Even though we are now living in a home far larger than our old apartment, I keep finding myself looking for ways to optimize our storage and make our spaces more useful.

So, when we walked in and saw the large wine rack in the kitchen (which I noticed was empty when the former owners lived here) I was itching to find a better use for the space! A very large wine rack (at toddler eye level) was NOT going to see any use in the next 5-10 years.



To me, the space was screaming for a kitchen bookshelf!

I was picturing something like this:





Goodness knows I have a plethora of cupcake cookbooks that would look far more cheerful out on display instead of hiding (forgotten) behind closed cabinet doors.

During one of my first trips to Lowe’s, I grabbed a rubber mallet with this specific project in mind. We’d only spent 4 nights in our new home and I was ready to destroy something tackle a project!

Being delicate wasn’t going to accomplish anything, so I just started pounding away. It was quite liberating! It only took a few swings before the lattice came loose and I was able to maneuver it through the facing of the cabinet and out of the way.

One down, 3 to go…


The back lattice proved a little trickier because there wasn’t as much space to “smash it in” (a highly technical term) without the risk of hurting the back panel. Once I realized that I could wiggle the framework in front of the lattice loose with my fingers, removing the latticework was just a delicate dance.


By this point, I had a very interested “helper.” I would have attempted this project during nap time, but I didn’t want to risk waking him with my banging and losing a moment of that precious Me time nap! *Ahem.


I even let him help me swing the mallet a few times. I was fairly certain this would be his favorite new skill to reenact all over our new house, breaking everything in sight. Knock on wood, he seems to have forgotten about it already…aaand I may have preemptively removed all the dangerously damage-worthy wooden hammers from his toy box – just in case!

I repeated steps one and two, and used needle-nosed pliers to remove any stubborn staples/nails that were left behind. The wine rack was practically a bookshelf already!


I told my Mom about my plans and she said “Ooh! I have a trick for drilling perfectly spaced holes for bookshelf clips!” (She’s the best – isn’t she?!)

You’ll never guess what her trick was…



First things first though, we needed shelves:


Lowe’s had the perfect board! Then (armed with our measurements – of course), we headed to the back of the store, to look for the employee that cuts wood for you! They don’t provide this service in Manhattan, and I LOVE that I don’t have to worry about carrying this board home on the subway or chopping off a finger once I get it home!

We gave the gentleman our measurements, stepped back, and watched the magic.


This still counts as DIY, right?! – at least until I acquire my very own saw…

I couldn’t wait to finish the project once we got home, but we had to wait for bedtime. Mallets and toddlers aren’t ideal, but drill bits and toddlers really don’t mix.

We cut the pegboard to fit inside the shelf, and then decided how far apart the shelves should be (based on the tallest cookbook) and which holes to use!



We used a 1/4″ drill bit to go with our 1/4″ bookshelf clips and kept the pegboard in place to steady our bit. It was a slow process, as we stopped constantly to check that we didn’t drill through the outside of the shelf, or the middle divider. We kept going until our  clip fit snuggly into place.


Once all four corners were drilled and clips were in place, it was time to load things up and test out our handiwork!


Thanks to Mom’s pegboard solution, the shelves are perfectly even and level!


Just in case you are wondering (as my very concerned husband kept asking me), YES I plan to paint the wooden shelves! I’m also planning to paint the yellow cabinets, so I’m waiting to do it all at once. I may even paint the inside with a pop color, so in the meantime I’m keeping my options open and scouring the internet for inspiration!





After looking at these gorgeous kitchens, the yellow cabinets are giving me a serious headache. I’ve GOT to get some paint on these guys ASAP!!

Until then, I think the shelves are a big improvement from an inevitably empty wine rack!