shelf help

So I need some shelf help — no, not self-help, well maybe a little of that too — but for now I’m talking about shelves … let me give you a quick tour of our entry way. When you walk into our house you use a side door, not the front door as this is the door that is connected directly to the driveway. I believe that it used to be a “breezeway” but the lovely people who owned the house before us decided to put the most awesome addition of a family room/sunroom/entryway. So this is the view when you walk up three little stairs to get into the house:


Above: Amazing kitchen to your right, big closet to the left, gloriously sunny family room in front of you.

Here I am standing at the refrigerator looking back towards that entrance … do you see them? the empty shelves?! Also note on the right hand side is the big closet I mentioned — it’s huge, and 3/4 empty itself.  (PS there’s my old car, Hi Jetta! I kinda miss you but my Rogue is way cooler and bigger then you were!)

Hopefully this photos shows you a little more of the awkwardness. As you can see Greg and I usually drop our work bags/purse here or on the chair. We use the chair to tie shoes which are usually on this rug and we have a pretty little tray for keys, garage door opener, sunglasses on the top of the shelves.

Here is my dilemma – the shelves are so short! Not in height, but in depth. They are less than 6 inches, so no books fit in them, nor pretty much anything else we have tried to put on them (picture frames are too low for the eye to see … and vases are the only other thing I can think of that we really tried.) We could definitely do some sort of “collection” here, but I *hate* clutter. Hate it. And with a baby on the way – what is the point of putting knick-knacks on a shelf for him to crawl towards and swallow.

So what say you people? What would YOU put on these terribly awkward shelves? Or are they not as awk as I think they are and I should just leave them empty? Any and all suggestions welcome!!

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “shelf help

  1. Sunny

    Your house is beautiful! I think the shelves look fine empty, I agree that with a young one, he’ll be pulling down everything you put in there. 🙂

  2. So no real suggestions about the shelves (we’ve had shelves like that before and never figured out what to do with them), but I just wanted to say that I love your house! That type of openness and beautiful kitchen (and hardwood floors!) is exactly what I want someday!!

  3. Hmm. Two things: one, I love how open and airy your home is! Two, those shelves look like they were built for knick-knacks (which, I agree = clutter = do not want). Maybe just leave them open for now? Not entirely helpful, I know. The only thing I can think that *might* fit on those would be DVD’s, which…why would you want those by the front door? I’m stumped!

  4. Maybe scour some thrift shops or antique shops for books that will fit? Even just a few?

    Even if you leave it empty, they look fine. I’m guessing there’s no easy way to tear them out and make the shelves bigger? You certainly have a dilemma!

  5. Is removal not an option?

  6. MK

    Okay, I’m NO help with the shelves, but I also agree with everyone else, I love how your house is so clean (I mean obviously it looks clean in the literal sense, but also just like simple? If that makes any sense?) Beautiful! 🙂

  7. Debbie

    Maybe use them like a shoe rack? My husband and I live in a small apartment and we have one of those 2 cube shelving units from Target. We put a cloth cube basket in the top and use the bottom shelf for our shoes so they aren’t cluttering the door (we each keep 2 pairs, one sandal, one regular shoe since we have to take our dog out a lot). It’s been really helpful. You could put baskets or cube storage thingys on the top shelf to hide any thing you don’t want seen, but need to access. We filled our cube thingy with animal things like toys and brushes. (This is a very technical comment, haha)

  8. i think i would put shallow baskets there or shoes! (or shoes upright in baskets!)

  9. Wow! Thanks everyone for your responses!! A few things …
    1) We LOVE our open layout in the house. I seriously remember walking into it when I first saw it and didn’t get past the kitchen before I looked at Greg and said, “This is is!” I’ll try to show you more of the house as we continue to finish it.
    2) No removal of the shelves is possible, maybe closing them off/covering, but if we removed them there would be a lot of falls and broken necks.
    3) I do think baskets are the way to go but – dude – it’s the most awkward size/shape EVER. I will have to actually measure them soon so I can at least keep an eye out for baskets, but I imagine they will be tough to find in this shape.
    4) Same as 3 above for the shoes — they have to be piled on top of each other or half sticking out and that irritates me more then having them sit on the ground.
    5) Finally – we totally cleaned the crap out of the house the day these photos were taken because we were having a party that afternoon. It is all this un-cluttered, but rarely this clean! 🙂
    Thanks!!!

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