DIY Storage (and Style) in the Kitchen: Wall-Mounted Shelves with a Copper and Brass Towel Rod

Now and then, we like to pop in on photographer and stylist Jeska Hearne‘s lifestyle blog, Lobster & Swan, to see what kind of remodeling magic she’s been up to in the cozy East Sussex, England, home she shares with her husband. On one such visit, we came across this great DIY: wall-mounted shelves with a brass towel rod installed under the lowest shelf.

The couple wanted to add storage—and moodiness—to their kitchen/dining area. But how to create moody storage? Simple. They made sure to use materials that looked aged and historical.

Go here to see more images of their weekend project. Photography courtesy of Lobster & Swan.

Lobster and Swan DIY Shelves with Curtains
Above: Also on their home-improvement agenda that weekend—adding privacy curtains. The couple hung up dark gray linen drapes to cover two south-facing glass doors. The adjacent wood shelves warm up the scene.

Here are the two key components they used to add layers of patina and mood to their shelves.

1. A Mix of Metals

Jeska’s home is warm, rustic, and eclectic—and these shelves are a reflection of her style. To get the right industrial-country look for her shelves, she mixed black iron brackets with brass screws for the shelving hardware, and brass clips with a copper pipe and ends for the towel rod. The key is to remember: nothing shiny. If you buy new copper pipes, she recommends leaving them outdoors for a week or so to build patina.

Lobster and Swan DIY Shelves Mix of Metals
Above: When the couple had their floors redone, they discovered copper pipes underneath. Jeska salvaged them to create a rod for kitchen towels (she also used the pipes to make the curtain rods). Brass pipe clips and copper pipe ends finish the look.

2. Aged Wood Planks

Raw-edge, rough-hewn wood planks add instant character to wall-mounted shelves. Jeska left them as is—no stain, no paint—for a truly rustic look.

Lobster and Swan DIY Shelves Wood Planks
Above: The reclaimed shelves are made from a eucalyptus tree that fell down on their property. The couple had the wood planked and then left them out in their garage to season.

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