Built-In Shelves Over Kitchen Doorway Pt1

Built-In Shelves Over Kitchen Doorway Pt1

STORAGE:  I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t have nearly enough in our smaller kitchen.  Even after I turned my small workshop room into a pantry and added a glass cabinet near the sink, and baskets under the kitchen window/bench seat—I still needed more! So what does a creative with a bit of carpentry skills do?  Plan out a hack to utilize some narrow vertical space to build shelves for even more storage!

So here’s the deal:

We have this wide-cased opening in our kitchen that leads to our foyer, I don’t share this view often because let’s be honest, there’s not much to see here other than some patchy paint and unfinished trim, not to mention, my foyer needs some love:

Shelves Over Doorways:

So I decided that I could really make use of the narrow, vertical space above and around the opening, kind of like I did in our bathroom:

but greater  . . .

I sketched this up *really* quickly in Canva, using a cropped image of styled shelves by Casey Sanford Design. My idea is to use two stock wall cabinets from Home Depot, that resemble our kitchen cabinets, and build shelves off of them.  I’m a huge fan of utilizing the space above doorways to create a shelf or shelves if you have tall ceilings.

The wall on the left is 15″ wide and the one on the right is 12″ wide, so I ran out and grabbed a 12 and a 15″ cabinet.

But of course, this idea couldn’t go off without a hitch:  I realized I have to work around that baseboard heater.  And while I could have placed the cabinets above the baseboard heat sort of like above), and used feet, instead of baseboards under the cabinet, I didn’t like the fact that the tops of the cabinets would be above counter height— it just looked weird to me.

12″ cabinets on both sides

So after scratching my head and fielding tons of messages full of ideas from my IG community (Love y’all!) I finally came up with a compromise:  that was to instead use two 12″ cabinets (above) and use a spacer on the left side to fill the 15″ wall, this way there’d be some clearance for the baseboard heat, and I’d still have the (mostly) symmetrical look I was going for.

And then eventually in the foyer, just beyond the opening, I plan to give that space a bit of a makeover too, by painting the board and batten and adding wallpaper.  I found this one from LuLu & Georgia and I can’t stop thinking about it.  But I ordered a sample first before I decided to go all in.

    project sketch shelves over doorway Madebycarli

I am soooooo excited about this project, not only will it help make these narrow little walls functional, but it will also give me something pretty to look at.

I spent the day today, cutting all my wood, so I can prepare to assemble it all tomorrow. Again, SO EXCITED!

Follow along on Instagram from the beginning HERE.

I’ll be back soon to share as this project progresses.


Here are some other ways I’ve added function and storage to small spaces in the  past:

Made by Carli Plate rack shelves

In our previous home, I used Home Depot Pantry cabinets to build shelves off of for our DIY Walk-in closet:

Made by Carli Walk in CLoset

And then of course the cabinets I added to our pantry, more recently:

Now tell me, is this a project you’d attempt?

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