Put It On A Shelf

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What's the best way to get organized in a small apartment? Get as many spaces and surfaces as you can! Remember our mission to thrift? Our main goal when left that day was to find a bedside table, but we came up short there, and wound up long in the shelving department, and we decided to put those awesome shelves in Justin's apartment. And the kicker? (Cue the heavenly music, please)... they were a piece of cake to install!

Here I am, on the beautiful, fateful day I first eyed my silver shelves... Now, cue the background music, "Silllver shelves.... Silllllvvverrr shhellllvesssss... It's thrifting timmeee in the cityyyyy..." Come on. You totally enjoyed that.

We purchased these shelves without an actual plan for where to put them (but at $12 for all 3 shelves, can you blame us?!).  I considered putting them in the bedroom, which is shaping up to look quite beautiful manly...  but, ultimately, I think I finally realized two things:

Thing Number One:
We all have a part of our apartment or home that is just plain crappy. 

Thing Number Two:
When you love a new piece of furniture, you want to put it in the room you love... but you should put it in your --- you guessed it --- crap room.

What does this mean? It means we decided to put the shelves in the kitchen. The crooked cabinets, old school (and not in a good way) counter top, and please-throw-me-out appliances needed some beautiful company.

We decided to put them above the kitchen sink. There was a large space on the wall, right above the sink, that wasn't being used. The ratio of kitchen items to drawer and cabinet space was depressing (note: that means many kitchen items and very little drawer/cabinet space), so it seemed to make sense to add some beautiful silver (err, I mean manly and industrial) shelves.

In the end, the space looks much better and we've finally got some functional space... not to mention something for our eyes to ponder as we do the dishes.

What we used:
  • Shelves
  • Level
  • Drywall Anchors
  • Screws and washers

We Came. We Saw. We Conquered.
 Or... We eyeballed. We measured. We Hung.

We eyeballed a location for the shelves
We weren't very methodical, we just thought about what we could put on them, and how much height  we would need on top and in between
We measured
Center the shelves between the cabinets
With the level on the shelf, mark the location for the anchors

We hung
Screw the anchor into the wall (Tip: line up the shelf after the first anchor to make sure your mark for the second one still lines up)
Put the washers on the screws
Bolt the screws into the anchor

See how they look as though they're not centered? Let's take this as a teaching moment for a typical old Chicago apartment... the cabinets are not centered above the sink. Thus, neither can the shelves.



  1. First, the project looks great! Second, I LOVE that mug rack under the cabinet! Where on earth did you guys find something like that?! It would be perfect for our tiny apartment in Los Angeles.

    1. Hey Kate! Thanks :) I love it too! Here's the link to the mug rack! It's only 11 bucks and is AMAZING! I'm posting this week about a few ways that I made this tiny kitchen bigger (like using that mug rack and also a hanging pots and pans rack) that I did for pretty darn cheap -- so check back in a few days for a link to the other item! Good luck with your apartment :) Hope you enjoy the mug rack if you want it! It's extremely easy to install (just slides on).


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