Pottery Barn Who?

First, some housekeeping items! Sorry for the hiatus! A two week bout of the flu/bronchitis/severe asthma has kept this girl down and out on the couch!

Anyway!  I consider myself a bit of a fan of Pottery Barn.  Some of their stuff is nice, some of it just isn’t my taste (a bit too old school for me) and some of it, well its just plain not worth the moolah they are expecting! Who can afford this stuff?!?! Honestly!

(Side note: right now I am really digging their mercury glass pumpkins – not too outrageously priced either –  however, now that I go back to look, they are all sold out!!! Sad, I will just have to sit here and look longingly!)

I digress…….

The dining room decor was a bit disastrous from the time I moved in. I bought some “art” which I apparently loved at the time, although I think deep down I knew it was never right….(the lame college lamp was only temporary lighting for painting that was being done….don’t judge!)

Once the room was painted (Olympic Dusty Trail – Kitchen/Bath Paint), I never hung these plates back up. They had lived their 1 1/2 year life on my wall and they were exiled to the decor graveyard in the basement. Not sure if they will ever get re-purposed or just move off onto another life! (Notice how easily I get sidetracked?!?!?!)

This freshly painted wall was naked and it desperately needed something fabulous to cover with!  I had long admired the Pottery Barn Hudson shelves…

…however, in order to meat-ily enough fill the 9 ft spanse of main wall in the dining room, I wanted the 4 foot shelves.  Now, Pottery Barn does not carry these shelves anymore, but mark my words, I think they were $80 a shelf for 4 ft. (I’m not good at math people, but even for me this easy) times 2 would put us at $160 for two shelves.  Too spendy!

So, why not just DIY?? Here is a little sketch of the soon to be shelves….

So while at Lowes, I picked up the following:

1 – 8ft Pine – 1×3 (cut in half to make the back of the two shelves)

2 – 4ft Poplar – 1/2 x 2 (front pieces of the shelf – these were the only Poplar pieces bought.  The poplar was available in the exact size needed and a little better quality than the pine. Since this was the front piece, seen most, I had no problem with this minuscule splurge!)

1 – 8ft Pine – 1×6 (cut in half to make the two flat bottom pieces)

It was slightly cheaper to buy 8ft pieces of wood and cut them in half rather than buying 2 – 4 ft pieces. I just hoped they were exact to have two shelves of the exact same length! LUCKILY, I was golden.

So I came home and tacked together the basic design of the shelves. Super EASY! Honestly, it was amazing how quick this was!  They were nothing fancy, with each of the pieces just sitting flush against each other (no joints or anything).

The back piece was screwed directly into the bottom flat piece. But, because the front pieces were going to be the main focal point, I didn’t want screw holes acting as high-beams highlighting these as “I MADE THEM MYSELF!!!!”  I used some trusty wood glue and a nail gun (affectionately called Brad b/c that’s all it is for, nothing bigger than brad nails!) to tack the front onto the bottom piece. I knew there wouldn’t be weight pushing against this piece on the shelf so this was secure enough!

(Sorry, I realized I didn’t take very many pictures of this process)

Once general construction was done, I got these two 4 ft beauties (not to be confused with the 4 ft Toddlers and Tiara’s beauties – these are much more wholesome and less flashy!) ready to stain.  I used wood filler in all of the nail/tack holes and sanded them smooth.

To get the right yummy darkness I wanted, they got about 3 coats of Cabot Water-Borne polystain in Dark Oak Gloss finish. If I haven’t mentioned before, I absolutely love this stuff! It it awesome and you don’t have to wipe in between coats!

When putting on multiple coats, there is a bit of a trick to having a final shiny coat.  For the first and 2nd coats, it is important to keep your brush strokes to a minimum, but these coats are a little dull from the stain soaking into the wood (precisely what I want right?!?!)  For the final coat, it is important to put the stain on sort of heavy like (perfect for my non-delicate bull-in-a-china-shop self) to keep the sheen, but not too heavy that there are drip marks. It is important to fight the urge to go back over this layer with your brush or else your shine is gone.

Once the shelves were perfectly stained, it was time to hang them proudly. The original Hudson shelves from PB came with hanging brackets on the back.  I wanted this to be a cheap-o project and hardware can be a definite budget killer. I investigated my options at Lowes and came across these, exactly like what comes with the PB shelves…

…however, I would need 2 of the 18″ for a total of over $20 or 4 of the 6″ hangers, for a total of over $24.  Not only was that way more than I had wanted to spend, the sheer weight that these could hold was excessive.  200 pounds for the 18″ hanger? I, nor anyone else was planning to sit on these shelves….just some simple plates and decor items! No thanks.

I looked at other hanger options and realized that nothing would work to hang the shelves flush against the wall.  I was adamantly against just screwing the shelves into the studs, but after this bracket dilemma I realized it might be a feasible option.  After pulling out a million and 7 hardware drawers at Lowes, I came across these:

They were a perfect match to the stain and only a dollar and some change for a pack! PERFECTION!

Given that only one shelf is at eye level (well, my 5 ft 4.5 inch eye level) most people are none-the-wiser (until now….as my secret is exposed!) And the bottom screws are hidden behind the plates. Awesome!

Quickly “staged” here is how they look now. Dressed in simple white IKEA dishes. I’m sure I will be changing these at some point!

PB is nice, but honestly, it’s so much nicer to save some cash and know you made them yourself! What do you think?!?!

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5 Comments on “Pottery Barn Who?”

  1. Lisa says:

    awesome!! Now when you guys get your place done, I have an old Victorian that is in desparate need!! keep up the good work!

  2. sarahssweeties says:

    I love these! Will put on my husband’s list!!

  3. […] and hang Pottery Barn inspired shelves above the couch (same place as this […]

  4. […] In my former house, I made Pottery Barn inspired Hudson shelves here….. […]


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