I'm just going to be upfront from the beginning and tell you that these shelves took me an embarrassingly long time to install. I was like, "How hard could it be to put up shelves?" Well, when your husband is gone, your dad is 5,000 miles away, you are navigating a brand new hardware store in a foreign language, the new drill you bought is a total wimp and you have a lot of unrealistic pipe dreams about what your shelves are going to look like — apparently, sort of hard.
But that's why I'm here, because it should not be so hard for you. This is not a hard project — I just had a lot of learning to do along the way. So, I want to impart all the knowledge I learned to make this easier for the next person who has home renovation fantasies of open shelving. Plus, these babies were so worth it!
I was initially super hesitant about doing open shelving, but we didn't have too many other economical options for our place, and were in desperate need of storage. When we moved in, we had virtually no storage in our place. The first thing we did was put in secondhand cabinets and we had to buy some furniture from IKEA just to give us countertop space and a silverware drawer.
We talked about a lot of different options for storage, and at first, I was unsure of how I felt having all of our things on display — not behind closed doors like a good American. Open shelving can be difficult, and since we're newlyweds, we don't have a ton of really nice things — lots of items are hand-me-downs, or scrounged together just so we have something. Tyler was really into the idea of open shelving everywhere, but we compromised on the idea of open shelving just for dishes (no one is seeing my pantry!).
I also had a hard time settling on our shelving brackets — this was a big unit and we ended up buying 16 brackets in total, which can add up quickly. We splurged on the wood — a beautiful butcher block beech cut — so I wanted to save money on the shelving brackets. I had it in my mind that I wanted to spray paint them, inspired by a kitchen I saw with these colorful orange brackets awhile back, and once I found some copper spray paint, everything came together very nicely.
Now that they're up, I think I can get used to the open shelving life. It helped once I realized that we do have pretty cute dishes, and it was an excuse to buy a new set, of course. With some careful editing thanks to some open shelving tips, new bins and repackaging, I'm really loving the new look and all the new storage space we have. Plus, Teddy the cat loves them, too, and has begun his diabolical plot to rid the apartment of ceramics. No casualties yet, but I'm not holding my breath.