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Create and Style an Old World Plate Rack with Contemporary Lines

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

There's a tall and narrow wall in my kitchen that has always been crying for attention. This neglected wall can be easily seen from both the family room and kitchen at the same time due to an open floor plan. For this reason, After perusing Pinterest and social media design sites for what seemed like forever, I finally came across the perfect idea for this difficult spot: An updated cutting board and plate rack!

I'm giving total credit to Nicole at simplyalignedhome.com for coming up with this beautiful design and allowing me to create my own version of it and share the way it turned out.

With only two days of my vacation left, I knew I'd have to act quickly if I was going to finish this before going back to work. I was on a mission to make this happen!


Since I already had many of the supplies leftover from previous projects, I knew I wouldn't need too many items. I also had all the tools needed to make it happen. You can click here to shop my links page if you're interested in the nail gun, sander, or miter saw used in this project. I still needed to purchase four 1"x3"x8' pine boards for the sides and shelves along with twelve 30"x 3/4" square dowels. I also bought a quart of Sherwin Williams "Cyperspace" paint. This was the most expensive item of the project coming in at around $25. I also used two sponge brushes, drywall screws, paintable caulk and L-brackets.


Once I had everything ready, I measured the wall. Just as every other wall I've worked with, it was janky as heck! It widened as it got lower toward the bar countertop. Although I would've liked to have built it as one large unit of pocket-holed shelves and just attached the entire thing to the wall, I knew nothing would square up once I got it hung. On to plan B: Build it one piece at a time on the wall.

I measured, sanded, cut and dry-fitted each and every shelf and cross bar. They all had to be slightly different due to the crooked walls.

I like to paint projects before installing them, it's just a personal preference. So I painted the back wall and then rolled the paint onto each of the frame boards. Then I attached the top of the frame to the sides using my nail gun. Here's where I ran into another fork in the road.



My original plan was to angle the nail gun, shooting a nail from the frame to the wall. Unfortunately, as much as I tried, the nail gun wouldn't pierce the edges of the wall. The only reason for this I could think of was that this wall had a metal edging that was keeping the nails from going in. Big bummer! I could use liquid nails to stick the frame to the wall, however I always try not to make projects like this too permanent or damaging. I know myself too well and if I changed my mind about this or decided I didn't like it, gluing it to the wall would tear out the drywall upon removing it. That was a project I just didn't want to tackle. I decided in the end to use some L-shaped brackets to connect the frame to the wall. It worked but it did leave a larger gap that would need to be caulked. Just a minor side effect and worth being able to move on.


Next, I sanded each shelf and crossbar with a light coat of walnut colored stain. I waited for each piece to dry overnight. After leveling each shelf and crossbar, I decided to nail the shelves to the frame from the outside of the side pieces. I attached the crossbars by shooting a nail through them from the front.


Here's where I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I finished nailing in the shelves, touched up the paint and gathered items in my home for the grand finale and absolute best part...styling the piece!


This project was full of twists, but like every project, it's a puzzle to be solved. I'm not a professional and try to figure things out by trial and error or, as I always say, "There's a Youtube video for everything!" Here is the end result:



I hope you like the way it turned out as much as I do! Let me know if this inspires you to try something new. Now, on to the next project!




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