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Garden Shed DIY New Shelves | Extra Space With a Touch of Elegance

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

New shelves in my backyard garden shed will provide needed storage/display space and some French elegance to the hard-working little shed. The French Country garden shed in my backyard began life as a utilitarian plywood garden shed. Then the little shed was transformed into a special Christmas retail shop for a French Country Christmas Event each December. 

French Country Christmas Event housed in the little garden shed
After the Christmas sale each year, the little shed reverts to more of a garden shed with only a few Christmas items stored between the yearly Christmas events. Seed packets, flower pots, gardening cloches, and a fluffy long-haired concrete bunny take over the center table. 

Kitchen cotton towels with lavender and hydrangea designs replace the red-and-white Christmas towels with amaryllis, holly, and poinsettias.  

The French Country Christmas Event has grown over the years, and the shed is now packed each December with special finds that pass the test, "Would this live in my house?" Each year I have to look at the space and create vignettes to display all of the treasures so shoppers will be inspired with Christmas ideas for their own homes.    

The little garden shed needs more shelves! 

G A R D E N   S H E D   
D I Y   N E W   S H E L V E S 

Extra Space With a Touch of Elegance 

French Country Christmas Event needs DIY new shelves
For years a set of wall hooks worked perfectly to display kitchen towels, pot holders, oven mitts, and bags. Coordinating soaps, trays, paper goods, and accessories fit on the counter and a wall shelf above the hooks.

With more inventory each Christmas, the set of wall hooks are taking up too much space for a handful of items. The hooks will move to a narrow wall space too shallow for a shelf to make room for larger shelves that will provide needed display space.  

I love the look of a hutch with shelves and looked for one to take the place of the hooks. But, the price of a hutch is too much for my budget. 

Then I spotted some DIY open shelves in an old issue of the Romantic Homes magazine, and a plan for a little renovation was born. 

I n s p i r a t i o n   

D I Y   O p e n   S h e l v e s  

Open shelves built by Sara of Sincerely, Sara D. were featured by Romantic Homes, and her website address was included in the article. A quick search of her site led me to an excellent blog post about how she built these shelves in one afternoon. Plus, she included sources and details about what she used. 

V o i l à 

With the help of my handy man, I am building similar open shelves in the garden shed and using the same gold shelf brackets Sara used for her shelves. A little touch of gold elegance befitting a French Country garden shed. . .

We are not finished with the new look, but here is what has been done to date. 

I will share the finished project in a later post when everything is completed. 

DIY new shelves in the garden shed call for freshly painted white wall
The first step was repainting the entire wall and adjoining small corner wall with white paint.

DIY new open shelves in the garden shed will have a blue and white color scheme
The opposite corner of the wall remains blue. 

Apply a primer paint to walls even for pale-colored walls
Although the original blue wall color was pale blue, the wall still had a green tinge to it after three coats of paint. Lesson learned... apply a primer paint even for pale-colored walls. 

We painted a fourth coat using a different white paint, Polar Bear by Behr, a different paint brand and color of white. Polar Bear is the wall color in the two previous photos. The wall is brighter white! 

Since we used leftover white paint from other projects, the cost did not include buying any color of white paint. Polar Bear by Behr is the white paint used in the makeover of my laundry room last fall as part of the One Room Challenge™.

New DIY open shelves will replace a collection of uncoordinated shelves that did not use the space efficiently  in the garden shed
A look back at this corner from last spring shows the collection of uncoordinated shelves that did not use the space efficiently. 

The new open shelves are 4 feet long and will extend to the side wall that had the bulletin board and the green distressed metal shelf. 

The bulletin board and metal shelf will be moved to allow room for the new shelves. 

A green distressed metal shelf with a fleur de lis design will get a makeover
In addition to adding the two new long open shelves, this small shelf will get a makeover. 

The fleur de lis design is perfect for my French Country garden shed and Christmas store, and I love the distressed green finish. 

However, now is the perfect time to rethink the overall design of the space. Not only will the space be better organized with open shelves to maximize the space available, but the overall design will be more coherent. 

New DIY open shelves in the garden shed will be white washed and have gold brackets
The counter base and set of drawers in this area are a beautiful, multi-layered blue. Instead of leaving the metal shelf green, the plan is to paint it a coordinating blue, but not the exact blue as the existing woodwork. 

The existing metal shelf in the garden shed will be moved to make room for the new DIY shelves
The top of the shelf is black wood with a plate groove. New blue paint will make the entire shelf the same blue color. 

Gold accents on the fleur de lis metal shelf will coordinate with the gold brackets on the new DIY open shelves
Instead of distressing the new blue paint with brown as before, I will add touches of gold to highlight and accent the shelf's raised designs. The gold touches will coordinate with the gold shelf brackets for the new open shelves.  

W h a t ' s   F i n i s h e d ? 

Here's where we are with installing new DIY shelves and creating organized extra space with a touch of elegance. 
  • Walls are painted white and dry 
  • Shelf brackets are painted gold 
  • Four foot long wood shelves are white washed 

W h a t ' s   L e f t   T o   D o ? 

  • Install brackets and hang new shelves 
  • Paint fleur de lis shelf with blue paint 
  • Apply gold accents to the fleur de lis shelf
  • Hang fleur de lis shelf 
  • Style the new shelves


Thank you for reading Botanic Bleu. 

May you enjoy a little touch of elegance 
and joie de vivre every day. 

The next blog post will reveal the new shelves, including a list of sources and colors used. 

Until then, you may enjoy reading. . . 

DIY Open Shelving by Sincerely, Sara D.   The inspiration behind my new shelves