Kitchen Shelving Update

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comHappy New Year, friends! I missed everyone and it feels great to fall back into my blog routine. I’m eager to see what the year ahead will bring and I’m embracing a fresh start, as we kick off 2023. I’m not big on resolutions, but I do love the excitement, creativity, and optimism a blank canvas brings. This spring will mark four years since we finished our kitchen renovation, which is honestly hard to believe! Time flies! This is actually the longest we’ve ever lived in a home (another crazy realization)… we’re typically accustomed to moving often. That said, Emmett & I love it here and while big renovations are still in the works- sometimes those small changes can make the biggest impact. Our kitchen is still my favorite, but one particular area was feeling bothersome or forced and I wanted to update it before the year came to a close. I had always planned for and have enjoyed the open storage above our coffee bar, but the existing floating shelves just weren’t working for me anymore… strictly from an aesthetic perspective. Click through for my thought process, reasoning, and installation for a quick, yet impactful update in our kitchen. I thought it would be fun to kick off the year with a tiny makeover. Shall we?

5 Design Lessons I Learned the Hard WayAt the time of our kitchen renovation, we were working to transform the space with Lowe’s… which was a dream partnership and our largest sponsored project to date. I designed our custom cabinetry, made finish selections, and worked through every single storage detail using items found at our go-to home improvement store. I was able to find everything I needed at the time, excluding traditional style floating shelves for our coffee bar. I landed on a modern wood option that nearly matched our herringbone hardwood floors as a compromise. The style and color wasn’t exactly what I had initially envisioned, but with proper styling- I knew they would work. That was really our only option at the time, so we committed… check them out them below:

Idyllic Moments : August 2021 - roomfortuesday.comFast forward a couple years later, it became obvious to me that the floating shelf situation could definitely be improved, though it was never my intention to update them (my designer brain is a double edged sword). Apparently, I was still clinging to my original design plan that felt more traditional, better matching the aesthetic of our home and kitchen. Other projects took precedent and it wasn’t a pressing matter, so we didn’t make any moves to update the coffee corner that was functioning just fine. Finally, last summer I decided it was time to make the swap. I sketched out my idea, Emmett built the shelves with a beautiful swooping ogee edge, and they sat in our garage for six months collecting dust. Ha! It happens to the best of us.

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comBy the time I got around to ordering brackets and hardware, the holidays had rolled around. However, I was determined to get them switched by the end of the year, and after a quick evening swap- I’m wondering why we waited so long. It only took Emmett a couple hours one evening to remove the existing shelves and install the new ones, and our kitchen instantly felt better and lighter.

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comLet’s talk details… I opted for polished nickel brackets and gallery rails for a classic traditional look. Our lighting and plumbing fixtures in the kitchen are all polished nickel, so it made sense to match the hardware. I also think the vignette feels better balanced, visually.

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comWe pile the shelving high with coffee items, so having the brackets and rail makes the floating shelves appear more stable and comfortable. The rail also keeps our coffee items from getting too close to the edge, but mostly it’s there for aesthetics. I like that it took on a bistro sort of look. I also pared down the styling items and used the shelf space for coffee items we use on the daily, only. As much as I’m drawn to maximalist styling- sometimes taking the minimalistic or functional approach is best.

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comI painted the shelves themselves the same color as the window casing in our kitchen, which is actually a light gray that matches our backsplash tile. The don’t feel as heavy or cluttered in a monochromatic palette. I did want to address a few frequently asked questions I received after sharing a quick before and after on Instagram before the holidays…

Kitchen Shelving Update -

Why and how did you drill into the backsplash tile?

Drilling into the tile was the only way to install heavy duty floating shelves (capable of supporting plenty of weight for our coffee items)- for both our previous and existing shelves. We’ve never been afraid to drill into tile… whether it’s to hang shelving, artwork, pizza peels, or cutting boards in the kitchen, I’d encourage you to do that over using command hooks that easily and often fall. I’ve had too many things break. They’re just not reliable for permanent situations. You will need to use a masonry bit, screws, and anchors depending on the weight of what you’re hanging. We’ve never had a tile or grout line crack. It seems more scary than it actually is.

Where did the shelves and brackets come from?

I’ll be sure to link all of the items we used in a slider below, but Emmett built the shelves- so sadly, I don’t have a link for those. I’ll drop in some similar readymade options. The gallery rails can be found here (in nickel)– the source website wouldn’t let me link those below.


Do the new shelves hold more weight than the previous ones, with the brackets?

No- they actually hold the exact same; it was purely an aesthetic and visual upgrade. The previous modern floating shelves had hidden brackets that the shelves slide over, so it’s the same weight distribution.

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comFor more kitchen posts, feel free check out or revisit the following. I’ve shared a LOT in the 3.5 years since renovating our kitchen…

Kitchen Shelving Update - roomfortuesday.comI hope this post encourages you to make little changes you’ve been itching to tackle in the year ahead. If something in your home is no longer serving you or feeling balanced, it’s ok to make a change… no matter how recently it has been updated. Our coffee bar and corner of the kitchen have been a bright spot for me these past few weeks, and I’m glad I decided to swap the shelving. That tiny change really impacted the entire room. Emmett couldn’t believe the difference. I’m very pleased with our new floating shelves and Jordan was able to repurpose our previous ones in her laundry room, which better fit her beautiful home. It was a win / win. Here’s to more quick & easy changes that make our homes continue to feel like our favorite place!

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  1. Good morning! Happy January! For such a small change, I can’t deny the difference. I do adore a gleamy nickel finish.😍 A guardrail would be clutch if we ever installed open shelving in a kitchen because…accidents. The bespoke color and edge detail are just beautiful! A quieter moment, for sure. I’ve always loved that petite, personality-packed coffee station. I’m glad to hear you were easily able to remedy a nagging little situation! Now, I’m curious though! Were the old shelves irksome because they were a compromise on your original plan, or was their more modern aesthetic the rub? I enjoy modern touches in traditional spaces, but the mix is certainly key. Regardless of the reason, cheers to a new look! Speaking of new…carpeting for the upstairs bedrooms! One thing always leads to another with homes. Ha! Will you and Emmett be installing it yourselves? I don’t think that’s something I’ve seen you do…Oof, I just thought of all the furniture moving this will entail. Not my favorite part of new flooring. Might as well kick this new year into gear! I’m looking forward to guest room updates, entryway news and your next vacation adventure! Go 2023! Happy Wednesday, Sarah!💜

    1. Good morning, Peggi! Happy January, indeed. Warm polished nickel is my favorite “cooler” metal. Our coffee station gets a LOT of use (I usually make 2 cups per day and Emmett makes 1), so it’s a busy corner in the kitchen. I think the old shelves were bothersome because of their shape and color. They just felt a little heavy/bulky for the corner and the color *almost* matched our flooring, but not quite. It always looked like a design mistake… like I was trying to color match them, but didn’t get it quite right. I do enjoy mixing modern & traditional… I just don’t think the shelves were right for the space. As an architectural element, I wanted them to feel lighter and more traditional (with a monochromatic color, too). I’m actually really excited about our carpet. It’s wool and is being installed in a couple weeks. Home Depot was running a promotion for free installation, so we couldn’t pass that up. We’ll be here moving and shuffling our furniture in and out of the bedrooms during install, but we won’t actually be installing the carpet (thankfully). I’m excited for the year ahead! Here’s to plenty of fun adventures and cool projects to share. I hope your day is off to an awesome start! xo

  2. This update is just lovely! Matches the aesthetic much more!

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! Happy New Year!

  3. I adore your kitchen so much. It’s been my most favorite from the moment you first revealed it, which is why my new kitchen has a very similar color palette. This is a beautiful update and I love that it gives you a moment of happiness in your daily life. The new shelves are lovely and definitely provide a more simple aesthetic (in a good way!). Emmett did an amazing job building those shelves. The ogee edge is absolute perfection. Happy New Year! (Is it too late to still be saying that?)

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! We love it, too. It has been such a happy and functional space in our home that sees a LOT of use. I love hearing that your kitchen has a similar color palette. I enjoy the dark contrast. Happy New Year!! I hope yours is off to a good start :)

  4. Good morning Sarah! I’ll start by saying I loved the look of the previous shelving- but after seeing the swap, I can’t deny that the new ones feel better for the space, and aesthetically do look more pleasing. I adore the polished nickel brackets and rails. It provides a bistro-like feel to the room, that perfectly accentuates your style. Bonus points that you don’t have to worry about getting something too close to an edge. Until now, I hadn’t noticed that your window trim matched your backsplash tile. Against the wood contrast, the trim always appeared white to me. Now that the shelves match the trim, I see the monochromatic look you were going for with the trim color and it’s gorgeous. I also see more of the color variation in your tiles which is giving more texture than it did before. I think the switch turned out spectacular! All in all, it seems you accomplished the look you were going for. Functionally speaking, are there differences you and Emmett have noticed that you didn’t think would be different? Cheers to completing the pesky nagging tasks! You and I had the same thoughts as the holidays approached. My impromptu paint session worked wonders in both spaces. For reference, I never did the strip above my upper cabinetry (because *woof) and the half wall that boxes in our fridge. The difference in how bright and airy the kitchen feels brings a smile every time I’m in there. The bathroom wall was one that still has work to be done (removal of existing medicine cabinet, drywall patch and repair); I told myself I’d leave it until we got there, but Jeff despises drywall work, and I despise butter yellow, so here we are. Hahaha! I’m spending January doing the pesky small things that will, if nothing else, bring peace of mind at having them off my list. I can’t wait to see how your guest room turns out! Happy Wednesday!

    1. Good morning, Lauren! Thank you so much! I’m really happy with the swap. The gray tile & window casing definitely plays tricks on the eye, ha. It sometimes looks like a cool white and other times it definitely appears gray. Against the super dark cabinetry, it definitely takes on a lighter contrast. Functionally speaking, it’s exactly the same. I minimized the styling a bit, which has been nice and more streamlined, but other than that- we still use it and reach for the same things. I love that we both had impromptu holiday paint sessions. Ha! I just got the urge to knock something out and it really felt good. I know your kitchen paint project was no easy feat! Don’t you feel so happy about it now? I love how impactful paint can be. I’ve got the same plan for January… cross little pesky tasks off our list and get organized. I hope your day is off to a great start! xo

    2. This change definitely feels more refined. Awesome job Sarah!

  5. Happy New Year! The new shelving is lovely, the polished nickel brackets and rails are such a pretty detail. Of course the shelves themselves are beautiful and suit the kitchen perfectly. I love projects that take little time but make a huge impact on a space. I’m excited for a new year of possibilities, planning and making a few updates. Andrew and I aren’t as handy so we will need to hire some expertise but hopefully we can cross a few things off the to do list. There are lingering projects from our initial move that just didn’t get done. This years the year of pesky projects to completion ☺️
    Excited to hear your guest bedroom is on its way! Yay! I know it will be gorgeous, and styled to perfection.
    Cheers to a new year marked for progress. Heck ya! Let’s get it done 2023 🥂

    1. Happy New Year, Colleen! Thank you so much. I also love the possibilities a new year brings. We definitely are eager to tackle some fun projects in the year ahead. Here’s to hoping we can get to them with the same amount of time and enthusiasm. Hah! Our carpet is being installed in two weeks and I’m looking forward to knocking out the bedroom. Let’s go 2023!! I’m feeling optimistic. I hope you’re having a good week :) xo

  6. Hi Sarah
    This is more my style,small and diyable project. I hope you can share the laundry room with the new shelves with us.

    1. Thanks, Saba! I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start.

  7. This is the perfect swap. Now if I could just stop ogling your coffee/espresso maker, which also steals the show!

    1. Thanks, Dawn! The espresso maker was such a worthy investment. It’s going on 5-6 years old now and we use it multiple times each day. I love that thing!

  8. Happy New Year everyone! Sarah, I loved your kitchen shelves before and I love love the new ones! I think the edge and brackets with the railing are divine! Your kitchen remains to be one of my favorite kitchens. It is cozy and filled with light and function.
    Hope your year is full of accomplishments and better health. Think of you often and want you to feel better in 2023. My daughter and I are visiting my mom and aunts this weekend. Needing a little family love and time right now. I get a little spoiled by them and it is always the best medicine. Hope you have a great week friend. xoxo

    1. Happy New Year, Danna! Thank you so much. I just love our kitchen… it’s such a happy room in our home that functions so well for us. Thanks for continuing to think of me- I truly appreciate that! Have such a wonderful time with your daughter visiting your mom and aunts this weekend! What fun family time- enjoy :) xo

  9. Your kitchen is so beautiful! What color grout did you use for your backsplash? I’m going to get the same tile and would love the same look as yours.

    1. Thank you so much, Abby! The grout is Mapei in the color pewter.

      1. Hi. Can you tell me where you bought the backsplash tile and the name and color of it so I can buy the same? It looks great!

  10. I absolutely love this update for several reasons!
    First, the new shelves just suit the kitchen so well. Although your kitchen has always been beautiful, I have to agree that the original floating shelves never fit quite as well visually. The shine of the brackets and rail is such a nice addition to that area. Even though you said the rail is mainly aesthetic, I continually wish for rails on my shelves. Maybe I’m just clumsier than you guys!
    Second, you’ve been in this kitchen for four years! I understand that content creators/slow flippers must move quicker than most people for their jobs, but it is reassuring to see you living with your renovations for years after. It is so fun to see you tweak small things like this to perfect a vision, or maybe we’ll see some small things for function in the future. I agree with a previous commenter that these types of posts are so relatable and helpful.
    Finally, tactful transparency! I so appreciate and admire that you can admit that Lowe’s just didn’t have something that perfectly fit your idea when you originally did this project. I love that you have worked with Lowe’s and hope you can continue to in the future; it really is a great way to see renovations done with resources more accessible to people like me. However, I also love that you can admit they might not have everything you’ll ever want, and that’s ok too. I so appreciate you saying that the original shelves just weren’t your favorite instead of telling us they were perfect for years and then switching with no explanation. It definitely makes me trust your sponsorships and designs even more. The original shelves functioned perfectly and honestly still looked good, so it’s still an excellent advertisement for Lowe’s, but changing to these shelves that function as you originally designed and look amazing is an even better advertisement for you! Thank you as always for sharing the process with us.

    1. Thank you so much, Danielle! I’m really happy with the swap. We’ve never dropped or pushed anything off of our shelving, but the rails definitely ease my mind of doing so. Our intention with every room renovation (quick fix makeovers are different, which is why we rarely do those) is to love it for YEARS to come. I try to design with longevity in mind because that’s best for our budget, lifestyle, the environment, mental health, investment in our home, etc. While we still love and shop at Lowe’s, our partnership and exclusivity contract with them has ended (sadly). We’d love to work on future projects if they’re open to it. That was a dream collaboration. I will say- it’s kind of fun to be able to shop around at other home improvement stores (competitors) simply to have more variety & options. Anyway, what a fun and rewarding renovation that led to our most loved space. I really wouldn’t change much! Thanks for reading, for your kind words, and for taking the time to say hello and comment. That’s why I love and continue to share :) Hope your year is off to a great start!

  11. Love these. Polished chrome has always been my favorite- or in this case polished nickle. It is classic.

    1. Thank you so much, KJ! I also love polished nickel- such a timeless finish.

  12. Oooooooo! We have stained wood shelves planned on similar tile in a bar area and seeing the difference your change made has me completely convinced to paint them instead. Please share your paint color when you have time as choosing paint is NOT one of my superpowers. ;) I love how much “lighter” they feel…definitely less “in your face” (not that “in your face” is always bad, but sometime there is something else in the room that I don’t want to pull attention from). Great update…love to see the design evolution!

    1. I love hearing that, Whitney! Unfortunately my paint color was a color match to our tile. I just took in a tile and had SW match it, so it’s custom mixed. I like pulling colors from materials to achieve a nice monochromatic look. Maybe you could do the same with your tile?

      1. Thanks, Sarah! We are using the Cloe “white” which is lighter overall than your gray, but has so much variation. We’re currently snowed in, but I’ll go get a tile matched soon…what a great tip! Now…to pick the best tile…LOL

        1. Thanks again for the visual in the kitchen shelf update post! When my DH built our bar shelves I was able to confidently tell him to use paint grade wood (vs the natural stain rift sawn white oak we had planned…which is what is in the kitchen around the corner). As you suggested, I took some of the white cloe tiles to Benjamin Moore and discovered that Abalone was a good middle ground for all the various tile colors/undertones. The paint has been curing for a few weeks and I just did the initial styling…I’m so glad we went with tone-on-tone shelves on our tile backsplash because the shelf items add plenty of color and the shelves have a chance to be much more quiet than the wood would have been.
          I was hoping to attach a picture here or in you contact form, but I can’t figure out how. :(