DIY Kitchen Storage: A Simple Guide

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Peponi House - Back Door to Africa STUDIO [D] TALE Tropical style kitchen
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Kitchen planners often say that there is unused storage space in every kitchen. So it's quite likely that once you've settled into your kitchen or just gotten to know your regular traffic zones and habits, you might just need a few extra shelves. There's often an unused corner wall space or that odd little corner between an upper cabinet and the wall. A couple of shelves just look so simple to construct that many of us are tempted to take the DIY approach.

But how can you make your own kitchen storage shelves without messing up your existing decor and avoiding that amateurish look? Well, the process of building your own kitchen storage shelves is entirely simple and totally possible. But it's important to get it right. So come with us to explore the process. As usual, we'll serve up a few inspirational kitchen photos as well.

Choose your shelf material

Aluminium is an old standby for restaurant grade kitchens. It's sophisticated, waterproof and really easy to clean. But if you want something a little more rustic to inject a little old world charm, consider wooden shelves. Particle board or chipboard is a good cheap wooden option if you can't afford solid beams. It's waterproof and easily blends into most existing kitchen cabinetry. Once the board is cut to size, the inner material will be exposed. This is highly porous so it will deteriorate quickly if it's not sealed properly. Purchase some iron on melamine strip, apply it properly and then bevel off the edges carefully.

Consider recycled materials

The rustic, upcycled look is huge right now and a pre-loved piece of wood possesses all the soft edges, dents and markings that inject a little history to your home. This is often a nice counterbalance to the all-white and highly polished look of a modern kitchen. It's unlikely you'll find many older items to be a perfect fit, so look at how your item can be modified to suit. This old wooden crate has been turned into a mini wine rack and wine glass holder.

Decide on the appropriate depth and width

It seems so simple, but many a DIY shelving system has come undone after poor planning. Consider what you need to store on the shelf and allocate the appropriate space. These display shelves are quite shallow but this hardly detracts from their effectiveness. It also means that they don't intrude on the bench space.

Choose the best support system

Estimate the weight of the objects you wish to store and choose an appropriate support system. Kitchen objects tend to get bashed around a fair bit, so it's best to be safe with some heavy duty support. If your walls are made from porous material, have a good talk to your local hardware supplier and look into some independent units or even a heavy duty drill that will push through to an underlying brick or concrete support wall. Of course, it's essential to find out what pipes and electrical wiring lies hidden beneath the surface.

Add the finishing touches

The second most important thing besides building an adequate support system is finishing off the job with a professional touch. Take the time to get some sample paints and really seek to match the colours to your existing kitchen. It's always good to remember to measure twice and cut once. Sand any rough edges properly. If you have used particle-board, bevel off the edges at a 45 degree angle and create a really seamless look. This level of care will really reveal itself in time.

Experiment and have fun

Finally, there's a reason people build their own shelves and it's not just because they are super handy. DIY folk love being involved and making things happen just the way they like it. They often have a unique vision, so if you are one of these people embrace the possibility of creating something unique, experiment and have fun. Who knows, maybe you'll even end up with some super cool blue Perspex or glass shelves like this.

If you are interested in storage units, you'll love this Ideabook From classic to modern: interesting display options.

Are you seriously considering building your own kitchen shelving? We would love to hear about it in the comments field below.

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