Cheap Storage: Exposed

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I've already told you all about how we cleaned our kitchen from head to toe this weekend to make it shine for our kitchen tour. And I believe I also briefly mentioned that we installed a pretty shelf for some exposed storage for only $18. The whole project ended up being much easier (and cheaper) than we ever thought it would be. So, if you have a bare wall in your space just begging for an easy-access shelf, follow these steps to spiff it up.

You'll be happy you did!

Step 1: Identify where you want your shelf. And for what purpose. For us, this was easy -- we use our kitchen "island" all the time . . . and I always find myself reaching for my dry baking ingredients. I knew I wouldn't need an extremely heavy duty shelf, but also -- due to space restrictions -- I couldn't have one that was too wide. Measure for length and width . . . and also see how heavy the items you plan to place on it will be. Just sizing the whole thing up at this point.

Step 2: Pick out your shelf. We hopped in the car and went to Lowe's to the wall-mounted shelving department. After looking around for a few minutes, we decided on a white wood shelf with brushed nickel brackets. If you need something a bit more heavy duty (for stowing cast-iron pots, etc.), you may want to check out their online selection to find something that meets your needs.

Step 3: Install your shelf. You'll need a level, screws (they will come with your brackets), and a power drill is handy. Find a good height by holding the shelf against the wall and playing around a bit. Then mark where you're going to put your first bracket. Use the level to mark for the second bracket. Drill pilot holes. Then screw in your bracket with the screws until secure. Then top the brackets with the shelf and screw it in, too. I know these installation tips aren't exactly detailed. But it really is as easy to screwing your brackets into the wall. Just make sure it's all level.

Step 4: Pick out items to place on your shelf. We just used simple plastic containers that we bought our bulk foods in. As well, I put our mortar and pestle on there for easy-reach access. And even an antique meat grinder we found at the Salvation Army for some extra decorative flair. Be creative. But also make it functional . . . and not too cluttered (after all, it's EXPOSED!).

Now you, too, can go from THIS . . .

To THIS . . .

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