Corner Kitchen Shelf – Today I’m sharing all the details about the floating corner shelves in our kitchen because I’ve been getting a lot of questions about them since announcing our kitchen renovation. When designing our kitchen, I had something very specific in mind for open shelving and there was no element nearby, so my contractor (Reszoly Builders) and I went DIY!
My shelves have become one of my favorites in our new space, so I wanted to share a step-by-step guide for those of you who want to bring this look to your home too! And read on to the end of the post where I share a source for pre-made super similar floating shelves if you don’t want to make your own!
Corner Kitchen Shelf
First, here’s a step-by-step guide to building floating wooden shelves if you want to DIY…
How To Make Diy Floating Kitchen Shelves
The first step was to find a local source for thick white oak boards, which most hardware stores don’t carry. The key is to find a place that specializes in raw lumber because not only do they carry oak boards, but they usually cut and cut them to the size you want. I got mine from Kellogg Hardwood Lumber in Bethel, CT – I bought two raw white oak boards that were designed to be 1¾″ thick (the maximum thickness you can get from a 2″ thick board) and cut (cut to length) 10″. ″ deep. This is what each board looked like when I brought it home – isn’t the wood itself beautiful?!
I did a lot of searching and reading reviews to find out which shelf brackets would work best for our floating corner shelves and ended up with these shelf brackets in a large 7-12″ depth.
The brackets can be installed with the stand in a vertical or horizontal position – my contractor installed them vertically for maximum stability. As for mounting height of the brackets, the bottom pair was placed so that the bottom of the first shelf was flush with the bottom of my upper cabinet:
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The top pair of brackets were placed exactly 15 inches above the lower set because I chose that height for my second shelf. To prevent the bottom of the brackets from being visible after the shelves were installed, the contractor traced their outline on the wall where they were to be hung and cut drywall so that the brackets would be slightly recessed after installation. This is what they looked like after installation
(FYI, in case you’re wondering, the white rack below was just a test rack, which I’ll talk about later)
Note: You can also hang the brackets so that the base is horizontal instead of vertical (the brackets have anchors where they don’t go into studs) – then you don’t need to prepare the wall as the shelves will cover the base, but you will have to cut the back of the wooden shelves if you want them sitting on the wall.
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Once the nails were in place, our wall was tiled. The four tiles on top of the nails were cut and then placed as usual (the cuts were made horizontally to fit behind the shelves):
If the walls where your shelves will be hung are painted instead of tiled, press the bottom of the bracket, sand it against the rest of the wall, and paint the wall the same color.
Now that my nails were hung and the wall tiled, it was time to create the corner shelf. Since white oak wasn’t cheap, my contractor built a test corner shelf with leftover construction lumber to make sure the dimensions and holes were correct, and then used that test shelf as a template to build the white oak corner shelf.
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Creating the corner shelf involved joining one long piece of white oak (in my case a 36″ piece that extended from the end of the cabinet to the wall) to a shorter piece (mine was 9″) to form an “L”. “Shape. At the point where the two pieces of oak board were to be joined, two large holes were drilled in each one on top of each other – then the pieces were joined together with wood shavings and wood glue, after which they were pressed dry.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of this step, but you can get a good idea of the size and placement of the hole from the test piece on the right of the picture below, which was used as a test piece.
. After this, two holes were drilled in the back of each shelf for hanging the shelves, where they fit exactly with the rod of the floating shelf brackets. Since all of these holes need to be drilled at an exact 90 degree angle to keep everything level, creating them with a drill is the best way to go. The second best would be to use a clamp and a drill guide, such as e.g
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After drying, the wooden shelves were sanded so that the point where the two pieces were joined in the L shape was a perfectly smooth transition. If you want a completely natural look for the wooden shelves, the next step is to apply several layers of protective coating. I actually wanted mine to have a slightly gray washed look, so I played around with different stain mixes on some white oak test pieces to create just the stain I wanted.
I wish I had a specific stain formula to share with you, but I added one formula or another until I got it right. All I can tell you is that it was Minwax Natural, a combination of classic gray and pickled oak stains. After painting, I coated both sides of both shelves and the front edge with two coats of matte polycrylic (available), allowing it to dry thoroughly between coats. I like polycrylic as a protective topcoat because it doesn’t yellow like other topcoats often do. Here’s a close-up of what the end result looks like:
Once my corner shelves were completely dry, they were installed by simply sliding them over the nails. Then, for added safety and to keep my shelf 100% level, my contractor drilled an adjustment screw
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On the inside of my upper cabinet in the middle of each shelf, about 1 ½″ from the front edge of the shelf:
Sources – on the counter: Round wicker tray | Marble and wooden dish holder | Blk/Wht Hand Towel with Shelves: Hurricane Glass Vase | Brass Accent Pitcher | Sample recipe Tin | White ceramic jug | Artificial White Peony | Artificial White Hydrangea | Artificial Lilac Stems | Marble salt cellar | Spiral Wood Salad Servers | Glass oil and vinegar bottles | Gray and White Striped Planter | Decorative snail
When we installed our floating corner shelves, there was no store that made anything like this. Since then, UltraShelf (which you can see) has started selling floating shelves that are basically identical to mine (and they give my readers 25% off through this link!) Stain. I got floating shelves from them for our bathroom and I love them (you can read all about them and the specs of the shelves I chose:
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To create corner shelves with UltraShelf, you need to purchase two shelves to create one corner shelf – one that runs along the long wall and one that rests against it on the shorter wall. Their shelves are equipped with brackets and everything you need to hang them.
With both the kitchen and bathroom shelves, I love how the natural wood warms up the space, and I also love changing the look of the rooms by putting in our shelves. I get a lot of questions about Do my open corner shelves feel like garbage, and I don’t at all! In addition to the little snake plant on the bottom shelf and my super cute decorative copper snail (available).
All my open shelves are what I use and whether I choose open shelves in my kitchen or not. Even the artificial flowers on the top shelf are the ones I clean and use at parties:
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As for dust, things like brass and glass jugs and wooden bowls get dusty over time, but it takes less than a minute to wash them off with a quick soapy wash.
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