Friday, January 25, 2019

The French Cleat System updated

Remember way back when - you know, long, long ago - when we put up the French Cleat System in the kitchen?  Well, we finally (finally!) made the little shelves that actually go on the darn thing. Took a while to decide what I wanted, to fit something non-essential into the project list, and to just get it done.

And I'm so happy with how it turned out.
Functional and decorative - woot!
There are shelves for supplies, recipe boxes, and a basket for printed recipes that I'm about to try. The little metal recipe box is from my Grandma and has lots of family recipe cards in it. The larger green metal box is more current and is full of 4x6 cards that I've filled with recipes I truly use. Nothing in these boxes that isn't actually made on a regular basis.
Easily reached recipes
I also wanted a box for organizing my cookbook recipes. I hate not being able to find a recipe I know I own...somewhere, in some book, maybe. So Chris built me a box that I'm using as a card catalog. Just the recipe name, cookbook title, page number, and any notes I think relevant. This way I don't have to write down the full recipe - cause why do that if I own the cookbook?  
Cherry custom box
I've also got some decorative items up there. Butter paddles that my Mom gave me before she died and a pretty blue enamelware ladle from her too. The carved wooden butcher we picked up when we lived in Poland back in 1996/97. Chris added a cleat to his back and now he has a special spot off the counter.
The cleat (and cleaver)
I asked for a cookbook rest so I could showcase what book I'm using that month. I culled quite a few of my cookbooks back in the "recipe a week" resolution period but I probably definitely need to get rid of more. So I'm looking to cook from a book a month to see if there are enough recipes to keep it or just get it from the library from now on.  
This one is a keeper
And this is the book rest. I didn't want it to function as a holder-opener (what else would you call that kind of thing?) since I don't use this counter for cooking that often. I just wanted something to show the front and this works great.
Maple with walnut accent
This is the cleat for the book rest. They look a bit clunky from the side, but on the wall, that all disappears and they do a great job of showcasing the items on them.
The cleat
I've still got room on the wall if I want to add more stuff, but for now I'm happy with the spacing and function. Everything I use regularly is in easy reach and stuff that used to take up cabinet or drawer space (I'm looking at you antique meat grinders) are now out and visible.


  1. Well done! That's a great system and very attractive. I love how easy it will be to change things in and out. May keep this idea for our next kitchen.

    1. So far I'm finding it extremely functional. Many things in easy reach yet up off my counters and windowsills. In case you decide to try it, Chris used an angle of 31.6 degrees on the bevels - not as crazy as it sounds since it's a standard roof pitch angle lock on the miter saw.