We lived in NYC for 10 years, where we rented, and learned a lot about utilizing our vertical wall space – because that’s all we had. 


When we moved back to the Midwest, we became more comfortable with a larger ‘footprint’ in our space, and more square footage, and we got out of practice of using space as well as we might like. Compared to a 650Sq.Ft. apartment, a 1500Sq.Ft. home feels enormous…at least until you get comfortable with the change. 😉


We live in a 3 bedroom Cape Cod style home, so for us, our main living area has to serve multiple purposes. It is our living room, our dining room, our reading nook, our piano corner, our arts & craft area (aka the dining room table) and more. We wanted to do something that would claim back some of our floor space, bring some pizzazz to our walls, and allow for some small green plants to be added to the mix too.


We had a really hard time finding shelves we liked in the price range we were hoping for so we decided to go the DIY route. While this increased the time invested, the quality we found to be better than anything we could have purchased, so the time was well worth it! We purchased 10″x1″ pine boards from Home Depot, paid for them to be cut into our desired shelf length, sanded, put on a coat of stain, and put them up! All in, it cost under $50 (for each shelf ‘unit’), plus a few hours of sweat equity. 


These were the shelf brackets we used. We wanted a bright finish to the shelves so we went with a very light finish, similar to this, and applied only one coat of stain.


Here are the end results! The photo on the right was our first unit. We liked it so much the first time, we went whole hog and did it above the piano too. 😉

Cheers to you and any future home improvement projects you might have in mind! I hope you find it as valuable as we did! If you want to share what you’re learning as you do them, send them our way. We’d be happy to spread the learning around!