Pinterest Challenge: Office Shelves!

Guess what time it is…. that’s right Pinterest Challenge Time! I get so excited whenever Young House Love posts another challenge, because it really gives me that extra push to choose and execute a project quickly. Although this time, I was actually a little bummed at the timing because I just did one of my very favorite projects ever last weekend– painting my office stripes! Still, the office is still a work in progress and the next item on my agenda was getting something up on that big bare wall.

As I’ve said before, the putting-stuff-on-the-wall finishing part of decorating is by far the hardest part of the process for me. I’m always very excited and inspired to do the big stuff. The painting, the building, and whatnot. But the actual decorating part of home decor, the hanging items on walls and picking up knick-nacks for display? Beyond my comfort zone or skill set. Which is why, with the exception of my gallery wall,  I just hang up one big item per wall and call it done.

The problem with the wall in the office is that it was really way too big to just hang one item and have the wall look adequately decorated. But I didn’t want to do another “gallery wall” type thing because I didn’t want to cover up too much of my lovely stripes. Here’s a reminder on what I was working with after I painted stripes last weekend.



I was chatting to my mom on the phone last week, lamenting the issue, when she suggested that I do white floating shelves on the white stripes. She thought it would look cool to have the shelves sort of blend into the stripes and almost look like whatever I put up was floating. That way it looked decorated, but didn’t take away from the stripes too much. It was better than any idea I had, so I decided to give it a try. Because drilling into a newly painted wall? My idea of a good time. (Except, not at all. So nerve-wracking thinking you might mess your wall up!).

I looked through my pins on pinterest and found a photo I’d pinned with white shelves and overlapping items. I thought it looked really pretty and layered.

Family Photos Two-BH& G July 1998 2(source)

And thus, my pinterest challenge was born. First things first, I had to get some white shelves. I keep a closet full of not-being-used decor items that I’ve collected over the years because you never know when you might want to use something again. In there, I found a set of three shelves I’d bought from target maybe five or so years ago. They were all scratched up, and black.


Two layers of gloss white spray paint later, and they were ready to hang. To figure out spacing, I measured the length of each shelf, and then centered each one one along the 1/3 mark of the wall. So, for example, my wall was 132 inches long, if you divide that by four you get 33 inches. I centered each of the three different-sized shelves over the three dividing lines. Which I don’t think I’m explaining very well so I did a rough sketch below of how I figured it out. Each black bar represents a shelf, and I just centered it over each vertical line.

shelf spacing

As for what to put on the shelves… I was at a bit of a loss. I decided that it was best to just grab whatever I could find around and put SOMETHING up. I can always change it easily later (the beauty of shelves! It takes about 2 seconds to swap things out), but having something up will look better than nothing, even if it isn’t the exact perfect thing.

The first thing I grabbed is this amazing Alice in Wonderland book that B got me for Christmas. I’ve been trying to add small amounts of pink throughout the office and I thought this would look great with the other pink.


Next up, I grabbed a yarn-wrapped letter I had downstairs (our last name starts with M), and two pictures of the cats that I had already framed and were sitting in the decorating closet.


Last up, and my favorite, I grabbed two other framed photos from the decorating closet and an 8mm video camera I had downstairs. The photo of B and I is from our engagement session. The giraffe photo is one that I took a few years ago that I have just always loved.


And the full effect…..



I love it! I’m so glad that I got over my indecision-induced paralysis and just got it done. I am not at all sure that what is up on the shelves now is going to stay up there, but for now I think it looks great and certainly a ton better than a boring un-adorned wall. It might have even given me a little bit of confidence and momentum to get things up on some other bare walls around here. Check back later this week to see how project get-shiz -on-walls goes! Regardless though, I’m claiming a completely non-sarcastic “Nailed It” for this edition of the pinterest challenge! 



2 thoughts on “Pinterest Challenge: Office Shelves!

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