloth (available at better fabric stores) to line the shelves with in a nice print.

Choose what colors you want to go for- and then go to a craft store and get a chain of roses, or single faux roses. They also sell clip on flowers- then you'd just run a line across the front of the shelf and clip the flowers to it (or tiny LED lights, that would make it all sparkley amidst the flowers!).

If you go with a chain of flowers you can pin/tack or hot glue the strand straight to the edge of the shelf without as much drama as single blooms.

If you want to go super gung ho crazy you can add charms, maybe skeleton keys or old bottle openers. Sort of like a garland of delight?

That probably made you more confused.
I think I love that idea.

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#10 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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With some DIY skills, you could install these "floating" shelves -- they look a lot classier than standard shelves. It really makes a difference to paint the brackets to match the wall and then paint a contrasting shelf border (or leave as wood). Also, what is on your shelves will have a huge impact. Consider getting a few items from the thrift store (tins, vases, etc.) and painting them a fun accent colour so that there is a "theme" to the shelves.

Here's another cute way to dress up plain shelves.

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#11 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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Here's an overwhelming amount of kitchen shelves.But maybe you'll find something you like.

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#12 of 17 Old 02-20-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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After he makes the shelve boards, but before install, you could also get some modge podge and decorate them w/ some cute printed paper. Scrapbooking stores have all kinds of funky pattern papers...or you could really get into it and do a collage decoupaged on...

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#13 of 17 Old 02-21-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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I like a sort of tropical look, so I hid some shelves behind a wood and bamboo bead curtain. I cut each strand to length, and stapled it to the underside of the top shelf. You can still see whats behind it, but it's also easy to push over if you want to get something, and it has enough weight to just correct itself and go back to hanging straight each time!

I love it, but its probably not for everyone....

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#14 of 17 Old 02-21-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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I agree with floating shelves. And paint too. Or, at least use some decorative brackets.

And instead of hiding everything, why not use the shelves for displayable items: mixing bowls, glasses, tea cups, and then use your cabinets for the eyesore stuff.
I also bought some large mason-like cannisters that I have on display, and they're filled with pasta and rice, so it's practical food storage, but decorative.
Or get some decorative boxes to put on the shelves that can hold the rarely used kitchen items.

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#15 of 17 Old 02-21-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
Well not sure what look you do like, but I'll give you some I like.

I once saw Martha Stewart bend doilies down to create a scallop edge on a shelf.

You could hot glue silk roses to the edges. (I have beadboard in my kitchen and simple white cupboards and I effectively use silk flowers and swags without giving that cheesy 80's country effect, my house looks vintage and cheery.)

Make a drop out of fabric off the edge of the shelf, not a curtain just a little something for pizzazz. Like triangles. Pretty old hankies that have holes are stains are perfect for cutting into triangles, or folding over. You'd have to measure and attach them to a fabric shelf liner. Easy and cute.

Anyway as you can tell I like farmhouse/cottage/victorian.
Do you have pictures?

Proud Catholic (30) and mama to V (10)
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#16 of 17 Old 02-21-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oliver's Mama View Post
I agree with floating shelves. And paint too. Or, at least use some decorative brackets.

And instead of hiding everything, why not use the shelves for displayable items: mixing bowls, glasses, tea cups, and then use your cabinets for the eyesore stuff.
I also bought some large mason-like cannisters that I have on display, and they're filled with pasta and rice, so it's practical food storage, but decorative.
Or get some decorative boxes to put on the shelves that can hold the rarely used kitchen items.
LOVE those ideas!
We have a small kitchen, so I am buying an Expedit shelf (either this one or this one, depending on room) to go in the dining room, so I can expand my kitchen storage. I will TOTALLY use the decorative containers idea!

Proud Catholic (30) and mama to V (10)
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#17 of 17 Old 02-21-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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we have open shelving in our newly remodeled kitchen and i LOVE it! we just did stainless steel shelving from ikea, and it holds all our every day dishes/glasses/mugs. you can see our remodel here, just scroll down to see our shelving.

i don't think you need to do too much to open shelving to make them look nice......especially in a kitchen. my only suggestion (from an interior designer standpoint) is to not put food on the open shelves, but rather dishes. put food behind closed doors, unless it's all in nice glass containers or something. otherwise it will just look like lots of clutter.....no matter how "cute" the shelves are.

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