My Diy Kitchen: How to Install Floating Shelves with Dakoda Love (and the kitchen finally got paint!)

A special thanks to Dakoda Love for providing product in exchange for this post.  As always, all expressed opinions are 100% my own.  This post may contain affiliate links.

A little over three years ago, I removed most of my upper cabinets and installed open shelving in our kitchen.  It was one of my favorite updates made to my home in recent years.  However, as the years passed, there was something I began to dislike about the shelves.  It wasn’t the shelves themselves, but more so the bulkiness of the brackets.  The look seemed a little too busy for my current taste and the brackets restricted how well I could style the shelves.

I contemplated switching out the brackets to a more streamlined bracket that didn’t have the diagonal support bar like these did:

But then I discovered Dakoda Love floating shelf brackets.  I loved the thought of being able to use my existing shelf boards and just drilling holes to create floating shelves!   I was really excited about the possibility of being able to display my dishes and kitchen accessories seamlessly.

If you want to create a floating shelf look in your home, I’m going to show you how to diy the shelves—-but you can also purchase them already done for you—-the brackets with wooden shelves as well.

Now the basics of the installation are simple:

The floating shelf brackets are basically steel rods welded to a flat  plate that gets anchored to the wall using drywall anchors or attached to the studs. A hole (a little larger than the rod) is then drilled into the wood boards/shelves.  The shelves then “slip” onto the rods and voila, you have floating shelves!

But first, I generally have one rule to go by when doing a diy project:

Here’s what I used:

Another person (definitely not a 1 person job)

measuring tape

1/2” drill bit

1/2” spade bit

Bit extension

Level (large 3 ft, and small hand level)

Mallet or hammer
Phillips head bit

Dakoda Love Floating Shelf Brackets-Large

(Drywall anchors and screws, included)

Wood boards at least 1 1/2” thick for the large brackets (mine are two inches thick and I had them cut at the hardware store)

Here are the steps I took:

  1. Lined the brackets up on the wood: I just lined mine up at the end of each board.
  2. Made a mark in the “v” notch at the top of the bracket
  3. Made a mark in the “v” notch at the bottom of the bracket
  4. Drilled a hole in the center of the notches, ensuring that each side is level.
  5. Drilled in and out several times, tipping the board to remove the saw dust regularly.  Because my drill bit was not as long as the rod, I needed to use an additional drill bit (a spade bit) along with an extension, to make sure the hole was deep and wide enough.
  6. Then with my spade bit and extension, I drilled deeply into the hole, ensuring that I was drilling straight and level.  At first I was concerned that if I drilled the hole too deep or wide, the shelves would just slide off of the brackets, but drilling the holes a tad bit larger actually facilitated the whole process.  Ideally, one would use a drill press to create these holes or save the trouble and purchase the pre-drilled shelves directly from Dakoda Love.

Tip:   Before attaching the brackets to the wall, ensure that the rods slip into the drilled hole rather easily. If it doesn’t drop directly in, then I would drill it a little more-which will save you the hassle of trying to jam the shelves into the rods once on the wall-I know from experience 🙃

Next, I decided on my placement of the shelves and attached the brackets to the wall using the provided wall anchors and screws.  When placing the brackets on the wall be sure to be extremely accurate as far as spacing goes with the shelves.  If brackets are installed too close together or too far apart, there is no wiggle room and you will end up with lots of extra  holes in your walls.  I sort of dry-fitted my brackets and shelves before installing the wall anchors to avoid extra holes.

We also decided to finally go ahead and finish off the painting that we had put off since last May (even though no one even realized that it hadn’t been finished-including my own kids!)

We used Behr Marquee paint in Nightblooming Jasmine. I love this choice of white paint because it’s not super bright white and has warm undertones.  The Marquee paint is thick and covers very well, which was important for covering those inevitable grease stains in the kitchen.


Can I just say how extremely in love I am with the results.

I’m so happy to have partnered with Dakoda Love on this project.

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  1. Jamala Wallace
    February 5, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    What a difference they made.. your kitchen is so fresh and beautiful.. I love how you styled everything.. you've got me wanting floaters

    • Carli Alves
      February 5, 2018 / 10:43 pm

      Thank you Jamala, it really feels more calm and organized. Such a great way to transform a space.

  2. Erin Marshall
    February 5, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    Carli I love your shelving update. Its a nice streamlined, clean, and clutter free look in the kitchen. The brackets are great and I will definitely be checking them out in the near future.

    • Carli Alves
      February 5, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      Thank you Erin!!! I really love how much cleaner it looks-thanks for visiting 😘

  3. Maria Stevens
    April 26, 2021 / 2:10 pm

    Hi! It looks lovely. What is the spacing between counter and shelves, and between the two shelves themselves? And do you have a regular 8ft ceiling? Trying to get a sense of how we should space ours.

    • madebycarli
      April 28, 2021 / 8:33 am

      Hi Maria, I typically place shelves 18″ from counter to to first shelf, and at least 11″ between shelves 🙂 But it’s really about personal preference.

  4. Eliza
    May 13, 2022 / 6:09 am

    Looks fantastic. Love the paint color and that the window has no trim so the shelves go right to edge! Do you enjoy having two shelves rather than three? I can’t decide.

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