Monday, September 12, 2011

A Dilemma and Opinions Please

Do you have a space or an area in your home that you know is not living up to its full potential? Or a space that has been empty that you're just not sure what do with or what route to take with the space?

That space for me is this wall in our dining room. I'll show you two angles. The first photo is taken straight on from the dining table.

This second photo is taken at an angle and you can see how this space is connected with the kitchen.

I want the space to be functional, but I'm also stuck as I'm not sure how to maximize this wall's potential. I think I'd like a small buffet or storage cabinet and maybe some open shelves for storage and display purposes. I had thought about revamping a secretary cabinet, but a piece as big as that makes me nervous with a toddler roaming around the house now.

Apartment Therapy did a nice round-up of floating shelf options here. Of the options they show, I like the Container Store profile espresso shelves and the West Elm lacquer shelves.

Here are a few other shelf inspiration photos:

I like that the shelves could serve as a place to display some artwork or special pieces where little hands can't grab hold of them. We are also in desperate need of some book storage, so the shelves would need to be sturdy enough to hold some of our books. I love this image below and that just bringing up a chair and a laptop turns the space into an instant office.

I'd love to hear your opinions on my space dilemma, and I'd also love to hear about any shelf or DIY shelf options that you would recommend.

Do you have any small spaces that you've been debating what to do with for some time?


  1. First of all, I love the new look! Elizabeth did a great job!

    I find that I have difficulty in my dining room as well. I think it's because, it drives me nuts that we don't use it and it just sits there pretty, but non-functional. That's why my choice for your space would be the shelves with a small chair if you have space. I love the photo with the white shelves. It would be a great place to sit and write a note, blog or just visit with the people at the dining table.

    I may look at this option myself!

    Take care,

  2. I think a cabinet/chest would look great on the wall if you need storage. I'd also add a lamp or art on the left to give it some height.

  3. Really you can't go wrong either way - a painted cabinet of some sort or floating shelves. I think the cabinet would be a little more practical. But, really go with whatever you love most.

  4. I think you are exactly right to think about a small cabinet with floating shelves above. It would give you a place to put wine or food that you don't want on your table during a party. The shelves could be changed constantly as your heart desires. Go with your gut.

  5. Floating shelves are the best idea. That area is a pass-through and you do not want to unnecessarily block acceess with a chair. The container store have a nice selection. I have just bought the conceal bookshelves so no metal or wood will be seen. There are other options for more decorative items. A fun project!

  6. I think having a multi-function room is key. My dining room gets used most often as my craft/project space. As you try to decide what to do, think about how you can give the room a double life. I like the idea of having an extra place to serve from, but also like the idea of being able to sit with your laptop. Some height on the wall would be nice so perhaps there is a combination that is right...

  7. Love the idea of small buffet or storage cabinet below. I like being able to hide my clutter. Shelves would be a great compromise so you can still display things. Have you looked at Ana White's site? I'm sure she'll have shelf plans if you wanted to DIY it.

  8. What a great little space! I don't know if I'm going to describe this correctly, but what immediately struck me is a bar area. A small wine/bar cart/cabinet, with shelving on the wall that would hold upside down wines glasses, etc. It would make the space both functional and beautiful. Excited to see what you decide on! :)