Cafe Shelves


If you have been following my blog, you know that I recently made a lot of changes in my house in preparation for a family reunion.

One of the changes I made was putting up cafe-style shelves in my kitchen.

I got the inspiration from my favorite magazine, Ballard Designs.



My husband built a pantry in our kitchen last year and made a countertop space beside it, but I have never decorated the wall above the counter. At first, I thought I wanted to put some cabinets in that space. But when I saw the cafe shelves in Ballards, I knew my husband could make them for me.

(The pantry is on the right of this picture.)



This is what the countertop looked like as we worked on projects in the house. LOTS of tools and stuff!

So my husband trimmed out some 1” by 8” ponderosa pine boards.


I bought 4 corbels at Home Depot. I didn’t like the corbels at Lowe’s. Home Depot has a better selection. I got the smaller size of the style I wanted. They were about 5 bucks a piece.


We painted them black and then hung them up on the wall.



I decorated the shelves with my red Southern Living at Home tidbits and casserole dish.


I got the silver strainer at Goodwill for $1.50, and the apples and wall plaque from Marshall’s.


I am so glad I have that spaced filled with colorful things now!


The cafe shelves in Ballard Designs magazine cost between $99.00 to $139.00 EACH, depending on the size.

I don’t have an exact cost on my shelves because we already had the paint and boards. But I spent about $20.00 on the corbels and my husband spent about $10.00 on the trim. My husband said you could buy the boards for about $6.00 a piece. So this project could be done for less than $50.00, not bad!

Thanks for letting me share my project!

(To my followers…Thank you to all of you who have been praying for my mom. We had a wonderful time together at church tonight. My brother-in-law is a Baptist minister, and we met together tonight to lay hands on my mom and pray for her. She has been feeling pretty good lately, but is still very weak. Tuesday is when we meet with the oncologist to get the results from her biopsy. I will definitely let you know what we find out so you can continue to pray for her. I have been blessed by so many of you during this difficult time. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!)

Love in Him,



  1. Traci:

    Still praying. I was reading a book that a friend of ours wrote when her young daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then at another appointment told that it was brian cancer. As I was reading the book, I was thinking about you — knowing all those feelings I felt when it was my Mom going through it. Even though Sandy's book has a sad ending she gives a clear testimony throughout the book and she talks about Grace and the cloud of witnesses that carried them through the whole ordeal. Sandy was so sweet to offer one of her book as a give-a-way that I will probably offer next month. I wanted to have the most people (done with vacations and everyone settled back into school) so that a lot more people will put their name in and hope it reaches someone's hand that needs a clear message of salvation or a message of Grace and hope-that will be up to the Lord. I just do the drawing.

    Your shelves ARE gorgeous, once again-its so very Tracey. I hope you will post your magnetic boards sometime as well.


  2. I'm so happy to have found your blog! Wow, your shelves turned out beautifully! You and your husband found a way to get the look you wanted without spending a small fortune. It's too funny, I was at Lowe's on Friday looking for corbels, too – and couldn't find anything nice so I ended up at Home Depot. They do have a much better selection! I want some for under my cabinets, but I decided to work on that another time {I can't stay focused, hehe!}

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful project with us this week! I enjoyed that!

  3. I have said a prayer for your mom…please keep us updated. I pray that she is held and comforted in the Master's hands.

    I came to ask what the colors were in your room with the shelves and in your dining room…and now that seems so trivial.

    God keep you.

  4. I love your ingenuity in making your own cafe shelves. They look great and you have them nicely accessorized with pops of color in the just the right way! Job well done.

  5. Wow! Your cafe shelves look wonderful! And you have them decorated so beautifully, very professional looking. It could easily have been a magazine picture *smiles* Great job on your shelves, I love them!

  6. Great idea I am always up for a little wood work, currently though I am trying to find the perfect paint color and your kitchen wall has it! So I was wondering what color the paint is behind the cafe shelves and perhaps even the color behind the black cabinets in your guest house. If it's not too much to ask this would really help the torture of trying to find a great paint color. Thanks

  7. Your shelves are beautiful and you and your husband did a wonderful job putting them together. Love the black paint.

    I will be praying for your mother.

  8. Traci, I know you are probably very anxious now about the results your mom is awaiting tomorrow. I pray that they will be good and encouraging results. May God sustain you and your family through this time.
    On a trivial note (compared to above) your blog is always so lovely – so many great ideas. I love the café shelves, and the green I saw on the wall in a previous post, and what about the drop cloth draperies????? Everything looks beautiful! Linda

  9. Hey Traci ~
    I am sending prayers to the Big Guy Upstairs to take care of the Mom …
    p.s. the shelves are terrific !!! your hubby is so crafty – make sure to tell him that,LOL !

  10. Tracey,
    Your mom has been in my prayers and thoughts a lot. I hope the appointment went well.

    And you must be reading my mind sister- I am having the hubby put up the beadboard backing on the walls so we can get the shelves up and finally have a place for my dishes..I wanted shelves like Ballard but not the price and your wonderful hubby figured it all out for us so we can do them nicely too.

    hang in there,

  11. Hi Traci, I just found you blog and have enjoyed browsing around it. You have so many blessings to be thankful for. I love your shelves. You did such a professional job and and your displays are great. I am so sorry that your mom is ill. I'm praying for God's grace on you all.

  12. Wow Traci, the shelves look perfect! I love the open shelving. My husband and his Dad just did some for me and I bought the same corbels from HD. I agree with you that Lowes didn't have a good selection at all! Anyway, your shelves look great and I love the color in the corner. Praying for your Mom!

  13. Ok, so as my sister put it…these questions seem so trivial. You see, my sister and I are sort of "blog stalkers" together…it always seems to be, "go here. or oh look what I found, wow did you see that?" So, Yesterday she was telling me about your blog and I had to check the colors out for myself (cause we always check with each other before we do anything major to our houses) and I read about your mom. She sounds like a wonderful person…but most importantly she loves the Lord and you for teaching you about Him. I too, remember waking to the sounds of my mom's prayers and trying to be so quiet as to not interupt. It's the little things of their faith that makes a huge difference in our own. I will also pray for your mom and you and yours. Keep us posted.

    God Bless,


    ps Gonna be a stalker, ehem, follower of your site now!

  14. Oh Traci,
    I love them I have been wanting to do something like that. I hope you don't mind if borrow your photo so I can show my Cowboy it can be done! Hopefully for even less than your $50.00!
    I'll let you know!
    Many Blessings…I think I will stay awhile before I go back to visiting.

  15. I love this project! Your shelves turned out great and you have the pride of knowing that you and your hubby made them yourselves. You did a wonderful job accessorizing them and all the colorful pieces add so much character to this corner. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

  16. I had that same exact idea! Except mine are not done yet…it is so nice to see how cute they are! I have the bigger corbels from Home Depot, but the same. I havn't gotten the trim yet, and I am going to have to copy yours because it looks amazing!

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