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how to fake open shelving…

My love for Pinterest is no secret. It is such a great resource for ideas and inspiration. I’ve used so many of those ideas that I’ve found there throughout my house. So when a Pinterest Challenge was announced by Young House Love, Bower Power, Centsational Girl and Ten June to complete a project or idea from your pinboard, I got to work. 

A while back I had been searching for ideas on how to spruce up my kitchen, without doing too much. I’ve always loved the look of open shelving but would never me able to commit to doing my entire kitchen. Some things are better left behind closed doors! I still couldn’t stop myself from pinning kitchens with open shelving. Here are a few of my pins…


{better homes and gardens}

{house beautiful}

{better homes and gardens}

{better homes and gardens}

{better homes and gardens}

{better homes and gardens}

{young house love}

Although I love all of these ideas it is not something that would happen anytime soon. So no open shelving for me, until I came across this…

pretty handy girl

The doors were removed from one cabinet, fabric added to the background and I too could have instant open shelving. With a few simple supplies, most of which I already had on hand, I got to work. Here is what my cabinet on the right side of my kitchen sink looked like before…

Boring, right? The cabinet has three shelves, the top one of which is rarely used since it is so high and I am vertically challenged. I removed the doors and hardware, and then the shelves. All the holes were patched up with wood filler and then sanded down. 

I painted the back wall of the cabinet the same color as the kitchen walls, Benjamin Moore Shaker Beige. The sides, top and bottom of the cabinet were painted white. Since the top shelf is never used I had just one shelf cut out of plywood. The original shelves were melamine and not too pretty. I then purchased 4 brackets from Home Depot which I primed and painted white to match the cabinets.

I attached the brackets using wood glue. The first two I placed under the cabinet to look like they are holding it all up. The second pair were glued to the bottom of the shelf. No screws were used at all. I could have used screws on the shelf brackets but the pair “holding” up the cabinet needed to fit flush (or at least look that way) with the bottom of the cabinet and could only be installed with wood glue. There is a slight gap as evident in the picture below. Unless you are under 4 feet tall you can’t even tell. It held so well and dried so quickly that I ended up using the same method on the top two brackets as well. The actual shelf is held up by small clips on the sides so the brackets themselves are purely decorative. I measured and lined them up with the shelf, placed upside down. Once they dried overnight I was done.

I now have pseudo open shelving, but good enough for me! It actually opens up the kitchen a bit and I love having a useful display area. Here’s a before and after for comparison…

Thanks to Kate, Sherry, Katie and Michelle for challenging me to tackle something on my pinterest board. How did they know I love a challenge? 

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