One of my favorite things to do to to give myself that added storage while still maintaining an easy, elegant look, is to create a simple shelving system. Thankfully, this does not entail a trip to Ikea or the Container Store, and better yet, it’s cheap! A quick trip to Lowes or Home Depot – and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, to Anthropologie, Pier 1, or World Market for more detailed and fun hardware – should do the trick…

Dining Room Shelving 3

(always ready for a dinner party!)

What you will need for the shelving:

  1. Lumber! For my dining room shelving, I simply purchased 2 boards at a 2” thickness, and cut them down to whatever length I needed.
  2. A few shelving brackets, depending on the number of shelves you plan to create. You will need no less than 2 brackets per shelf.
  3. Stain and/or paint color of your choice and a wax (I use Minwax in Natural or Annie Sloan’s clear wax) to finish.
  4. Cloths to wipe on and off the stain, paintbrush, sandpaper.
  5. Saw, drill, and drywall screws.

Once you have cut your wood down to appropriate size, get ready to stain! Since I knew I wanted a dark base layer before I painted and distressed the white top coat, I chose Minwax stain in Ebony. I put on two coats of the stain to get the desired color and allowed the penetrated stain to fully dry before painting each piece in Annie Sloan’s Old White.

Shelves for Shelving 2

To distress the piece, I simply used a sheet of 180-grit sandpaper and sanded away until I achieved the desired look. Once both pieces were painted and sanded, I finished with Minwax wax in Natural just to give it a nice, natural sheen.

Dining Room Shelving 5

Once you have the shelving pieces painted and waxed, you’re ready to hang!

The shelving brackets I used were from Anthropologie:

Shelving Brackets

but you can easily find other brackets at your local hardware store, like the ones I used for my living room shelving (mental note: when purchasing your lumber, make sure you get an appropriate thickness that can hold the weight of your decor! You can see in the picture below that my shelf is beginning to bow, which means that I will eventually need to re-stain and replace the shelf with a thicker piece…).

Living Room Mantle 2

Once you have your shelving up, you’re ready to decorate! Have fun with it. This is the perfect opportunity to show off all of your flea market finds!

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