Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kitchen Window Shelves

My early followers will know that the Husband and I come up with lots of great ideas for our little house on a daily basis that, two weeks later, will be completely out of our heads and never spoken of again. I like to think that this is how everyone works. Is that true?

One such idea that I posted about early on was a solution for both a storage dilemma that all small-home owners face and the struggle I was fighting of bringing character and personality into a slightly unconventional, all-white kitchen. Remember this idea?

Believe it or not, this is not an idea that ended up dismissed and forgotten. In fact, it has, more or less, been accomplished!

I know. Shocking!

(I know, it's hard to see. Do you know how difficult it is to take shots of a window in the daytime?) 

Originally, we had planned to use glass for the shelves. That would have ensured that no light was blocked by the shelves themselves. It also would have ensured that this project would never have gotten done. It would have been nearly impossible to find pre-cut pieces of glass to fit just perfectly in our window. We would likely have had to special order the pieces of glass or learned how to cut it ourselves and we're just not that complicated of DIYers. 

So, we went with wood. 

After I decided that I wanted to paint the shelves rather than stain them - stain would have be beautiful, but, I worried, too heavy for a window - we picked up some 4'' by 1'' pre-primed maple. 

The Husband cut them down to 31'' to fit the door and added a little notch to fit around part of the window frame. With the leftovers, he cut six 1'' blocks. These are the supports on each end. 

I painted each part (just white - and, I'll admit, I may not have finished... but, you could never tell from the pictures!), drilled the support into place on the window frame, made sure they were level, swore a few times, undrilled and redrilled, and dropped the plank on top. Three times. Easy peasy.

And then I decorated.

Kind of.

Eventually, instead of candles and canisters, I hope to fill this window with herbs and cacti (though I promise to move my Christmas cactus out of the window - they don't like direct light, I hear!) all in pretty, colourful pots. The teacups will stay, I think, because I like having them on display, but the rest will find homes in my cupboards and the pantry, hidden and out of sight.

More and more, my kitchen is feeling finished. Like home. Like the room I want to spend time in.

At least, it does when it's not piled high with dishes.

Psst! This Dusty House is up for Apartment Therapy's 2012 The Homies! Care to vote? Go here!


  1. The shelves turned out great, and they still let in lots of light too, win win :)

  2. Jeanette I loooove them! They are great and I think for now they look so pretty the way you have them filled! Such a great idea for your small kitchen! I love it! :) (This is the kind of stuff I love to come across for my Fancy Friday post!!)

  3. Thanks Kerry! I'm pretty happy with how they look now too, but I can't wait to fill them with green plants and colourful pots. So glad I can have my teacups out on display now.

  4. I know! I was a little worried about how much light they would blog... obviously not a concern anymore!

  5. The shelves look fantastic! I agree with Martina, they don't seem to block much light. Hope your potted plants sprout soon, they will look great in this window!

  6. Looks great! Such a cute idea!

  7. The shelves look great, but a place like Mount Pleasant Glass in Leaside could have cut those shelves for you no problem, in any thickness of glass you'd like.

  8. Thanks for the tip Anna! I might have to check them out... I can always change it, after all! Do you know how much it would cost there?

  9. What a great idea! I love how it turned out and it adds so much personality to your kitchen!

  10. I just cut a piece of wood and shoved it into the window sill...tomorrow, it becomes a proper shelf!!!

  11. Thanks Kerry! I'm pretty happy with how they look now too, but I can't wait to fill them with green plants and colourful pots. So glad I can have my teacups out on display now.

  12. I came across your post while looking for window shelf ideas. I am totally going to copy you. my husband says the shelves will warp sure to the weight of the shelves. have you noticed this? I'm thinking that as long as you don't fasten down the shelves you can easily flip them to straighten them back out. your thoughts?

  13. Hi Jen! I'm so glad this has inspired you! I made these out of MDF. They're 3/4 inch thick, and 30 inches long. One year later and we haven't seen any warping yet! It is a legit concern though. Mine aren't nailed down, so yes, you could definitely flip them around if they do warp.

    Let me know if you convince your husband that it's a good idea!

  14. Thanks so much for your reply! I think I have convinced him on the shelves idea. Now I just have to figure out how many shelves. :-)

  15. Hey Gen- Try placing a 1/2 inch dowel between shelves starting at the bottom. This should alleviate any sagging. Be sure to start with a tight fit.