DIY Dining Room Open Shelving

DIY, Projects

  1. This is a fablulous idea. I love it and wow, you really do have a ton of storage and the one 18″ shelf looks like it is just the perfect height to be a buffet too if need be. I love this idea.

  2. So you.

    I hate you.
    But I love you.
    Just jelly 😉
    They are awesome.

    High five Anthony from me – xo Shan

  3. Tracy says:

    Don’t you just love it when a project that you want to do is also a bargain?!!! It makes it so much more rewarding. I love it and thank you for sharing. Have a fun and happy birthday too.

  4. Mary Sosa says:

    The shelves look great. The Hubs built some like them, but routed out a groove so that I could put plates and picture frames on them w/o worrying about them sliding off.

    I can’t wait to see how they will look w/accessories.

  5. angela says:

    love it and can not waitto see more.

  6. Nicole says:

    Love, love the shelves. They look fabulous. Your white dish collection is going to look great on those shelves. What an awesome birthday gift from such a wonderful husband. Enjoy your birthday weekend 🙂

  7. Debbie says:

    Can I have Anthony for a couple weeks…Boom 😉

    love them!

  8. Lacey says:

    Looks gorgeous! 2 questions- 1- are you worried about the middle of the shelves sagging since the boards are so long with no center support? Probably not a concern with dishes up there but just curious if you have son estimate of how much weight these should hold? Also- what type of wood is it? Maybe that makes the difference. Okay I lied- 3rd question- do you spend a lot of time sanding? You stain so much stuff which I love and want to do too, but is find I end up spending so much time sanding that I can’t accomplish much. Do you have a tip on where you buy wood to avoid this? Thanks! Another gorgeous project!

    • Shayna says:

      Hi Lacey! Great questions! 😀
      1- We are a tiny bit worried about the two lower shelves sagging in the middle. They are stout boards, but with them spanning across 10′, there’s always the possibility. If we notice a problem, we’re going to secure the two boards together underneath, or attach a board along the back.
      2- I’m not sure exactly how much weight they will hold, but they definitely hold enough for dishes, decor items, etc. We used really log cabinet screws to be extra sure the wood wouldn’t fall off the wall.
      3- We bought the wood at Home Depot. It’s Douglas Fir.
      4- For the wood prep, the boards were mostly smooth, so I only sanded the areas where it was a bit rough. For that, I used our electric sander and 220 grit sandpaper. After I sand the wood, I wipe it off a few times, then stain.
      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. 😀

      • Adia says:

        Hello i would like to do something similar in my husbands office. Could you tell me what kind of wood you bought? Im looking at Oak or pine but not sure which one will give me that rustic look like you have.

    • Josh says:

      I think Lacey is right. I notice that this post is about 4 years old now. These will probably have bowed over time (all of them, not just the ones on the bottom). I wouldn’t span more than 4 feet without some additional support. Fastening the wider bottom pieces together is a step in the right direction, but won’t prevent them from bowing on its own. It will just ensure they bow along with each other. Adding a flat piece anchored to the back wall similar to the ones you used on the sides and screwing the shelves into these supports should keep everything where you want it, and you’ll probably notice the shelves feel significantly more rigid when you place anything with a little heft toward the middle. Just screw in the supports at every stud along the way and this will be rock solid.

      Have you added any extra support since you created this post? If so, what did you do?

  9. They look fabulous! I can’t wait to see how you style them! I’ve had to do my fair share of sweet talking the hubby on several projects lately too. I think I owe him several guys’ nights out now. Aren’t DIY-embracing hubbies the best though? Anthony did a great job.

  10. […] quite drastically over the last few weeks… first with the new paint, and then with the floor to ceiling addition of built in shelving.  And today, I’m sharing how I styled those dining room […]

  11. […] our dining room… sigh… those shelves are what dreams are made of… I’m so happy we finally built them. Talk about a total […]

  12. […] always fell to the end of my list, which we all know, is quite long. Since we added our dining room shelving, I decided it was time to get our entry way in shape too. Suddenly, it’s started to feel like […]

  13. […] was also the first party where we all got to sit around in the dining room with the new shelves and just enjoy each […]

  14. Leslye says:

    I’d love to see what it looks like full and how you organized everything I love this idea but am debating on if I want to do floating stained shelves (early American is my FAV ever) or putting cabinets on the bottom then shelves 🙂 your look SO good

  15. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this project!! And I love how you pulled the lower two shelves out further, such a good idea!!

  16. Christina says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am definitely going to be making these this weekend 😉

  17. […] I love how it looks with my new chalkboard frame… and our dining room shelves… […]

  18. Jacqueline says:

    This looks so amazing and it looks ridiculously easy for a DIY challenged person!! I can’t wait to do this in our place!! Thank you so much for sharing <333

  19. […] It just so happened to fit perfectly on our new dining room shelves… […]

  20. Traci says:

    My husband did these for me in a sitting room and I love them. I would love to send you a pic.

  21. larita says:

    If you put a lot of weight on those boards they will bow, I would put some support in the middle, very nice otherwise.

  22. […] time I get the chance to change up our dining room shelves, I do. I love playing with them. It always takes me a while to get them just right, but I enjoy the […]

  23. […] probably mentioned it about 100 times already, but I seriously love, love, love our dining room shelves. It’s absolutely one of the best projects we’ve done to our home. And for good reason, […]

  24. Christine says:

    Hello! Got here from Pinterest. Love your shelves!
    I was wondering 2 things.
    1) in the subsequent months, have the boards sagged? and
    2) did you screw the boards from the top, down into the support pieces?

    I ask, because if it does sag and they’re not screwed in, it’ll eventually pull off the side supports. That’s a very long span for anything of weight. Ask me how I know…

    And, a very plain, perhaps also wood & stained bracket in the middle would solve all that worry. My worry, that is! 🙂

    • Shayna says:

      Hi Christine! Glad you found me and welcome! 🙂
      Yes, we did the screw the boards into the side supports that we built and secured to the wall. No, the boards have not started to sag even one tiny little bit. They haven’t changed since we installed them in August. 🙂
      I hope that helps. 🙂

      • Christine says:

        Nice. I love their thickness. Gotta build some myself. Odd. I built my kitchen cabinets, but I’ve been intimidated by shelves. I should get a grip and get on it!
        Thanks for getting back to me!
        Merry Christmas!

  25. Shelley says:

    Just a thought; I’ve been working with wood for a while and it has been my experience that it tends to sag when not properly supported. I would suggest the same type of support that you have on the sides across the back/wall of each shelf and a center support under each shelf that has two boards. They look amazing though for sure! The early American stain is one of my all time favorites.

  26. mattd says:

    These look great! Having made many shelves I would brace a small angled 2×3, 45’s on both ends 8″-12″ long in the center, Or angle a few Long screws up from underneath into a stud in the middle Another great trick is to seal the ends or end grain with wood conditioner (shellac) before the stain this will stop them from getting to dark. Then after the stain you could put shellac as a top coat this will seal the stain smell and give a nice finish

  27. Judy says:


    Would love to see pictures of the shelves with items actually stored on them. I like them but I’m not sure how to display items attractively.

  28. Cate says:

    Quick question for you – did you seal the boards after staining? We’re about to stain some shelves and I’d like to skip the poly step if I can. Curious about what you did and how their faring. Thanks!

    • Shayna says:

      Hi there! We did not seal the boards after staining them. I used dark wax. Our shelves are still beautiful! Love them! 🙂

  29. Jennifer says:

    I just saw this, and I love what you have done. I do have a question for you. For the upper side support pieces: are both ends of the support piece anchored into studs? If not, how do you work around this? Thanks in advance!

  30. Tracey says:

    Please show the shelves decorated! 🙂

  31. GARY says:

    Are you sure that the top boards are 2×10 and the bottom boards that are doubled are 2×12? To me the picture looks like the 2x12s are p top and the 2x10s are the ones that are doubled up. In any case I like the way these look and am making them in my wifes home office today. THANKS

  32. […] to start decorating, than our dining room shelves. They’re still one of my very favorite DIY builds, and I love to change them up for the […]

  33. JJ says:

    o man so pretty and so much storage area, I love it… right exotic looking and I love the woodgrain showing through..

  34. Malia Rowland says:

    What size wood did you use for the bottom shelf?It says two 2×12, but not sure how that equaled 18. Thanks! I am planning on doing this project this weekend.

  35. Kristin says:

    Thank you!!!!! I could envision my own project in my head but needed more details to execute it. Now I’m on my way. Your shelves are beautiful!

  36. Ashley says:

    This looks so beautiful! We are wanting to do a similar project in our play room and went to Home Depot and can not find a 2″ x 10″ x 10 foot board. The thickest that they claimed they carried was 1″. The only 2″ boards they had were framing boards. They seemed very rough and splintery to us. Did you special order these or get them somewhere other than Home Depot? Any suggestions you have would be great! Thank you so much!

    • Shayna says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! We use the lumber in the framing section. They work perfect. You may need to do a bit of sanding if the boards are rough, but it’s worth it! 🙂

    • Darian says:

      My hubbs built these for me about 4 years ago for my vast book collection. I’ve since pared down & moved the books into another room, but I’m flummoxed on how to decorate the shelves. Help!

  37. Shannon says:

    I love this idea! I want to do something similar for my office nook. I’m wondering with this long span if you notice your shelves sagging in the middle at all.

    I would like to put art supplies on my shelves but I’m not sure if the boards would sag over time from the weight.


    • Shayna says:

      Thank you so much, Shannon! I can honestly say that the shelves have held up great! No sagging or warping! We love them! 🙂

  38. Shannon says:


    Gorgeous! Planning on stealing this idea, but perhaps adding wainscoting/bead board to the wall first. Your thoughts?
    Confused on the bottom two shelves… you say 12″ which would make it 24″ but then you say it’s only 18″
    Please explain!

    Thanks again for this beautiful idea!!!!

    • Shannon says:

      Also, what is your spacing recommendation for an 8ft ceiling. I see you have 9ft. I’m thinking I might only have four shelves.


    • Shayna says:

      Thank you Shannon! Thanks for catching my typo. The two bottom shelves are actually 10″ wide boards. Together, they equal 18″. Also I think bead board would be lovely behind the shelves! 🙂

  39. […] my small bathroom, I was thinking of my shelves going from wall to wall, like the Wood Grain Cottage did with hers, only on a much smaller […]

  40. Eleanor Russo says:

    I love the shelves. My husband and I built these this past weekend. We did find that we needed to add some support under them. Our walls are 12 feet wide so the extra two feet made a difference. We simply added a furring strip along the wall and anchored them into the studs. The shelf just rests on that.

    We love the extra room and the light and airy feeling that it creates. We had really struggled with the lack of cabinet space but this is such a better option! I love seeing cookbooks and photos and flowers mixed in with my pretty platters and dishes.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  41. George says:

    As an experienced woodworker I have 4 quick comments:
    1. Very nice wall fixture.
    2. Two 2×10’s side by side would be over 18 inches. How do you get 18″ width out of two 2×12’s?
    3. Ten feet of 2×10 is a long span. Have you since had to add support between the end walls?
    4. Suggestion: Next time you need to countersink screws, try making the countersink before you drill; it makes neater holes.

    • Shayna says:

      Thanks for your comment, George. We have had absolutely zero issue with the wood sagging in the middle across the span of our two walls! Also, I made a mistake when I wrote down the size of the boards. The two bottom boards are 10″ wide boards. Together, they equal 18″ deep, which is to be expected since the lumber is always a bit smaller than advertised. Also, The top boards are 12″ wide.

  42. Lee Hernandez says:

    In the width of your span could there be a problem with a shelf sagging in the middle? Those are pretty thick boards, so hopefully there will be no problem. The whole project sure looks great!

  43. Doug says:

    Very nice! I’m planning something similar in my pantry. I would have liked to have seen a picture with the shelves with your stuff on them.

  44. Ashley Hale says:

    Ive always adored these and thoroughly read this post twice now. Im thinking about copying the look! I just love it!!!

  45. Elizabeth Padavano says:

    I just love these shelves and have talked my husband into making them for me. For 8 foot ceilings, do you recommend eliminating the top shelf or sticking with 5 shelves but taking a couple of inches from the space between each shelf equally to compensate? Thanks!

    • Shayna says:

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I think you could do either or. If eliminating a shelf gives you more room to easily store/ display your items, I would go that route. Either way, they’ll look fantastic! I hope that helps! 🙂

  46. Rachel says:

    I would love to know what the screws you used look like. I am trying to follow your footsteps on a smaller scale and I don’t have studs to screw into. What type of anchors did you use?

  47. Rachel says:

    Did you cut the ends of your boards square or did you measure the angles of your not square walls and cut each board at the angle?

    • Shayna says:

      Hi Rachel! We cut the boards square, and did not scribe them to the wall. Luckily, our walls were pretty straight, there are only slight gaps. I hope that helps! 🙂

  48. […] Create open shelving (perfect for basket and bucket storage). […]

  49. Lindsi says:

    I love how the stain turned out on the wood! What type of wood did you use? I have a poplar beam in my kitchen that I’d love to stain but I’ve heard that stain doesn’t take well to poplar. Any thoughts?

    • Shayna says:

      Thank you so much! I *think* this wood was pine, but I’m not 100% sure about it. If I were in your situation, I would test stain a tiny spot on your beam. If you don’t like it, sand it off… no harm done. 🙂

  50. Lori DeLong says:

    I was wondering where you got those metal milk crates. They look awesome and are exactly what I am looking for

  51. Laura says:

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing this. It won’t hold up to any significant weight and they will sag. The only question is of when. I want a pic of the shelves holding food for a party. How did they hold up??

    • Shayna says:

      Thank you for your concerns, Laura. However, our shelves have held up beautifully and they don’t sag in the middle. I often fill them full with heavy dishes (that are very important to me) and we haven’t had any issues. I wouldn’t worry about using them as a buffet for food either. Hope that helps!

  52. […] DIY Dining Room Open Shelving […]

  53. Our 12 Inch Deep Wood Shelving

    […] rip along the wall and anchored them into the studs. The shelf just rests on tha […]

  54. […] mentioned it before, but the shelving in our dining room has made such a huge impact on the overall feeling of our house. They’ve not only enhanced […]

  55. […] and apron were ordered from an online woodworker supply catalog, and reclaimed wood is used for. Diy dining room open shelving the wood grain. Over year ago i wrote a post about how i wanted to add a big wall of shelving to our dining room. […]

  56. […] DIY Dining Room Open Shelving […]

  57. […] saw these early on in my search for my book shelves inspiration board from the Wood Grain Cottage and I’m so glad I did! I kept going back to them and thinking how much I loved that you […]

  58. Allan says:


    With that length, is the board bowed down in the middle when you put some load? I’m planning to use it as book shelving.

    Thank you

    • Shayna says:

      I have filled the shelves with heavy dishes and haven’t had any issues with the boards bowing. If you’re worried about it, you could probably use a L bracket for extra support. They shouldn’t be overly noticeable.

      • Carl K says:

        OK — hubby here.

        My wife showed me the post and said “I want.”

        o, after reading, I had to write. I must disclose I can spell, but this tablet has a way of inputting each letter so slow, even my hen pecking speed is too fast to keep up and i may have major spell issues… After an hour +, here’s my reply:

        You all are driving me nuts with your “have the shelves sagged ‘yet’ ” malarchy…

        This is a no-brainer — who can deny gravity over time?? <> So —

        If you dare — just go ahead and ask ANY woman about gravity — and they will inform you of the reality of the physics of gravity over the variable called time…?!!

        After several months of debate over the built ins surounding our gas fireplace insert, in particular: to float or not to float the shelves, we came across your post\ pin..

        As above, gravity WILL win.,. Eventually – I Guarantee that!

        So your choice to proactively address the situation are:

        a. Flip the shelving board every now and again – iis nice if the shelves are to be used for seasonal decoration (and especially more so when your wife is a Gemini, like mine) where the contents are regularly shifted or otherwise changed…
        b. If you plan (or are choosing an installed decorative edge banding like we are) you’ll want to make certain it’s symmetrical or otherwise maintains an acceptable look when flipping the shelving board… If that is a concern.

        With greater length shelving you always have the “easy” option of placing a decorative trim mold, such as, but not limited to a colonial style window stop or larger (2-1/2″ windown trim) or other full length support parallel at the wall side under the shelf for the required additional support —

        BUT that creates other issues:

        a. It takes away from the perception of a “cleanliness” that say a similar, much more time and cost intensive floating shelves look would otherwise provide;

        b. If your shelves are similar to ours, where they are not rectangular (from top view ours are triangular to accomodate a pocket door on the left side of the shelf) and as such, flipping is not an option.

        AND so then,

        you must again revisit your consideration of what the intent\ purpose of the shelf is.

        To be robust against sagging, you must answer the question of “How much weight is to be placed <> edge of the shelf?”, as that will also tweek the outside of the shelf with the gravitational pull (that reportedly is yet to happen with the originator here)..

        Alternatively, there are other options here that should preserve the ” clean” look of bracket less shelving:

        1. (Using Cabinet style stainless steel screws and/ or predrilling to use small head screws):
        Toenail the (pre-combined into one) boards to the wall at the studs. (Note – you will loose the ability to flip the shelving boards later and\ or have work to cover the toenail screw hole and any damage caused by the remove\ replace of said toenail screw).

        2. Pre-Drill through the depth of the shelf to provide opening access to countersink a #8 or #10 wood screw into the width of the shelving board(s) so as to grab the later half or third of the width of the board, securing the shelf at each stud location(s) and then cap the holes with wood filler or wood plugs and spot-finish the prefinished shelf boards with the final finish sealant coat, as required.

        I’d love to be able to get back here to post a photo(s) of our situation(s) and challenges we have had to face in our built-in design build as they have been at (Each and Every turn of our project) and way above and beyond belief…

        We are also incorporating built in cabinet bases, one side of fireplace has a tilt up desk top so as to cover e computer it will house and have a office work station in our living room because, well, everything is short on space here in our rambler (ranch) style home.

        We also have a Real granite faced fireplace surround with Real stone heart and floating mantl.

        , oh yeah, Of Course, don’t forget a gypsum top over fireplace to hold a 60″ Flat panel TV.,. That we had to hide all wires to to…

        And we incorporated recessed lighting in the ceiling above with Remote Controlled LED warm color (2700 Kelvin) dimmable lights that will link to our hub for IOT home upgrades
        — and Of Course —

        the ceiling and (former) walls were Plaster!! where (of course!!) We have vermiculite insulation above, ALL covered with a wood sub floor and rug for storage in the gable above the living room..

        To frost this cake here — instead of making inset wall shelves on the adjacent, load bearing wall, we decided to carve out an opening and install a pocket door (so we could later change the entry from garage to kitchen for a later planned kitchen remodel and still have access to the staircase to the basement), where ((of course)) the 100amp sub-panel feed had the to then and by this time also and, likewise be extended and re-routed…

        Ya feel any pain here yet??

        I hope this helps with the questions of a “potential” gravitational issue here… after all, its not nearly as painful (or abrupt), yet is sure as “It CAN’T HAPPEN ANY OTHERWAY!” ?

        Best regards,

        I remain,

  59. Alana says:

    IN LOVE!!!
    What’s the demensions of your room. Sorry if you answered this already.

  60. Josefina says:

    Me gusta mucho voy a intentarlo pero necesito la traducción en español, puede ser ☺️☺️

  61. Jackie says:

    Love the way your shelves turned out! And thanks for taking the time to photograph and post about them, clearly you’ve inspired a lot of us to follow in your footsteps!
    I’m working on a set now for my office and had a few questions. Did you have any issues with warping on your boards? I’ve purchased 10 douglas fir framing boards from Home Depot, which seems to be what you did as well, for my shelves and picked the straightest ones I could find but they still aren’t totally level. I’m a little nervous to use them as-is, but I’m not sure it’s worth the huge amount of effort it would take to take all the warp out, especially if your boards were similar and your project wasn’t negatively affected. I’m hoping your boards were similar, not terribly warped but definitely not 100% level, so that I can rest assured it can still turn out ok. Thanks in advance for any tips!

    • Shayna says:

      So sorry for my delay in getting back to you! I hope your project turned out great! The boards we bought were not 100% straight (are any of them really?), but they also weren’t terribly warped. We picked the straightest boards we could find… We haven’t had any problems with them, like any, so I’d say this project has been a good one! Hope that helps!

  62. […] Dining Room Shelves- DIY […]

  63. J says:

    Hey Shayna! Love the blog! Those shelves look so nice. How do you keep them from getting dusty?

  64. Jamie Montana says:

    Thank you for posting this. It was incredibly helpful in a home project, and yours turned out beautifully.

  65. Charles says:

    If the boards do sag, just turn them over, crown up.

  66. Rhonda says:

    When did you apply the dark wax? How did you apply?

    Thanks much!

    • Shayna says:

      I applied the dark wax after I stained the shelves. Because there were so many shelves, I probably used about 1/2 can. I hope that helps! 🙂

  67. Amy M. says:

    I have had this pinned to my board for years and on Sunday I finally did it! Apparently all I needed was a quarantine to tell me not to leave my house to get things done. They look AMAZING. I was even able to do them all by myself! (Having the lumber delivered doesn’t count) Thank you!!

  68. Chandra says:

    I just came across this post, thank you Pinterest. Can you tell me what kind/type of boards you used? I want something similar to this on a smaller scale and a total newbie. What kind of wood boards did you use? It’s beautiful!

    • Shayna says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad you’ve found inspiration for your own project! We didn’t use any special type of wood, just what’s found in the lumber section at Home Depot. I believe it was Douglas Fir. I hope that helps! 🙂

  69. Hannah says:

    Could you please share how you styled these!? I just bought a house with the exact same shelving in the dining room and I’m at a loss for how to make it look good.

  70. Katie says:

    Super helpful! Looks absolutely beautiful

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