When we originally designed our living room with our builder, Thomsen Homes, I just knew I wanted a fireplace flanked with built-ins on either side, complete with floating shelves. Ten months later, my vision has finally come to life, thanks to Ultra Shelf! First, here’s a reminder of what our living room looked like pre-shelves, just a few weeks ago.
This post is sponsored by Ultra Shelf; however, all opinions are my own. See my full disclosure here.
Here’s what it looks like with shelves in the left nook. Swoon!
We installed the fireplace bump out through our builder during the building process because a gas fireplace is a little hard to install after the fact. Nate and I figured that we could add the built-in cabinets after we moved in or have them installed through our cabinet company. After getting a couple quotes on cabinets, we decided to DIY the project ourselves, but that’s a post for another day. 6 months with cabinets, our fireplace nooks were feeling pretty bare. Que Ultra Shelf. I discovered this amazing company on Instagram and knew their shelves would be the perfect fit for adding that wow factor to our fireplace.
The nooks are about 65″ wide so they are pretty large. I love the fact that we were able to select a custom width, depth, as well as a custom stain through Ultra Shelf. We went with 12″ deep White Oak Floating Shelves with Hidden Bracket in the natural finish. Originally, I was thinking 2 shelves on each side of the fireplace, but once we hung the first set of shelves over the built-in cabinets on the left, I started questioning whether we should hang shelves over the bench side. We did hang the shelves higher so that the bench side would allow for seating without hitting your head on the bottom shelf. Ultimately, we opted for another option on the right side, stay tuned to see more. We will use the other two shelves in our basement and I’m so excited that we are able to use them in an additional space.
I love the fact that Ultra Shelf offers a few different types of shelves. You can customize live edge shelves, painted shelving, many different types of wood shelves and you can even purchase just the floating hidden bracket if you want to use your own shelf. Seriously, the possibilities are endless!
The shelves we chose are so easy to hang, probably one of the easier floating shelves we have worked with. The customized metal bracket comes in one long piece for each shelf. The bracket features rods that slide into pre-drilled holes in the shelf, giving the floating appearance. Voila, so easy! For us, the hardest part was figuring out the center point for the bracket on the wall. If you have a level, measuring tape and a pencil, this really isn’t that hard. Please ignore the grainy night-time photos. With 4 kids, evenings and nighttime is the only opportunity we get for DIY’s these days.
Because we were screwing the bracket into tongue and groove and drywall, we weren’t able to tell where the studs were located in the wall because our stud finder picked up the tongue and groove, not the studs. When we were building our home last year, we had taken photos of all the studs, electrical and plumbing so we were able to determine where the studs were located based on our previous photos. I highly recommend taking photos if you are building a home or remodeling before you install drywall. It’s really helpful when you go back to hang items on the wall (even picture frames) because putting a nail through a plumbing pipe is not the best idea.
Back to the bracket. Nate hung the metal bracket with 6 different screws. He was able to hit 3 studs, and used 3 heavy duty drywall anchors for extra support. These shelves are wood and pretty heavy so we wanted all the support we could get. Plus, the items I actually want to put on the shelf, vases and books, aren’t exactly light.
Once the bracket was installed, the next step was so easy. Because the shelves were so large and heavy, we needed two of us to lift this bad boy (hence no pictures). We lined up the holes on the back of the shelf with the bracket rods and were able to slide the shelf onto the bracket. We had to do a little hard pushing to get the shelf to slide all the way on, but I know the shelf is secure and won’t be coming off anytime soon. Even having one shelf up made all the difference!
After the first shelf was hung up, Nate started on the second shelf. In all, this probably only took 30 minutes or less to hang the shelves. Below you can see the metal brackets. There’s a screw hole in the bracket every half inch or so, making these brackets so easy to hang into studs.
So what do you think? Do you love them or do you LOVE them? In hindsight, I probably would have hung the shelves lower if I would have known that the bench side wasn’t going to have shelves. I’ve already changed up the decor a few times and have a few more fun pieces coming for spring. I love open shelves because they are so easy to update for the seasons and can easily change a space by shopping your own home.
One last thing, let’s talk about dimensions. I previously stated that these Ultra Shelf shelves were 65″ wide and 12″ deep. Our ceilings are 9′ tall. The built-in cabinets are countertop height at 36″. To hang the bottom shelf, we measured 30″ from the top of the countertop to the bottom of the shelf. Then we measured another 16″ from the first shelf to the bottom of the second shelf. Make sense?
I’m so happy we were able to hang these gorgeous White Oak Floating Shelves in our living room. I can’t wait to get started on our basement feature wall that will also include two of these Ultra Shelf shelves!