Glass Shelves In Kitchen Cabinets

February 14, 2019


Kitchen Cabinet Glass Shelves are a great way to let the light show through from top to bottom. They will allow your entire cabinet content to be illuminated.

Way, way back in the beginning of 2002, my husband and I were looking for a new house. We had just about grown out of our first cottage and were ready to find something better suited for our growing family.

The goal was to stay in our current neighborhood, close to the beach, but we knew it wouldn't be easy.

The area was perpetually in high demand, so inventory was always low. Families held on to their homes for generations, passing them down, rather than selling. In addition, many of the houses had not been touched since they were built in the 1920's for summer living.

Or worse, they had been badly updated.

It made the prospect of finding our dream home a bit of a challenge, but we were willing to renovate, so that helped. Even though it wasn't his day job, I had a guy who could do just about any type of construction.

The only thing my ridiculously handy husband said to me was, if we find a house with a decent kitchen, we're not renovating just because you don't like the oak cabinets or granite countertops.

What a killjoy.

Now, I'm not a big house kind of girl. I love tiny cottages and I've always said that my own hugs me. I adore cozy. I didn't need a big master bath or a walk in closet. I had no desire to have a dining room or a front foyer. None of those things are me.

However.

I really wanted a charming kitchen. Ironic since I'm not a big chef, I dislike cooking immensely, but I have so many great memories of my grandmother's beautiful kitchen and I wanted the chance to have a room just like that.

It's sad, my siblings and cousins have talked about her house so many times, and while we can all picture it in our heads, none of us can locate a photo. The kitchen was a big room, more like a den than a kitchen, really. There was a sofa and a table, a fridge and a stove. It was a comfortable room where everyone gathered.

The sink and the dishes were all in the butler's pantry. It was a separate small room, off the dining room and kitchen, with glass front cabinets and I thought that was magical. It was completely unlike the any of the homes I knew...or the one I lived in.

Those houses were all 1960's new construction, development homes and not a one with any real charm. Home, yes. Homey, of course, but only because my mom lived there and loved us there, not because the architecture itself was anything special.

So when I walked through the door of this house, past that amazing fireplace, I held my breath as I turned the corner to the kitchen... and exhaled huge when I saw that it was...well, let's just say it needed a little updating.

Perfect.

We got to work on it before we even moved in. I envisioned a warm gathering space with upholstered pieces, a big table and those fabulous glass front cabinets. We had plans drawn up, permits filed and a foundation poured rather quickly and by spring the kitchen was complete.

Of course, I say complete with a caveat. I mean is any room we decorate really ever complete? I'm always tweaking, freshening...moving things around, as my friend Stacey would say, poofing the pillows.

And while I love the seasonal updates, some of the changes I've made recently are things I've wanted to do for years, but just got around to now, like my new sink skirt or my braided rug sizing, or the latest project on my list, adding glass shelves to my kitchen cabinets. Yup. I finally did it.

I should've done this one years ago, but since I was renovating the entire house with toddlers in tow, on a strict budget and during the same months I decided to go back to teaching part-time, I was a bit overwhelmed. Things definitely fell through the cracks.

White and Red Kitchen Decor

I got the part about the glass front cabinet doors right and the part about putting lights inside said cabinets, but since the shelves were wood, the light stopped at the top. It was abrupt and that never looked right to me. I wrote it off at the time to mistakes made that would be fixed. Eventually.

Apparently now is eventually. Well, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas was, but who's counting?

The process was super simple. First I called Kraftmaid and inquired about how much weight the shelves would hold, what kind of clips I would need and how much they'd be. The nice lady on the phone answered all my questions and then told me to contact Home Depot, since that's where I'd ordered my cabinets from, all those years ago.

She told me that I get shelves to fit, but Home Depot would be able to order them for me without shipping charges and since I had the original order sheet, there'd be no guessing about the measurements.

So that's what I did. The next day, I was sitting in the store across from the kitchen rep who was even able to help me find a coupon for 20% off. Love that.

Glass Shelf Clips For Kitchen Cabinets

When the shelves showed up, we removed the old wooden ones, popped the new clips into the predrilled holes and added the glass shelves on top. The difference was dramatic.

Wooden Shelves Vs Glass Shelves

The entire cabinet was now illuminated. My husband and I laughed at the fact that we hadn't done this earlier. It was definitely worth the time, effort and expense.

Lighted Glass Front Kitchen Cabinets

Does it change the way I use the room? Nope. Does it make me like cooking anymore than I did before? Not a chance. Was it really necessary in the grand scheme of things? Again, no. Not even a little bit.

However, I'm not a spendthrift. I don't shop often, a closet full of clothes and new purses don't bring me great joy, neither does lunching out with the ladies several times a month.

But sitting in my home, in my kitchen at night, by the glow of that light is peaceful and enjoyable. It's meditative, and silly or not, it's comforting to me.

Cottage Style Kitchen Decor Ideas

Plus, I figured if I was still thinking about those silly glass shelves a solid fifteen years after the fact, well then, I should just do it.

Farmhouse Kitchen Decor Ideas

Besides, sometimes it's ok to do something simply because it makes you smile.

At least I think so.

And I bet my granny did, too.

How about you?


































45 comments:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day Kim. I love your kitchen it is so pretty and I am with you on a tiny house or cottage. I love that I use all my rooms and they do not stay empty and not used. Have a great day and evening.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I agree, I love that we live in all our rooms. As it is, I hardly ever go into the living room. I have to do that more often. Happy Valentine's Day!!

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  2. Hi Kim, yes sometimes it's just not the right time to do things in your house or have the time to do them. It was great that you did this little update to the kitchen cabinets. You kitchen looks so bright and cheery.
    Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day.
    Julie xo

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    1. It feels bright and cheery now, Julie..even at night! Happy Valentine's Day!! xo

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  3. I would have loved to have seen your grandmother's kitchen. It sounds special. Love the look of the glass shelves.

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    1. Penny, we found a recent real estate listing for it and as expected, they modernized!! And not in a good way. They tore out the butler's pantry and all that fabulous cabinetry 😩...Oh well, at least I have the memories.

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  4. What a difference those glass shelves make in your already awesome kitchen, Kim!!! Love, love, love!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Debbie. I know you get it...the warmth of the lights at night. I see it in your own home, so cozy.

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  5. Looks beautiful and who wouldn't more light! I Like it! Happy Valentine's Day !!

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    1. Thank you, Angela, I totally agree. And as I write this to you it just dawned on me that it is after 5pm and still light outside my window!! The days are getting lighter…how wonderful! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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  6. I love it and you are right- you should have done it years ago. lol
    In our last house (the one we just sold) I had a bank of cabinets built with glass shelves and they were open to one side of the kitchen and the other side to the great room. They looked beautiful all light up in the evening and night.

    We are in the process of looking for something smaller and cozier and, like you, I want a great kitchen and I do like to bake--although I am not eating it anymore.

    Have a Happy Valentine's Day- xo Diana

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    1. Diana, we do love cozy and I know you will, too. A big kitchen is the key, that’s where everyone gathers anyway, as you well know. And for some reason, I’ve been baking more lately, but eating it, too. Bad, bad, bad!! Send some of your willpower my way, please!

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  7. I agree - and it makes a huge difference!

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  8. Kim, success, I'm able to leave a comment here. I didn't do anything to fix it so maybe Blogger fixed it for me? But as I told you in my email, I am amazed at the difference the glass shelves make in your cabinets! And I love the way you've arranged your white dishes so simply. I'm sure your directions on accomplishing this will give others the courage to try it too.

    Thanks, sweet friend for trying to help me with my blogging problems!

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    1. Oh Dewena, I’m thrilled! I hope it sticks. And thank you, I really do love the way the light looks in the kitchen now. Of course, my husband decided that he had to change all the lights inside to be more energy efficient. But that’s a post for another day! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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  9. I like it! A kitchen re do is coming in the near future at this house. It is the last room to do in our This Old House project. Thank you for the ideas.
    Carla

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    1. Oh…how exciting, Carla! The kitchen is a fun room to play in. I just know your old house is charming, cozy and warm. I do hope you’ll share a glimpse of the kitchen when it’s done. Enjoy that snow!

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  10. Love your glass shelves...in fact, I love EVERYTHING about your kitchen:) Especially the touches of RED because RED is "my" color. My kitchen is painted yellow and I use red, blue & yellow accents. My kitchen is very large and I love it...my favorite room in our farmhouse style home. I am about ready to do some updates though but still trying to decide what I want. My thought is if you gotta cook you might as well enjoy the room you're cooking in:)

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheri! Aren't you the sweetest! I don't know when it happened but I fell in love with red decor years ago, and my passion for it just doesn't seem to end. I know that a lot people have moved away from color to more neutral tones, but I adore drama in my decorating and a good punch of color. I can't wait to see what you do in your own kitchen, let the fun begin!

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  11. I know that I have said this many times before, but, I love, love, love your kitchen. I am sure that it is the heart of your home. It is 'perfect' ... so warm, cosy and so very welcoming. Blessings & Hugs

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    1. Teri, you are super kind, thank you for your sweet words. I have to admit that it is the heart of our home. It's also the largest room in the house, by far...so when we all want to gather, this is the place!! Enjoy the weekend and stay warm. Hugs to you!

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    1. Thanks Melanie! Home Depot...they were a great purchase.

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  13. I'm so glad you finally got the glass shelves you wanted, Kim. They look beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Ann! I really waited too long to do it...what a difference!

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  14. What a huge difference those little glass shelves make! I absolutely agree with you Kim, you should do some things because they make you smile. After all those positive chemicals coursing through your body do a world of good.

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    1. Totally agree, Mary! Smiling is wonderful...especially when it's done in the kitchen!

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  15. Love the glass shelf idea! And love the curtain under your farm sink. I have the same sink, maybe it's time to take out the doors under it and replace with a nice farm pattern curtain.

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen Ann! I have to say those glass shelves look great with the lights now, especially when they’re dimmed. And I highly recommend the curtain. I love it…and I didn’t remove the doors. I wanted them to open, but the idea would certainly work as well with a tension rod. 😊

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  16. Oh my gosh that made such a big difference! I love light and bright! It really looks amazing, your kitchen is gorgeous Kim!

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I have to say, I'm really enjoying the new "light" view.

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  17. An absolutely charming kitchen. I love the updated shelves. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  18. Kim, I absolutely loved this post. Your transformation of your whole cottage is wonderful and charming. You certainly took the best features and built on them. Your cottage is the home of my dreams from way back. I, too, would sit in my rooms (I couldn't wait until the rest of the family was in bed with lights out) so I could just dream about what I had done and what was yet to come. I still do that now. I love that you put glass shelving in your cupboards. It makes it all shine. I enjoyed looking back at what you did even though I had seen it before. I remember you told how you took the table in the kitchen and made it into an island and I am curious again. I need to gain some space in my kitchen and that is a great idea, but I can't remember what you said. Would you mind repeating it some time? You have created a warm and charming home and I just love it..Happy Sunday..xxoJudy

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    1. Thank you, Judy, so many lovely words! I have to say, I don't get as much time in the kitchen to sit and stare at the pretty as I used to. The house is pretty full and the kids stay up later than me now. Sometimes, I do kick them out though...everybody out! xoxo

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  19. Kim, I love the glass shelves! And that soft light would get me every time. I dislike harsh overhead lights and prefer softer, more subtle lighting, especially at night. It makes the dirty dishes piled in the sink look so much nicer. Your cabinets are so pretty and the glass shelves and lighting showcase them perfectly! Also seems to make your red pop more! Love and hugs!

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    1. Thanks Benita, I have to say, I really do love them. There's something about that light at night...especially when it's dimmed! Hugs!

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  20. Your kitchen is just perfect Kim. I'm amazed at the difference the light moving through all the glass shelves make and how easy it was to change. I can picture all the happy family gatherings happening right there, with someone else cooking up a storm hopefully :D I'm not a big fan of cooking either BTW. Give me a hammer and a drill and I'm happy. A spatula just doesn't cut it for me.

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    1. Nope, I'm not a spatula girl by choice, Michelle. I'm happier with a paint brush or a needle and thread. I do like to sit in that room though, it is pretty, if I do say so myself!

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  21. Isn't that wonderful to get such an incredible dramatic change with a few simple changes! I love how the light in your cabinets really did make a difference without the wood shelves, it was amazing to see! Your kitchen is truly a gem, and I love how you style your countertops too, all of it looks so charming and cozy, definitely your kitchen surely has the charm and joy that your grandma's kitchen did, in a different style, but loved nonetheless! Blessings to you :)

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn. I have to say it really is my favorite room in the house. Blessings!!

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  22. Wow what a difference in the picture with one cabinet done and one not yet done. Very nice.

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    1. Thanks Lorri! And thank you for all the sweet comments.

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  23. This is such a timely topic for me Kim. (We won’t mention I’m a few weeks late reading it). You may have seen my IG story and the glass panels I’m making? I want to put glass shelves in, but the one issue is we don’t have lights hardwired on top. We can always put in LED battery lights but then we have to use a step stool to turn them on ��. What’s a girl to do?!

    Question: how thick are your shelves?

    xxx

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