Apologies for the short hiatus – I got distracted by the Olympics, a few technical difficulties, and a marathon Ikea build – but we’re back! And this week I’m finally sharing our first project in our new place.
Since we moved in with only a refrigerator and a mattress, having a place to sit and eat was a top priority of ours. And of course, I love having company while I cook in the kitchen, so we decided that having a bar was the perfect solution. I took my inspiration from Tiffany over at Offbeat and Inspired. Hers is even over a window – so lovely!
This was our first project in our new home, and let’s just say there was a steep learning curve. After no less than 5 trips to Bauhaus (Germany’s Home Depot), including one at 8 o’clock on a Saturday night, and quite a few mistakes, we finally did it! And we’re so happy with the result. Check out how we did it below!
On a side note: we also used chalkboard wallpaper on the wall behind the bar. Since we’re in a rental, we used a removable, stick-on paper which we found on Amazon – there are so many to choose from. It comes in a roll, like contact paper and can easily be cut to size. Also – our walls are covered in textured wallpaper and it sticks and writes just fine!
It’s such a fun and easy addition and really adds dimension to the space.
What you need will differ slightly depending on what you decide to do, but in general this is what is needed.
- A piece of wood cut to the appropriate size. You can find great, cheap wood options at any hardware store, and depending on the kind of wood, they’ll usually even cut it to size for you right there. We really wanted a live edge which made things a little more challenging, so we ended up ordering ours from a great place called Die Holz Manufaktur 24 here in Germany. Also, don’t forget to sand and treat your wood if you do this part on your own!
- 2-3 Shelf Brackets. The brackets should be at least 2/3 the width of your piece of wood on the shorter end (which is what attaches to the bar; the longer side attaches to the wall).
- A Stud Finder. I think most new models also detect for electrical and metal, which I recommend, especially in older buildings.
- A Ruler
- Long Screws and Wall Anchors. The length and type of these will vary depending on the size of your bar or shelf, and the material of the wall you’re drilling into. I highly recommend talking to someone at your local hardware store if you’re unsure.
- Shorter wood screws. Again, consult your local hardware store for the right size and type.
- A Level
- An Impact Drill. Yet again, we consulted our local hardware store heavily here to make sure we had the appropriate type of drill bit. This varies depending on the wall material so make sure you get the right one!
- Determine how high you want the bar to be and mark it. (This is even easier if you’ve put up chalkboard wallpaper). Then determine where the brackets will go and mark where the screws need to go. A ruler can come in handy here to make sure everything is even and level on both sides. You can also do one bracket at a time, but if your wood is very heavy, like ours this becomes a little more difficult.
- Use your stud finder to make sure the area where you want to drill is a good place, either on a stud if necessary, or clear of electrical and/or plumbing.
- Use tape the mark the screw length on your drill bit, so you don’t drill in too far. Then drill into the wall where you’ve marked it.
- Insert the anchors first, then mount the brackets with the corresponding screws.
- Once the brackets are up, lay the wood across the brackets and check that everything is level. Most brackets will provide a little bit of wiggle room to move them up or down in case something is off. Adjust accordingly, if needed.
- Determine where you want to wood to sit on the brackets, and mark when the screws need to go into the wood.
- Depending on the type of wood you’re using, you may need to pre-drill holes before you can attach the wood to the brackets.
- Using the wood screws, attach the wood to the brackets.
And voila! You now have a beautiful, functional wall-mounted bar!
This seems like a very straightforward and easy process, and after writing it out, I can’t believe how long it took us to complete this. I will say, however, that this was our first construction project ever and we had no idea what we were doing. We chose a huge piece of heavy wood, and that complicated things a bit. Either way, the biggest takeaway of the project would be this: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As I mentioned, we went to Bauhaus literally 5 times for this project, and talked to at least as many employees there about what we were doing. If at any point, something isn’t going right, just ask someone. There’s definitely a solution and it’s totally doable!
For example, we thought our walls were concrete, based on what we’d seen during an unfortunate remodeling accident next door. However, once we started drilling we realized there was brick behind the concrete, taking us back to Bauhaus to find a new drill bit.
In the end, you can definitely make it happen, with just a little persistence and some professional help 🙂
I hope this is helpful to someone out there. I’d love to hear what you think! These same instructions can be used for shelving as well – and we’ll be making use of them again soon in our kitchen.
Stay tuned for another DIY soon!