DIY Kitchen Fixes

Build More Shelves

Building or installing premade shelves from floor to ceiling is a great way to open up space in your kitchen, adding an architectural element in addition to extra storage. We broke up the space using different-length shelves. Vintage measuring cups and colored bowls you’d kept hidden can now double as decoration.

We scored mesh bags from the Container Store to create a recycling area on the bottom shelf, and bought a vertical letter organizer as a more convenient way to hold baking trays. (Thanks to the Chowhounds who gave us this tip!)


  • Shelves with brackets for mounting (we used shelves from Ikea with these brackets)
  • 4 wood screws or wall anchors per shelf (check with your local hardware store to find out what type of anchor works best with your wall)


  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Level
  • step 1 Measure the wall from floor to ceiling.
  • step 2 Divide the space by the number of shelves you have, and measure and mark where you want each shelf to hang. Take one bracket per shelf (say, the left-hand side), and align each one with the marks you made. Make dots where the screws of the left-hand brackets will go.
  • step 3 With your stud finder, check to see if there are wooden studs behind your pencil marks. If there are, you can use a simple wood screw to attach the brackets: Drill a slightly smaller hole than the size of your screw. If there is no wood (there wasn’t in our wall), install wall anchors to attach each bracket.
  • step 4 Attach your left-hand brackets to the wall. Temporarily slip your shelves into the brackets, and lay a level on each shelf to ensure it’s straight. Mark where the right-hand brackets need to go. Slip the shelves off again for the time being.
  • step 5 Drill holes for the right-hand brackets. Slip the shelves back into the left-hand brackets, then into the unmounted right-hand brackets. Screw the right-hand brackets into the wall.


Researched, written, and photographed by Lessley Anderson, Michele Foley, Chris Rochelle, and Eric Slatkin

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