BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home


Mudroom storage with cubbies, hooks, and shelving on a plank wall

Now that we’ve hit the cold, rainy season in Oregon, we decided that it was high time we finished the mudroom storage wall we started back in May. Coats, scarves, rain jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, boots, and more have been strewn all over for months, and we just couldn’t take it anymore!

Back in May, we installed the planks using the back side of tongue and groove bead board that we had left over from a previous project. We cut the planks to fit in between the left side wall and the door frame on the right. We started at the bottom and nailed them in with a nail gun. It all went really quickly, but we didn’t have any of the materials to finish the wall–caulk, paint, a shelf, brackets, hooks, etc. And we got busy with summer vacations and school starting and whatnot, and didn’t finish it.

baskets and shelving above a plank wall

Once we decided to finish this wall, it was a very quick project–it only took two days, and most of that was waiting time! We started by filling in the nail holes with putty, letting them dry, and sanding them down. We caulked the seams down both sides of the planks, taped off the trim, and painted the planks once everything was dry and ready. We also painted the shelf, which is just a 12″-wide piece of wood from the hardware store. After the paint dried, we installed the shelf with black brackets and put in two rows of double hooks, one for backpacks, purses, and bags, and one for coats, hats, and scarves.

A mudroom plank wall with hooks

We should probably caulk the edges of the shelf and the seam between the shelf and wall at some point. But knowing our track record, that might happen next July! The last part of our plank wall storage system is a little cubby bench for shoes, gloves, etc. My husband built it a few years ago for the entryway in our old house, when we only had 3 kids. At some point in the near future, we’ll need to replace it with a new one that has six cubbies, one for each person in our family. We’re trying to decide if we want to keep it black, which hides dirt but looks really dark, or white, which will be nice and bright and absolutely filthy! It looks like a tight squeeze, and it will be, but we’ve measured, and there’s just enough room for a bench with six cubbies, each holding one of these little woven milk crates.

a mudroom storage bench with cubbies and baskets

I can’t tell you how much well love this new organization system, and what a huge difference it has made in our mudroom. We still get the occasionally jacket tossed on the floor, but everybody is pretty good and putting things away. And it makes the room look great!

Hi! I’m Courtney, one half of the couple behind the DIY home renovation blog, Gray House Studio. I am excited to be here today sharing more details about the large floor-to-ceiling industrial shelves we built in our library for around $450.

My husband, Brent, and I like to think outside the box when it comes to updating spaces in our home that sit empty or get little attention. We love dreaming up ways to make a room work for us so that we will want to spend time in it and enjoy the space. This was the case with our formal dining room in the front of our house, which sat empty for an entire year.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves Before

It is a little scary to go against the grain and invent an entirely new purpose for a room, but we feel like it is necessary to get the most enjoyment out of our home. We are book-lovers and both grew up dreaming of a home library so it made sense to us to transform our formal dining room into just that.  And what is a home library without a huge wall of shelves filled with books?

Because our large display of books and collectibles would be one of the first things our guests see when walking into our home, we wanted the shelving to be eye-catching and unconventional. Plus, we needed it to fit with the industrial, rustic, and eclectic styles found throughout our home, so we decided to build the support system out of pipes. Using pipes and large boards required less tools and allowed the bookshelf to be put together more quickly.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

One specification we had for the shelves was for the boards to be nice and thick. We decided to use seven 2″-x-12″ boards in 10-inch lengths. This is because we wanted the shelves to be sturdy both in functionality and appearance. It was a tough workout to move all those boards around, but the pay-off now that they are up is worth it!

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

In addition to the lumber, we needed all the pipes and fittings that would connect the boards. We opted to go with black pipes for aesthetic reasons. Believe it or not, the hardest and most time-consuming part of the entire project was collecting all the necessary pieces of black iron pipes and fittings. Each store only carried a small amount of each piece at one time so we pretty much wiped out every hardware store inventory, and it took about a month to gather all the pieces our shelves required.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

Once we purchased all our supplies, we got to work assembling the shelves. Our process consisted of staining the boards with Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Kona, cleaning the pipes, drilling holes in the boards for the pipes to run through, and drilling pocket holes into the boards so they could be attached to wall.

We made sure each board was level, then fixed each one to the wall by securing it into studs through the pocket holes. We built the shelves board by board, adding the next row of pipes as we went up the wall.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

After the shelves were installed, we were finally able to unpack all of our books and collectibles. We thought we had a lot of books between the two of us, but we didn’t have nearly enough to fill up the massive shelf space we now had in our library, so we incorporated family heirlooms, old family photographs, our favorite record covers, cool thrift store finds, and some unique plants.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

After a few weeks, we realized there was just one thing missing. How were we supposed to get those books off of the top shelf? We needed a ladder! The photo above is when we were testing the ladder before we stained it. Hanging a ladder in a library has long been a fantasy of mine, so when we built this final touch for our industrial shelves, it was a dream come true.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

Finally, our industrial shelves in our home library felt complete. We are so pleased with how the shelves transformed the room into a personalized and cozy space. We know we will enjoy spending time in this room now, whether we are reading, chatting with guests, or hosting a game night. The shelves make for a great conversational piece, and they are a project we are proud to say we built ourselves.

It was such a fun and exciting experience to have Better Homes and Gardens come to our home and photograph our industrial shelves for the October 2015 issue.

If you are interested in following along with our home renovation journey, feel free to stop by our blog or connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also find a download with detailed instructions for this project here.




Better Homes and Gardens teamed with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Minneapolis-based Fiddlehead Design Group to create the BHG Innovation Kitchen for the May 2014 issue. Here’s a peek at the kitchen and their take on kitchen trends.





As interior designers, we are constantly asked about current trends.  While we love incorporating these ideas where we can, when it comes to kitchen design, function comes first.  At Fiddlehead, however, we think it’s always trendy to be functional!  Here are some ways you can include current kitchen trends in your space.


Trend #1:  Consistent Island Height

We chose to keep the island in the BHG kitchen a consistent 36″ standard countertop height.  Gone are the days of the multi-level island with raised bar seating for the kids.  Not only are those bar stools hard to maneuver, but the higher countertop section breaks up what could be a larger prep space, buffet top and/or homework station.  Height consistency at the island allows for a more practical and multi-functional centerpiece for what is typically the hub of the home.


Trend #2:  Open Shelving

A kitchen-ful of cabinetry can become overwhelming.  We decided to use open shelving in lieu of upper cabinets in the BHG kitchen in order to create a lighter, more decorative look.  Our clients are really embracing this trend as it can be both functional and attractive.  A bonus is that it’s also less expensive than using traditional upper cabinets.  So go ahead, buy those new dishes you’ve been eyeing!  Open shelves are also a great place to show off your personality and add some pops of color to what can be a very utilitarian space.


 Trend #3:  Cabinet Drawer Bases

Like most kitchens we are designing, we decided to incorporate base drawers instead of doors.  Not only do we love how the drawers line up with one another, but they serve a functional purpose as well.  Instead of opening a cabinet door and bending down to look inside or pulling out a roll-out shelf, you can gain access to the cabinet in one, simple motion.  You are also able to utilize more of the cabinet interior without having roll-out hardware that takes up valuable space.  There are so many wonderful, after market products, that allow you to customize the drawers to hold dinner plates, bowls, etc.


Trend #4:  Multi-Purpose Pantry Space

For the BHG kitchen we were fortunate to have enough square footage to create a large, multi-functional pantry area.  A lot is happening in this back room; laundry, folding, gardening, storage, list-making, etc.  We designed it to be directly adjacent to the kitchen and incorporated an interior window that unifies the two spaces and allows natural light to flow.  We included another popular trend, the sliding barn-door, for those times when you need to close off the mess.  Not only is this functional, but also allows you to pop a fun color!


And That’s So Fiddlehead!  Serious about Style, fanatic about Function!

Trend: Open Kitchen Shelving!

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I am swooning big time over the loveliness that comes with gorgeously styled open kitchen shelving.  And not only are they uber lovely, but they are also an absolutely fantastic solution for dishes, appliances, baking goods and other kitchen necessities.  Especially in apartments and smaller spaces in which storage is limited.

The days of kitchens designed with wall to wall concealed storage are gone, folks are having a blast putting their dishes and kitchen gadgets on display!

While store bought shelving units are an inexpensive upgrade to kitchens that don’t have enough built-in storage…


Open shelves are an inexpensive way to give kitchens a nice and airy feeling!


Open shelving can also provide added flexibility.  Easily cut down to size, shelves can be fit into awkward spaces to create extra storage and display space.


The shelves themselves are not the only functioning piece of the equation; many different accessories such as wine glass racks and mug hooks can be added to the bottom side of the shelving to double the storage capacity.



Shelving also has a way of really highlighting those items that are frequently used and/or have special meaning.  A bold backdrop, such as a vibrant paint color or tile, really make the kitchen accessories pop.


They can also frame out a window while boasting storage where you would least expect it.


If you already have your walls filled with functioning cabinetry, but adore the look of open shelving, a simple solution is just removing the cabinet doors.  This also gives you quick access to the items you use most often.


Plate slats can also be added to open cabinets, which is an added bonus!


A large hutch is another great solution to open kitchen storage.  In fact, many sport a concealed area for tucking away bulky appliances and an open section for all those pretty dishes and accessories.


Open shelving isn’t for everyone.  If you don’t love the idea of extra dusting from time to time, but adore the look that comes with the open shelving trend, swap out your cabinet doors with ones that are glass faced.  Bonus points for painting or lining the cabinet backs with a bright and bold color or pattern.


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You’ve seen them. Etageres, those amazingly organized and decorated shelving units, are showing up everywhere. Whether it’s in the pages of your favorite magazine, on a DIY/decor blog, or even on Pinterest, the etagere is quickly becoming a must-have piece of furniture.


While the word, etagere may sound fancy, it’s basically a series of open shelves to store and hold your beautiful belongings and treasures. Maybe you need a place to store your beloved books in your office or your special serveware in your dining room, an etagere can be perfect for any space. Not only does an etagere offer additional storage, when decorated, it can make a lovely, unique, and interesting statement in your home.


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Wanting to add an etagere to my nest, I searched Shop BHG and found some that I thought you’d also want to see. Whether you like traditional or modern, one of these pieces will certainly work to create a delightful display in one of your spaces.


Happy decorating,

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm

Spotted!  A mixture of high and low end storage to create dreamy home office organization!


If you are looking to add incredible amounts of fabulous storage to your office space, you can snag this look with shelving and coordinating baskets from IKEA and Pottery Barn.


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