This post is in partnership with Lowe’s. We’re overhauling our kitchen and mudroom with Lowe’s and sharing our experience with you! Here’s our initial design meeting, how we pieced together panels + fillers and how we shopped for durable countertops.
When we first sat down to design Tree House’s kitchen, our initial room layout included three upper shelves. As we worked back and forth with our Lowe’s Design Specialist, we realized that the upper shelves made the small space feel cramped, and we questioned if we needed uppers at all! Our plan all along has been to live minimally in Tree House, and while we’ve been so tempted to purchase kitchen gadgets, we’ll ask ourselves, will we really use this? Do we need this? More often than not, the answer has been nope. So while we do have a few cookie sheets and a basic pots + pans set, we’ll nix the urge to pick up extraneous gadgets. As we chose items, we’re focusing on durability and beauty. We want Tree House to be a place where we love each and every item, and although that’s been hard at times, it’s also quite freeing!
After a handful of design revisions, we landed on just one upper cabinet above the refrigerator, and to the right of the window, we’re opting for L-shaped shelves that wrap onto the stove wall. (We dive into what’s inspiring us in this post!) Our plan is to load up the lower shelf with everyday items (such as our enamelware and that super important jar of dog treats), and the upper will house mixing bowls and sometimes-items (such as fruit bowls and serving trays). We wanted these shelves to appear as if they’re truly floating, and we wanted them to look nice and thick without being too bulky – and, of course, they needed to be strong! It was a delicate dance, but in the end, we achieved the results we were looking for.
TOOLS + SUPPLIES USED
2″ x 2″ x 8′ Common pine
1″ x 3″ x 8′ Select pine
Assorted drywall screws
Foam roller or paint brush
The real secret to these shelves is in the ladder framework. We based our plans around these much larger shelves in our Chicago home’s workshop, although our biggest concern was making them strong since they wouldn’t have side supports. Spoiler, they are strong, due in part to the depth, studs and extra reinforcement from above:
We also had to stop mid-way through the shelving project to tile around the framework. Once the tile was completed (we used this pretty allen + roth tile), we could face the shelves with furniture grade plywood and select pine. Because the tile goes all the way up to the framework, the false fronts, top and bottom look seamless, and snug up nicely to the tile and wall:
Our shelves are 10″ deep, with another 9″+ between them. They have a finished thickness of 2″+, and there’s 18″ from the countertop to the bottom of the lowest shelf. The trick was finding a comfortable height for both shelves that was easy enough for little ol’ me to reach (I’m 5’4″ for reference), and we found this to be the perfect balance of style and function. We’re sharing the full tutorial in the video below! If you’re viewing this post in a reader, you may need to click over to view the video. You can also view it here on YouTube.
We’ll be sharing a tiling how-to soon (plus another video!), and then we can pull back and share the completed kitchen and mudroom! I can hardly believe I typed that last sentence, but you guys, we can see that finish line. Demolition was last November, we took a break to have a baby (ha!) and plan-to-almost-completion has been roughly 5-ish months. This weekend, we’ll be hooking up the plumbing, running the dishwasher and stocking the cabinets!
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