I really could use the space in this cabinet. I have jars and jars of stuff I use on the daily. I forget what I have because as you can see, it’s hidden behind more jars, and so on…
We all are trying to gain more cabinet space/counter space. How do we do that without going into debt? What if we can’t spare the room? What if we can’t add on? What if tearing out cabinets isn’t an option or adding more? How do we gain more…?
My solution was to take four inches away from my counters. What I mean by that is I built a shelf that sits on the back half of my countertop. I don’t ever recall a time when I’ve used my counters to the very back, so I knew I wouldn’t miss it. Here’s is what I did…
Off to the scrap pile I go…
1 x 4’s … I measured the length of the counter this shelf would sit on and cut accordingly.
Drill holes counter sinking each one. I then used wood screws to screw it together.
Sanding the wood before screwing it all together is much easier than doing it after, which I did…Here, I’m sanding/smoothing the screw holes as there are always burrs left over from drilling.
Here it is!
Turn on the lights! It fits the space just right.
I some gained serious space…Like whole two shelves in that cabinet!
This was a total win-win. I’ve freed a cupboard and gained a useful shelf that makes it super easy to get to ingredients I use daily. No more pulling jars out to see what’s behind. Very convenient! I’ve prepared dishes and rolled dough on this counter and haven’t missed those four inches!
Figure out what it is YOU really need from your kitchen. Remember the blog post on the coffee cups here? Whatever your needs are, more than likely there is a way to make your kitchen space more usable for YOU. An organized kitchen that works for your lifestyle makes all the difference in creating those wonderful dishes you make with love!
I’m looking for suggestions….should I stain this shelf or whitewash it?
I hope this gives you some ideas to making your own space work for you!
Remember, if I can do it, you can do it!
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Custom built is the way to go when you have an odd corner. I tried using a metal shelf and various other “shelves”, yet none really worked. So leaving me with no choice…I had to break out the tools! Keep in mind, if I can you can! Here we go…
This is what I had in my arsenal: Needle nose plier, counter sink drill bit, drill, level, pencil, hammer, nail punch, tape measure, stud finder. (Not shown; 1/16th drill bit, 1 1/2″ screws, 1 1/2″ finishing nails.)
Compressor. Lugging this guy up two flights of stairs wasn’t easy. 47 pounds of awkwardness!
Nail gun; This needs to be hooked up to the air compressor (pic above) to work. I wasn’t sure if I needed this to help me hold the wood as it was just me building this. I ended up not needing it.
Here’s the corner of my frustration! Teehee. Glass-eyed tree frog (on the left) painted by me for my son when he was 3. That was forever ago! Like two decades! 😉
I measured the space and cut the wood. Cleats are 1×1’s, front facing pieces are 1×2’s and the shelf itself are 3/4″ plywood. I bought furniture grade as I wanted pretty wood and very straight pieces to work with. Using a chop saw I cut the cleats and facing pieces. For the plywood I used a skill saw. You can ask a person at your local wood store to cut them for you. Some places charge per cut, but some do it out of the goodness of their hearts!
Using the stud finder, look for a stud. As you can see, my stud finder lies! No worries though, it will be covered by the cleat.
Eureka, I found two studs!
I attached the back cleat first. Double/triple checking the level. Then I attached the side cleats.
First shelf done. Checking the level.
As I finished each “cleat” section I added the shelf board so I could accurately measure the space I wanted in between each shelf.
The ladder needed to come into play for the top two shelves. Being short has its downfalls, but it’s a good thing I can climb like a monkey!
The finishing front pieces. (Check out the Garmin Vivosmart HR i’m wearing. Yes, there will be a review on this.)
I didn’t want to risk splitting the wood, so I predrilled tiny holes using 1/16th drill bit.
Carefully I nailed finishing nails across. Four nails along each piece. Using the nail punch, tap each nail in about a millimeter. Fill with wood putty to disguise the hole! Tip: You can make a wood filler using wood glue and fine sawdust!
All done. You can stain and seal using poly urethane. I like the natural look so I won’t be staining this.
Recap in video below…
All done! Insert happy dance here *
This would be great for folded sweaters, jeans, extra blankets, pillows, books, etc.
I just added a quilt to finish off the seating area.
Now this awkward space is a pretty space. I may sneak into my sons room to read in this “now” adorable nook! The view from that window is incredible!
Make spaces work for you. If you can’t find just the right piece to make it work…don’t be afraid to build it! If I can, you can. I’m not a pro by any means, but I like to make things, so I try.
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Busy weekend, but still made time to smell the roses…
I’ve been enjoying reading up on the great blogs you all have. This weekend had me in a frenzy getting the house ready for a party. Fun, fun, fun.
I built the third gate. This gate should have been the first one. It’s the most important one; well to me it is. It leads to my garden. I open my back door and about 30 steps away is my sanctuary.
I am getting better at building these things. Faster too. With each one there have been tiny hic-ups because each is a different size and I needed to account for the weight because of the wider widths as well as land sloping up or down. All in all, it’s been fun building them. One more to go! I am hoping to have that built by next week and then…Chicken coop! Can you say, “bwok, bwok?” I can’t wait! 😉
Third gate. Zucchini plant to the left; I can already smell the zucchini bread!
The party went off without a hitch. Great fun and lots of live music. I finally went to sleep; 4 am came fast!
Smelling the roses.
I so love all the pictures you all have on your blogs. All of you out there that can grow roses…I take my hat off to you! As you can see this plant has the dreaded black spots. All my neighbors tell me you can’t grow roses around here. I am starting to agree. When I lived on the west coast my roses grew prolifically. I miss them very much. My father-in law grew them and I was happy to have the chance to take over the job of caring for them. It’s one of the things I miss very much when I moved down south. Here in my garden, I am happy I got one to smell! I know this plant won’t last, but for it’s short life, I am thankful. Hope you all had a great weekend! Make the time to smell the roses. Life is short!
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