Give Your Shelf That French Country Style

After revealing the new color of my plate shelf, I wanted to show the two easy steps needed to transform the style.

French Country Transformation

Well over two years ago, I found this bookshelf in a junk shop (a $15 woo-hoo!).

Antique Shelf

I could have used it on top of this drawer stack in my project studio for storage.  That’s the purpose of the original design, but I had something else in mind.

Drawer Stack for Storage

A beautiful red plate rack I’d seen in an antique shop years ago still sticks in my mind.  I couldn’t justify spending the $250 (oh, I tried to!), so I’ve spent 15 years pining over that shelf.

My vision was to transform this piece into my dream of a plate shelf.

I painted the shelf to match my kitchen chairs, didn’t love it but hung it, blogged about it, and lived with it for more than a year.

ASCP Shelf

Once it was hung on the wall, I procrastinated in all decisions regarding the shelf.

A word to the wise:  if you want to continue with a project, don’t get anxious and hang it on the wall!

Last year, Handy Builder Dad gave me two leftover brackets he’d made for a project and didn’t use.   I knew they could be cut down to fit this shelf, so I promptly brought them home and procrastinated some more.

Wooden Shelf Brackets

Do you see a trend here?  Hey, we creatives must be in the mood.

On a whim recently, I randomly cut a leftover 1″ x 4″ piece of wood to fit inside the bookshelf.  Why?

I have no idea…told you it was random.  That little activity caused a chain reaction of inspiration to get the project done. 

Boom!  Procrastination over.

New Shelf

I could see cups and saucers, S&P sets, and all sorts of things on the narrow shelf.

Here are the shelf, cut board, and brackets necessary to transform a shelf of your own.  It’s much more simple than all of that procrastination implies!

Former Bookshelf with Brackets

Here are the 2 steps needed to transform the shelf.  It’s really simple, as you’ve seen.

  1.   Add a shelf along the lower board rail.
  2.   Add decorative support brackets under each side wall of the bookshelf.

That’s all there is to it – unless you want to get fancier and add some hooks, like I did.

You may not have a Handy Builder Dad, but any shelf bracket could work.  You can buy decorative wood or metal shelf support brackets at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

We aligned the inner shelf wall with the inside of the bracket.

Decorative Bracket Attached

I took no pictures while HH was nailing the shelf and brackets because I was holding things in place at the time.

French Country Plate Shelf

Besides, HH was in a real “get-‘er-done” kind of mood (and moving fast).  Who would want to spoil the mood by asking to pause for pictures?

Roosters and Chickens

Do you have a shelf to transform?  Now that you see how easy it is, will you end your procrastination?

Get-‘er-done!  🙂

125 px Signature

I’m sharing this post at Metamorphosis Monday.  🙂


    • says

      Thank you, Debi. I couldn’t believe how much the shelf and brackets changed the look completely. It really pays to try things, doesn’t it?

  1. says

    Procrastination can be our friend or our enemy. It’s usually my friend. I ponder projects for months and months, and that usually works to my advantage. Still…I would prefer to be able to make up my mind a little faster!

    My husband would put me on permanent lockdown if I spent $250 on a secondhand anything!!! He just doesn’t get it. I still think your intention were good. Men! What do they know? 🙂

    Your shelf turned out fantastic!!! I love it!!! Great job!
    Alycia Nichols recently posted…Published! Kansas City At Home MagazineMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you. It helps to ponder things a while, doesn’t it? Sometimes husbands protect us from spending mistakes. 😉 You don’t have to tell Ramon I said that!

  2. says

    Wait a minute how did it go from red to this new look!! Love the transformation with the brackets and the extra shelf! This sounds like me and Dan- when he’s in the mood to help me I have to be ready and better not be too fussy with the camera!
    Liz @ Infuse With Liz recently posted…Plate Rack TweakingMy Profile

    • says

      It’s nice you can relate, Liz. Did you miss the post about painting the shelf. It had several looks between red and he final color. It took over a week to get the paint figured out. I’m so glad it’s done and back on the wall!

  3. teresa says

    I loved this project; the bottom brackets really complete the look. However, I think, judging by the grooves on the shelves that is was designed as a top of a hutch for dishes. The grooves keep the plates from sliding forward. Yours looks like it actually has two parallel grooves: one for plate and one for bowls. I love that as I’ve had to route mine out to achieve the same.

    • says

      Thanks! My MIL has a drawer stack with matching bookshelves that is very similar to my miss-matched set, and they were made by the same company. I guess the grooves allow you to use the shelves for plates, accessories, books, whatever. There is one groove per shelf…how I wish there were grooves for bowls! Anyway, you’re right. You can use the unit as a hutch (although small) or a chest and bookcase. Love that versatility! 🙂