Recessed Wall Shelves


May 14, 2013 by stpaulhaus

Storage is at a premium in houses that are over 100 years old. We have 1 full bath (and another 1/2 bathroom that we already tackled here) in our home so it has to hold pretty much everything that we using for bathing/getting ready for the day in this bath. There has been crap (not literally) everywhere including outside the bathroom in the hall, since we moved in. No Bueno.

As discussed before I stole the idea from Chris and Meryl over at Picardy Project to add a recessed cubby nook thingy to hold all the goods. The space I had was only about 7in wide..small but still plenty of usable space.

I started by cutting a smallish hole in the wall to see what was back there. I actually was doing some investigation for the possibility of getting a larger tub, but alas there was a plumbing vent running directly behind the shower wall. DSC_0020 It would have been an ordeal to move it so the current tub stays for now. After sizing up my options my father actually cut the drywall and some studs with his sawzall to make room for the shelves.

DSC_0017I did decide to make the shelves fairly deep at 16in, more on how I determined that later. After double and triple checking my measurements, I used 1/2 in plywood to build a simple box with 2 stationary shelves. I decided on stationary shelves because I prefer the look to adjustable ones. I was however thinking of making one adjustable shelf for the middle in case we decide we would like a different configuration. I did a dry fit of all the pieces together before priming and painting the components then finally gluing and screwing everything together permanently.




Used our new toy to cut the plywood:

Pretty sweet. tell me you dont want this after watching the promotional video:

We got ours at Menards for $100 bills.

With the box assembled, we jammed it into the opening (some spots were a tight fit) and it was screwed in with trim screws which have small heads that recess easily and can be covered with putty.

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The trim that was added next used the same design we have used for the rest of the trim in the house, including the pass-throughthe living room stair window, and the dining room built-in. image image image image

Then paint and some easy and functional staging with towels, tp and a glass jar from ikea. The towels are folded and rolled which I measured (16in) prior to building the cabinet so it would accommodate the towels perfectly. The bottom fits 4 rolls of tp.

image image image

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I do want to get a small storage container of some sort to put at the back of the top shelf for things that I don’t use that often…I can’t imagine reaching over things to get all the way to the back of a deep shelf with stuff falling over everywhere and getting in the way wouldn’t be a whole lot of fun or at all functional.


I really liked this little project. It turned out a exactly as I had envisioned it would and I love it. So amazing. Do you think?


8 thoughts on “Recessed Wall Shelves

  1. Well done that’s some nice DIY

  2. I happen to think it’s AWESOME! 🙂 Seriously, you guys did a fantastic job with that little space. Good work 🙂

  3. […] Carmen sent me over to St. Paul Haus blog for a quick walk through of how this young couple added some lovely storage in a space that […]

  4. […] ….that matches the cubbies we put in… […]

  5. […] of the bathroom here and here and here (sorry spotty coverage at […]

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