Shelf Lust & Random Musings

June 25, 2009

Don’t worry, I’m not going to wax on about PB and I know these ladder-esque shelving units have been around forever so I’m certainly not trying to call out some new trend, but I can’t take my eyes off of this shelf and how badly I want it for my kitchen. Only one though, not 3 or 5 or 100. One will do.

Shelf Lust & Random Musings

Shelf Lust & Random Musings

And yes please Pottery Barn people, I’ll take the baskets along the bottom because even though I’m not basket obsessed I definitely like a few in the right place for the texture and this is indeed the right place. I imagine glass bottles of juice and water concealed inside, golden shiny lids and pretty labels peeking from the top. And of course I want to stack loads of white dishware and other miscellany on them because well, it’s the simple pleasures in life and white pottery is just so delish. And the wine rack in the natural wood, that’s a nice touch and I think they sell those for like .05 at IKEA.

White dishware is a huge trend right now, have you noticed? It dominates most store displays and magazines. I think it’s due to all the foodies and this huge trend wave of chefs and chef-owned this and chef-owned that. Whoever told their kid that growing up to become a cook was stupid and they should get into stocks just may be regretting that advice these days. Foodies abound in every shape and form from shop owners obsessed with strainers to food photographers, books, celeb owned restaurants, you name it… and it’s only growing. Who ever thought you’d hear the word “celebrity” and “chef” in the same sentence? That time is now and I say it’s about time because a good chef is the bomb.

I went to the bookstore recently and found about 5 new magazines devoted to cooking. And of course, the naked chef Jamie Oliver is the male Martha Stewart abroad and I’m guessing he is America-bound to conquer and dominate over here too because I’m starting to see his face everywhere and it’s great. My local Barnes & Noble has a monster size section devoted to cookbooks. It makes the interior design section look like a joke – we have about 3 aisles of cookbooks vs. the one aisle for home decorating and architecture. And speaking of books, Stephanie Meyer started some kind of vampire trend. Sheesh. Every single teen book (even tween) out there right now is about some teen angst/vampire drama. I can’t wait to see the next Twilight though, so I’m on the bandwagon with the best of ’em. I guess when it comes to trends, when it rains it pours!

The food culture is a huge “trend” thing right now along with kitchen gadgets and food shows. I imagine it’s due to all the staycations Americans are taking, and I imagine other cultures feeling the economic crunch are staying in and dining out less too. Then of course there is that film that just released, Food Inc. which I’d like to see on one hand but I’m terrified on the other because I hate the mistreatment of cutie animals and may just cry my eyes out. I’m so sensitive to things like that. Have you watched it? What are your thoughts? I think it’s really important that as a culture we are better educated because only through knowledge and passion can change occur, so I’ll go see it before I move and have a good cry. I know once I do I will most likely make a lot of changes in my own diet. It will also make me more aware of how food is handled and processed before it lands on my plate and being a research nut I will look into how German farms handle their animals and overall production of goods. I heard that in Germany things are pretty strict and food is of much better quality than in most other western countries, so we’ll see. All I know is that when I am there and have yogurt I nearly fall off my chair because something that amazing without the words REALLY BAD FOR YOU on the container can’t possibly be healthy. But it is.

Now back to decorating and kitchens. When it comes to the kitchen I’d say this look about nails my style. My style if I had $100,000 to renovate a kitchen that is. So for now we’ll keep the lust list attainable with an inexpensive spruce up, namely one Pottery Barn Studio Wall shelf in white. I could even go wild and paint each shelf light gray for a little contrast action — oooo wild times!

Seeing all those flags reminds me that July 4th is right around the corner. Where is the year going? Is it just me or what?

(images: pottery barn)


  • Reply Emmy June 25, 2009 at 2:25 am

    I love those shelves. Over in the Netherlands we have a similar affordable version available from Praxis and I am planning on getting at least one. I was thinking of it for the lounge with books on but now I’m wondering how many I can squeeze into the kitchen – oh dear…

  • Reply Megan June 25, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Ok so this is my first time commenting- I always read and never comment! So sorry if I am doing this wrong :/ I have to say, that shelving unit is so cute! I’m moving into a small apartment in August and that would actually work out great in my space! I should head over to Pottery Barn… Oh and the Barnes & Noble here also has a tiny section for Interior Design and Architecture books but a huge selection of cook books. Did you see that they also sell Paula Dean cookware?

  • Reply jebcat June 25, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Hi Holly,
    I also adore those shelves, but alas I have looked for them all over Germany and they are hard to find here. If you plan to get one for your kitchen in Hannover it would probably be the best to ship it over from the US.
    And if you know of a source for the shelves in Germany please let me know!

  • Reply Vee June 25, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Love the shelving it reminds me of cute country French houses there is something nice about displaying cutlery and crockery

  • Reply carol June 25, 2009 at 5:05 am

    yes… I could see ONE of those shelves doing nicely.
    more than one looks a bit retail!

    I have & like white dishes mainly because food looks good against white.
    adding some pops of color in items on the shelf would be nice though!

  • Reply sarah June 25, 2009 at 5:37 am

    hmmm is Jamie only just America bound?, so soooo past ‘The Naked Chef’ title those late 90s days are the originals and the goodies but his journey which us Brits have been with for the last ten years is far moved on from those early books…I’m sure you’ve heard of how he revolutionised English ‘school dinners’

    oh and love the shelves and yep I have basked obsession and I love it
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..Getting Nautical – Beach Cottage Trunk and Apartment Therapy =-.

  • Reply sarah June 25, 2009 at 5:39 am

    oh and Nigel Slater rocks alongside Jamie
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..Getting Nautical – Beach Cottage Trunk and Apartment Therapy =-.

  • Reply kellie June 25, 2009 at 6:08 am

    I know what you are saying about the bookstores ~ looking for some inspiration lately, I went into my local bookstores to check out some decor/home books. There was slim to none pickings. But plenty of cooking and gardening. I was a little stunned. And here I was thinking we were nesting in the GFC.

  • Reply Victoria (Everman) Klein June 25, 2009 at 6:50 am

    I haven’t seen Food Inc. yet but I REALLY want to. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made its way to Connecticut theaters … when it does (or it comes out on DVD), I’ll be there!

    Open shelving is always my first choice – I don’t even like traditional, door-covered cabinets in kitchens. It feels so impersonal.

  • Reply Kathi June 25, 2009 at 7:04 am

    This post just made my morning! And even tho I’ve seen these shelves many times, I just realized it would be perfect for a blank spot that I have been waiting to fill with just the right thing. I love this look- no surprise since it is all white, my favorite thing! Thanks Holly, and I am so glad that things are going more smoothly now.

  • Reply Rachel June 25, 2009 at 7:07 am

    white shelves, white bookcases, white dishware – there’s something so divine about them! i can’t help but love them!

  • Reply Brandi June 25, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I LOVE that second picture. I want those shelves in my home… Sigh. Perhaps one day when I’m no longer a graduate student living on a tight budget. And I do like the white dishware — I think the best thing about that is that you can buy different types of white pieces and mix them and match them for a really eclectic collection. I’m also quite glad you pointed me in the direction of Food Inc. – I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch it, but I definitely agree that we should know more about where our food comes from.

  • Reply cara June 25, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Hahaha, can I just say, I *love* this rambling! For reals on Jamie Oliver — I thought he was big in the early 2000’s here, and then maybe he & Food Network couldn’t work a deal? B/c then he disappeared — but I can imagine he’s totally the male MS abroad! Wonder if he’ll duke it out with Rachel Ray for the new up-and-coming MS in the States (though, okay, I don’t think of her + weddings & crafts exactly — but she’s got mags + a talk show! a-hem). And I know this is too long to be a comment, bordering on me thinking I’m having a conversation with you :D — but yeah, on Stephenie Meyer! I’m *so* a fan — but kinda like Harry Potter spawned all those wizardry books, now there’s the vampires — so I wonder what’s next, right? Hmm, maybe I can start something :D…. Thanks for the morning chat ;)

  • Reply Tina in Boston June 25, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Hi Holly!

    It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I wanted to say that I have been a fan of PB White (Pottery Barn’s staple dishware) for years – 16 to be exact. It was the first I bought when I moved to Boston. Three years ago, I was having a group of relatives come and stay so I needed to fill out my collection and PB White was still there. There are slight changes in the design, but they are still the same. Food always looks good on a fresh, white plate or bowl. I’ve been figuring out how to update my kitchen space. Maybe these shelves are the way to go. And I love baskets, by the way! :D

    We tend to spend Independence Day out of the country. How’s that for patriotism? You know it’s a big deal in Boston. I’ve spent many years at the Hatch Shell listening to the Pops, so now we go to Montreal! Mostly because we get an extra vacation day to sneak away.

    I have not yet seen Food, Inc. I did read the book Fast Food Nation, and stayed away from fast food for a long time after that. I quit eating all animal product (no meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, butter, etc. — since April), so seeing Food, Inc won’t be a bad thing for me. It will strengthen my resolve, I’m sure. I quit eating veal many years ago when I found out it was from baby cows. I imagine once you see how the animals are treated, you will not want to eat them. If I were still eating meat, I suppose I’d try to get it from a local farm and not a mass meat processing plant.

  • Reply Colleen in MA June 25, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Your observation about the number of shelves devoted to cooking is spot on. I work for a book publisher as a designer. Just a few years ago our editorial department had sworn off doing cookbooks again. But we have almost a dozen cookbooks on our list right now – all with the saving money while cooking at home angle. And yes – we also have vampire books on our list too!

  • Reply Kim June 25, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Those shelves are too perfect! Do you know where I could get similar ones for less?

  • Reply Cindy June 25, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I love the baskets on the bottom. I think I need to buy me some more baskets. Hehe.

  • Reply Sandra@Botanys June 25, 2009 at 9:10 am

    This brings back some funny memories. When I first opened up my shop 6 years ago with no budget to speak of. I saw these shelves in Pottery Barns catalog and really wanted them. So instead my husband built me 4 of them. My husbands woodworking skills at the time was some what limited as far a making large pieces but I was desperate. A year later when I moved to a bigger location and I had a bigger budget I sold them to my building landlord.

    6 years later he is a master at making beautiful and unique furniture for my shop and it all began with his attempt to make me happy with my own version of Pottery barn shelves.

  • Reply decor8 June 25, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Jebcat – I found one for you in Germany! :)

    It’s not EXACT but pretty close AND you could always paint it though I really like this one too and it’s a decent price I think, € 99,00.


  • Reply Jenna June 25, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I thought Food Inc was okay – but just okay. I’ve read a lot of books that say the same thing (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Politics, Fast Food Nation), and I felt like the movie really didn’t say anything new. Also, while I think the food industry is flawed, I don’t think that it’s “evil,” and the movie really takes the stance that their practices are “evil.” That kind of black and white thinking bothers me, and I don’t think it gets us anywhere in the end. It also makes for a one-note documentary, which I got tired of by the end of the movie. Granted, if Food Inc helps us achieve real policy change around our food then more power to it, and it’s a big reason why I’m going to the farmer’s market this weekend.

    I wrote up a whole post about Food Inc on my blog, that goes into greater detail: http://moderndomestic.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/should-you-see-food-inc-eh-i-guess-so/

    • Reply decor8 June 25, 2009 at 10:17 am

      Jenna your perspective is really helpful. I saw the trailer and it appeared to be a little dark which is why I’ve been a bit reluctant to see it. I’ll read about your thoughts on your blog, thank you for the link. :)

  • Reply Michelle June 25, 2009 at 11:11 am

    These shelves are wonderful. They might be just what I’m looking for to pull my kitchen/living room/dining area together. Oh, the joys of apartment living.

  • Reply Gilby June 25, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I’m too accident-prone to wear white clothes or use white table linens, but dishes are one place I can have white! I can add in color with the table linens & serving pieces. And mixing & matching white dishes works well, so if I break stuff (and I will break stuff!) I won’t have to hunt down the right pattern.

  • Reply Tatyana June 25, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I really liked the two shows Jamie Oliver did for TLC about bringing healthy foods to schools and helping underachieving students learn a trade (become chefs). They were really inspiring.
    As for Food, Inc. (not playing in my town, will have to wait for the DVD) – if you are interested in food related documentaries you should check out Our Daily Bread. It’s German but it’s mostly just video and no commentary. Not necessarily about how bad our food is just about how global and factory- like, clinical if you will, the food processing is… it was pretty interesting.
    And lastly, I think JC Penney had those shelves for less… at least they did last year… not sure if they are still available… and not sure about their quality. I considered getting them but got the IKEA EXPEDIT instead.

  • Reply Tatyana June 25, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Here is the link to JC Penney’s shelves… ON SALE… but they don’t come in white.

  • Reply simply hue June 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I definitely agree with you about the white pottery/glassware, Holly. It’s beautiful and practical to own white dishware because if you change your kitchen’s color scheme you can keep your dishes. :) Beautiful photos!

  • Reply Megan June 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    C&B makes a similar bookshelf for a little more than 1/2 the price of the PB one–we have it in Lila’s nursery. I LOVE it. We have black ones in our living room, but the white…the white just rocks. We also registered for white dishes for our wedding a couple of years ago, I just love the simplicity of it. That’s all we use. :-) (And YES to the poster who mentioned the practicality!)

  • Reply Kristy July 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I am also addicted to the white dishes. We are getting ready to build and I have been picking up odds and ends to fill open cabinetry shelves, but now I really think i need some of those as well.
    .-= Kristy´s last blog ..Kitchen: Lews Hardware Glass Cup Pulls Collection =-.

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up