Phase one of my breakfast nook makeover is complete! My main inspiration for this project had built-in shelves along the back wall of the nook, so I added some floating shelves to mine. I’m really excited about how it turned out! My breakfast nook already looks way better.
I’ll probably change this up, but this was my first stab at styling up these shelves. What a difference from the before, right? (Everything below the frame of this photo is the same as in the before. Actually, worse, because it’s covered with my shelf-making mess right now!)
I had hung solid wood floating shelves in my kitchen (tutorial here), but I wanted narrow white painted shelves for these. So I had to figure out how to build them. Luckily I found a couple of good tutorials to help me out.
I used a couple of different resources to help me bring my vision to life. The main one was this tutorial for how to create long deep, thin floating shelves. I also used some of the slight modifications from this write-up, specifically the part about drilling holes in the 1x2s so that you don’t need to use super long screws. Along the way, I made my own modifications to the floating shelves. Like not using pocket holes to attach the front 1×2 because I couldn’t fit my screwdriver between the wall and the edge of the shelf to attach the screws. It would have been fine if I had assembled the whole frame before putting it up, but since I was doing this alone and didn’t have a second pair of hands to help me build this (Steven was out of town), I knew I wouldn’t be able to wrangle the whole frame onto the wall. At 10.75-inches deep, my shelves are also a bit shallower than the 12-inch-deep ones in the tutorial.
The blue tape is from me trying to figure out the placement of the corner shelves. Before I did it, I thought it might be a waste of tape, but it really did help. I still polled followers via my Instagram stories on whether I should put one or two shelves on each side. A couple of people suggested one on one side, and two on the other, so I gave that a try, and decided I liked it that way the best. It gave me room for a taller plant or vase on the side with only one shelf.
For the corner shelves, I started with this tutorial, but combined it with the method to make thinner shelves. Instead of making a triangle and attaching it to the wall, I simplified things by just attaching the two side cleats directly to the wall. This was mostly because my walls aren’t 100% square. And as you can probably tell, I used some stained scrap 1x2s I had laying around in my garage from an old project (example #12963 why I can never throw anything away).
Unlike both of the tutorials above, I primed the visible boards before I put them up. I was glad I did it that way, because while making these in place, I ended up with paint, sawdust, and glue in my hair (not all at the same time). I probably would have had to add primer to that list if I hadn’t primed before putting them up.
Since I didn’t take many step-by-step photos, hopefully the tutorials I linked to and my notes make it clear how I made these. But if you’re making your own, please feel free to ask me any questions you have about how I made my floating shelves.
Though they were a bit of work, these weren’t hard to make, and I think I’ve gotten the most difficult part of this makeover out of the way. Although I’m kind of worried that the cushion situation will be more of a challenge than I think. But I think the next parts I tackle will be the light and the art.