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Rustic Kitchen Shelf

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I’ve been waiting to install our barn wood shelf since we started the kitchen last January and we finally finished it the day before Christmas.

It’s not exactly the way I pictured it would be but when you’re doing a renovation in any room, you need to be open to changing plans and doing what’s best for the space (not what you’ve been picturing in your mind).

That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned through this whole kitchen remodel.

Install a rustic barn wood shelf to add style and functionality to a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

Originally, I wanted two barn wood shelves on the window wall of the kitchen, in place of a cabinet that was up pre-renovation, but once we installed the first one it was pretty clear that two would be too much.

Well…if truth be told, it was more clear to the hubs (who didn’t want to do more work on Christmas Eve day) than it was to me but I’m not sure if I was trying to hang on to my vision or if one shelf really looked best.

Install a barn wood shelf to add style and functionality to a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

There are two problems with all of this.

Problem number one is that we have a small kitchen and I’m afraid that having two big shelves on that wall will make the room look closed in.

The other problem is that the top shelf would only be used for decor, since it would be out of my reach.

I’m not one for having things out in the kitchen that aren’t used regularly (who wants to clean that stuff all the time anyway?) so the idea of hanging a shelf just for extra “stuff” didn’t really appeal to me.

How to install a barn wood shelf to add style and functionality to a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

Ok, all of that aside, the installation of the shelf was pretty easy, once we got past the fear of drilling into our beautiful, newly tiled backsplash.

We did a few test holes in an extra tile to see what would happen and the bit went right through every time…no chipping or cracking.

How to install a barn wood shelf on a subway tiled backsplash. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

As for the stability of the shelves, there were no studs to drill into so we had to use very long screws and drill all the way into the outer brick wall.

How to install a rustic barn wood shelf on a subway tiled backsplash. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

Once the holes were carefully measured, marked and drilled, attaching the shelf brackets was a piece of cake.

How to install a rustic barn wood shelf on a tiled backsplash. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

I’ve read a lot of discussions online about open shelving in the kitchen and I never thought that I would even consider it, let alone have them, but after having my dishes sit out for most of last year, I knew that we could have our everyday dishes out and it wouldn’t be a problem.

How to install a rustic barn wood shelf on a tiled backsplash to add extra storage in a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com
Install a rustic barn wood shelf to add extra storage in a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com
Install a rustic barn wood shelf to add extra storage in a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

We still have to add our recessed lights and then the ceiling will get its final coat of paint.

How we installed a rustic barn wood shelf on a tiled backsplash to add extra storage in a small kitchen. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

And, just for fun, this is how the wall looked way back in 2014, just before we started. Such a huge difference right? I feel like I’ve walked into a different house every time I go into the kitchen. I love it!

kitchen reno before 5

So what do you think about having an open shelf in the kitchen? Yay or no way?


  1. Where did you get those fabulous brackets!? I have a very oddly shaped kitchen (it’s adjacent to an oval dining room, thank you charming victorian house), so to make the most of the strange curves and corners, I’m switching to open shelving. I just cannot find a bracket that looks and feels sturdy without costing an arm and a leg! Also, is that a 1×12 board?

    Love EVERYTHING about your beautiful kitchen. Hope you’re loving it as much today as the day you finished it. <3

    1. Awww, thanks so much for your sweet comment Sam! Unfortunately, we put our house on the market 2 days after we finished the remodel. It was an unexpected move and I was so sad to leave all of our hard work behind before I got to enjoy it.

      The shelf brackets were from Signature Hardware. They were beautiful but a little pricy. You can see the reveal post and all of my sources here. https://www.chatfieldcourt.com/kitchen-remodel-details/

      I just did shelves in our new house (kitchen) and used brackets from The Home Depot. They were very reasonable, they look great and they’re very sturdy. I love them! You can see my post here https://www.chatfieldcourt.com/open-shelving-in-the-kitchen-for-under-50/

      The wood I used was old barn boards. They were all 12 inches deep to accommodate our dinner plates. I didn’t want them hanging over the side so I made sure they were wide enough.

      Hope all this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions. We live in an old 1946 cottage now so I understand oddly shaped spaces. Best of luck with you kitchen.

  2. Your shelf and tiled wall look terrific. But I’m wondering where you got those bamboo blinds, and if you like them? I’m thinking of something similar in my kitchen. Thanks, Pam

    1. Thanks Pam! I love, love them and the texture they add to the kitchen. They are a custom fit and I purchased them on Select Blinds. Hope that helped. πŸ™‚

  3. That shelf is just so perfect for your lovely new kitchen Kristi! Great choice!

    1. I’m still longing for two but we’ll live with this for a while and see how it works once the kitchen is complete. Thanks so much for dropping in Vel.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous – I love it! Love the subway tile, too. Your kitchen is so pretty.

    1. Thanks Melanie. I’m loving it so far but I’m ready to be done with the renovation. I appreciate you stopping in.

  5. Marijean Jenson says:

    Love it. Wish I had a wall to put one on. May I ask where you got the brackets. Love them.

    1. Thanks so much Maryjean. I looked at a lot of brackets online before I decided but I went with the Classic Iron Shelf Bracket from Signature Hardware and I’m really happy with the quality. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  6. I like the one shelf. Two would make it cluttered I think. I like the look of open shelves but most people overdo it with decorating them and all I see is dust and grease to be cleaned. Limiting to accessible and storing only things used everyday was a smart move.

    1. Thanks Debbie. I think it would look closed in too. We can always add the other one if I change my mind, which I’m known to do, but I’ll live with it for a while. I was worried about dust and grease too but the dishes are used daily so it’s not been a problem so far. Thanks for stooping in my friend and I hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Love the shelf, Kristi. . .the simplicity of the shelf and the natural wood against the white, and then the white dishware stacked on top. A beautiful, understated look. I love the woven shades and the cutting boards. It’s so classy. Nicely done! I do like open shelving in a kitchen. I think it makes the kitchen look larger. In our new kitchen I opted for two cupboards with no doors on either side of the sink, and glass front with chicken wire on the other two cupboards. I use the open shelves to store things I use every day, so dust collection is not an issue. I do have one decorative shelf on my stove hood where I have some collectibles displayed. It’s just enough for me. Love, love your kitchen. So pretty! Hugs, Nancy

    1. Thanks so much Nancy. I appreciate that you take special notice of all the little details. I never thought that I would have open shelving (considering the dust and grease factor) but we really use the dishes everyday so I think it will all work out. I love your open cabinets in your kitchen and the way they frame your gorgeous window. You definitely have the perfect cottage kitchen. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping in Nancy, and I hope you have a great weekend!

  8. The reno looks great. You really made the most of your space and the style is gorgeous! Yes, open shelves are so pretty. I don’t have an empty wall, so I went for glass cabinet. Not exactly the same effect, but that was as close as I could get. And I agree with you, if you can’t reach it, why bother! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Kim. I’m really happy with the way it’s all turning out. Love your glass cabinets in your pretty kitchen. πŸ™‚

  9. Your one shelf looks great, although I think if you styled something beneath it on the counter, you would give up the notion that you needed two shelves. It’s just a little bare underneath and I think that’s why you are questioning the one shelf vs two shelves. Your kitchen looks beautiful….

    1. Thanks so much Pat. A great suggestion you had but I had clear instructions from the Chef, aka the hubbs, that I was to leave that area clear for food prep. I’m not one for stuff on the counter anyway so I let him believe he won the battle. πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a great weekend!

  10. I would love to have a couple of open shelves. Your kitchen is beautiful. and I love your barnwood shelf.

    1. Thank you Patty! I’m loving my new “old” shelf. Hope your weekend is great! πŸ™‚

  11. Brenda, Florida says:

    HO, HO, HO, that looks great! I would love one to display my delft pottery on, but I don’t have the room. You must be getting near the end of the reno ? No, LOL, there is always something!

    1. Thanks Brenda! I think I can safely say that we are nearing the end (as she crosses her fingers and hopes that she didn’t just jinx herself πŸ˜‰ ). Happy weekend!

  12. Your kitchen looks amazing. I’m with you, having “stuff” sitting around in the kitchen to have to be kept clean, makes no sense to me.

    1. Yay, great minds think alike Pam! πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for stopping in and leaving such a nice comment.

    1. Thanks Shelley! I’m very excited to finally have it up. Have a great weekend!

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