Check out this kitchen makeover and these Rustic, Open Shelves in Between Cupboards by Creatively Living

Rustic, Open Shelves in Between Cupboards….a “how-to”

Kitchen Makeover Rustic Shelves from Barn Wood2

It’s unfortunate, but our 1904 Craftsmen kitchen was remodeled in the early 1990’s (or so it looks).

On one hand, there’s newer electrical, newer plumbing and a more open feel, but on the other hand, they took out all the craftsman trim, and the cupboards with glass doors, amongst other details.

(below is a pic after their reno, before ours)

Kitchen Makeover Counters Before

It’s a little tough to see here, but the middle, right cupboard on top is larger than the others.

I get that they were probably just trying to make the cupboards as long as the counters, but I’m sort of a symmetry freak and the slightly larger cabinet drove me nuts.

Now I love open shelving, but this house is about resale so I was hesitant to make an entire wall of open shelving.

Therefore, I decided to take out the two middle cupboards and add some open shelves where the cupboards were.

Kitchen Makeover White and Gray

To do this I grabbed some corral boards off of my parent’s farm.

These were fairly deep boards, very old, and oh so rustic!

We started by taking out the middle cupboards and cutting the boards to perfectly fit.

How to put open shelving in between cupboards

Next we pre-drilled holes through the cupboard and into the wood where the screws needed to go.

Then used 2.5 inch screws and washers.

Kitchen Makeover Rustic Shelf Small Vingette

To prep the shelves, I tried to wash them.

Cows have rubbed against these things…..not in recent decades, but in the past, and dirt and mice and lots of bird poop. Yuck!

They were super dirty, so I took them to the bathtub and with a rag, I tried washing them down as best I could. I’m sure I didn’t get all of the dirt off, but I sealed them in poly, and figured we would all live.

After I let the washed boards dry, I used natural stain by Minwax and a stain polyurethane by Minwax.

I sealed them twice to keep all of the yuck in.

Kitchen Makeover Rustic Wood Shelves

I LOVE how these turned out!

They add some rustic to the kitchen, but a bit of modern.

We left a lot of cupboard storage, but also gave some open shelving.

(I obviously finished these and took photos during the winter, hence the snowflake!)

Kitchen Makeover Rustic Shelves

They match the rustic valences, my counter box, my rustic cup holder, and my rustic foot stool.

Cement Countertops by Creatively Living

I am really enjoying these shelves, and they were free!

If you are thinking about something like this, I totally recommend this project!

For other kitchen tutorials, see the projects at the bottom of this post.

Kitchen Makeover After


Linking to:
Sunday: Monday Funday, The DIY Show-off
Monday: Home Stories A to Z, Sugar Bee Crafts, Inspire Me Monday,
Tuesday: Savvy Southern Style, Oh My Creative
Wednesday: Work it Wednesday, Live Laugh Rowe , The Best DIY and Recipe Party
Thursday: Tidy Mom, Inspiration Gallery, The Handmade Hangout, French Country Cottage
Friday: Link Party Palooza, Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Carrie says:

    Your shelves look great! My mom’s moving and wanting to add some rustic, farmhouse style to her new home. I’m pinning this so she can check them out:)

    • Awesome! Yes! Do it! I love mine and most likely you can find someone getting rid of the wood, so it will probably be inexpensive!

  2. Your shelves are beautiful! I love your subway tile and cabinets too!

  3. Beautiful. We did something similar at our beach house but they aren’t half as gorgeous.

  4. How thick are these open shelves?
    I’m considering this for my kitchen and think that 1.5-2 inches would look solid enough.

    • Mine are about three inches thick, but I’ve seen open shelving much less thick than mine. I think 1.5-2in would look great. Just be sure to have decent supports if you are making them long so they don’t sag in the middle with heavier dishes.


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