DIY Rustic Modern Open Shelving

 When we first moved in, I wasn’t sure what to do with this big expanse of open wall in our dining room. Now that we’ve gotten settled in a little bit more, it became clear that I needed more baby-safe display space. So I decided to construct some awesome rustic, yet modern open shelving for this wall. 

I was inspired by some cool stainless steel modern brackets I found at Ikea. But I decided to DIY the shelves to give them a rustic look. The modern brackets with more rustic shelves gives the room that cozy modern style that I’m going for throughout our home.

I started with two basic boards from Home Depot. I actually looked for one that had big knots and spots. I sanded the board down lightly, just to remove any splinter-causing slivers.

I applied a light coat of stain, Minwax Red Mahogany. I didn’t leave it on for more than 5-10 minutes total. I let the stain soak in more in some areas than others to give variation.

The staining was super quick and easy. Proof: I did it while Jaye was outside playing with me. She helped a little bit on the sanding part. Then we left the boards outside leaning against a tree to dry and air out for a couple of days.

When it came time to hang the brackets, I ended up running out to buy a stud finder because the knocking method was just not working for me at all. Once I found the first stud, I just eyeballed how high I wanted the shelf and started drilling the brackets in.

Because of the location of the studs and the length of my board, I ended up staggering the shelves so they would fill the entire wall. I like that the staggered look gives me room to put something taller on the right side. Oh, and the shelves are level in real life and also not saggy, like they look in this picture.

Stainless steel + rustic wood = cozy modern open shelving bliss!

Obviously, I haven’t fully decorated the shelves yet. But I’m loving them so far. And excited to have somewhere to display Christmas (and other) decorations out of Jaye’s grabby little fingers!


  1. These look great! Great job!

  2. Hi Jill! This is Sarah from the ornament exchange! It was delightful to meet you! I’m sad we didn’t get to talk that much.
    You are so crafty and creative! Loved your ornament today ~ totally took a close up of it. And these shelves are awesome! Can’t wait to see the rest of your decor. hehe~~

    Anyway, since I didn’t have a business card, my blog is at I thought about ordering some cards, but I knew I wouldn’t get it in time. Haha~~

  3. I love the simplicity of the shelves and of course the ruggedness 🙂 Good job!


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