How to Install Open Shelves in a Nook

3 Materials
2 Hours

Have a nook in your home that would look great with some open shelves? Maybe a spot next to your fireplace, or even inside a closet.

With these easy DIY steps, you can install your own basic open shelves.

I used these steps to install shelves in my laundry room, replacing some really ugly metal shelf brackets. Be sure to check out my original post for more details, and a full materials list: How to Build Basic Wooden Shelves
Install open shelves in any nook in your home. Here's how:
1. Measure your space
Know the length of board you'll need for your shelves. When you go to the hardware store, you can get them to make the cuts for you.

I used two 1" x 10" boards for each shelf.
2. Mark the height of the shelves
Decide where you want the shelf to be and then make a reference mark on the wall.

Be sure to check the clearance for anything that will go on or under your shelves.
3. Install the supports
Install pieces of furring strip aligned with your reference mark. The shelf boards will rest on these supports.

Use a level to make sure everything is straight, and try to screw the boards into the studs.
You will need to install supports on all three walls of your nook.
4. Tie the shelf boards together
If you're using two boards, like I did, to create a deep shelf, you'll want to tie them together.

Use another piece of furring strip on the bottom, and screw it into both shelf boards.
Attach the furring strip across the joint where your two shelf boards meet.
5. Install the shelves, and add trim
Depending on how tight your fit, you may have to tip the shelf boards at an angle to get them into place. They just set on top of the supports you installed.
For a finishing touch, you can tack a strip of decorative molding to the front of the shelf. You can cut this to size at the hardware store, too.
Without those brackets in the way, there is so much more room for storage. Not to mention it looks much better.

Let me know how your shelves turn out!
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • Debbie Cumbow
    on Mar 25, 2019

    Instead of screwing furring trips to join the 2 pieces of wood, couldn't you use wood glue between the two pieces then wood glue the furring strip in place if still wanted? I'd imagine as strong as wood glue is once it's dry, you won't need the extra strip.

    Great idea BTW!👍

  • Diane
    on Mar 25, 2019

    Can and what can be used for concrete walls

    • Crystal Cochrane
      on Feb 9, 2020

      you can use a product called liquid nails to adhere the strips of shelving supports. Just tape them in place until the liquid nail is dry then remove the tape and set the shelves in place. No nails or screws needed

  • Lee Rakoskie
    on Feb 9, 2020

    I have something like this in my bathroom (over toilet area) where I would love to put these shelves - only problem is the one wall is where my showerhead and plumbing is. Any thoughts on how to avoid hitting the plumbing?

Join the conversation

2 of 74 comments
  • Joann Felters
    on Apr 11, 2020

    I love the idea! Need shelving in my laundry room. Thank you ☺️

  • Pollie
    on May 27, 2020

    Thank you! I'll be saving this. I need SO much more shelving in my life. I love your simple instructions.

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