How to Fix Pottery Barn Holman Shelf

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Yesterday was rough on the colitis front, but I started to feel a little bit better in the late afternoon, so Mal and I tackled a few projects that we’ve been meaning to do for awhile now. Even though I can’t take part in all of my usual daily activities, I’m thankful I’m able to function at a relatively normal level (whatever “normal” means).

Project #1: Taxes

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Taxes are always an adventure with my job. I only had twelve 1099s this year (down from seventeen last year), so getting everything together and organized didn’t take us all that long. I’m glad we just forced ourself to do them and didn’t put them off any longer.

Back in the day, Mal and I used to do our taxes ourselves, but it got too confusing (and time-consuming) with all of my different sources of income, business expenses, taxes, owning a home, etc., so now we’d just rather pay someone to do the work for us. I know we could learn how to do all of this stuff ourselves, but we’re both worried about screwing things up and getting busted by the government. I guess we’d rather shell out the money to have the peace of mind knowing that our taxes our done correctly.

Project #2: Hanging a (piece-of-crap) shelf

One of my big goals for 2012 was to redo my home office since it stressed me out. (It had too much going on in it.) Since early January, I’ve slowly but surely made progress in my office, and one of the final parts was hanging a shelf that I bought from Pottery Barn a few weeks ago.

Mal and I are pretty handy around the house (more him than me, but still), so I thought hanging this shelf would be a piece of cake.

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I mean, it came with almost everything we needed to hang it””even a mini level. How cute is that thing?

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The first step seemed easy enough: find the studs in the wall and mount the bracket to attach to the shelf. No biggie. It took us five minutes.

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Well”¦ once we got the bracket mounted, we couldn’t get the shelf to hang on it. The bracket wasn’t flush with the surface at the back of the shelf, which meant that the bracket inside was too far away for the shelf to click together and hang properly. We got the shelf to partially fit, but as soon as we put any weight on it, it would fall. It was super frustrating, and Mal and I were about to lose our minds trying to make it work.

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Eventually, I went to the internet to find a solution. Thankfully, Pottery Barn has customer reviews on their website, and I saw that a number of other people had the same issue. The reviews suggested putting washers behind the mounting bracket to create more space between it and the wall, so it could reach the shelf.

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Moment of truth”¦

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It worked! Thank goodness! Mal and I were at our wit’s end with that piece-of-crap shelf!

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Question of the Day

What project have you been putting off for ages now?

P.S. Check out my Tortilla-Crusted Broccoli and Feta Quiche on!



  1. I have a Master’s Degree that once hung in a lovely frame. The frame broke and now my degree is sitting in a pile of papers on my desk – getting wrinkled. I’m paranoid that I’m going to spill something on it, and yet I haven’t bought a new frame for it. Add to that my husband’s college degree is still in the envelope. I’d really like to get both of these things on the wall. I mean, we’re proud of the work we put in to earn those pieces of paper – and they were pretty expensive too!!

  2. Pingback: My Home Office
  3. Seriously- thank you for posting this. My poor husband has spent the better part of the day trying to install these shelves! I tried to find the reviews for this product on the Pottery Barn website and could not find any (weird huh?). Thank you for posting this! We were about to take the blasted things off the wall and send them back. You totally saved the day!!

  4. today is our anniversary and I had gotten 2 ledges from PB and husband was going to hang for me. Scratched the wall, scratched the shelf, couldn’t get it to work. thank you for the tip. I first looked at video and showed husband how it just clicks in place,,,hahaha he wasn’t impressed. thank you so much for tip…
    husband just yelled aat me to come look…SUCCESS!

  5. Wow!!! You are not kidding! We watched the video on PB….easy right? My husband is about to stroke out! Same issue as you both had! So he is putting up the washers now…..fingers crossed…and thanks! Piece of crap is right!

  6. I thank you. My husband thanks you. My friend with the swollen toe from the Holman shelf falling on it thanks you. Pottery Barn should be forced to label these shelves as a piece of crap. This was such a frustrating experience. I would use your suggestion to hang it, but the last time it fell off the wall, it cracked! Expensive crap is now going in the trash. Wish I’d found your website first…

  7. I, too, was fooled by the ease of installation video for the Holman shelf. After contemplating the best way to smash the sh$%&y shelf into smithereens, I decided to consult the google. I found your blog. Now the shelf is alive and well and in one piece, firmly affixed to the wall.
    Washers, man. Sanity saver. Thank you!

  8. Tina and Mal, we got into trouble mounting the shelves for similar reasons, but the wall we were mounting on was also not flat… the right side was a full half inch further back from the left side of the shelf. So, we put in two washers on each of the two left side screws, three on the third and fully five on the fourth! It worked magnificently after thinking we were going to return the shelves. Thank you for the suggestions and for the help!

  9. Tina, your suggestion to use washers completely changed the mood in our house! We were ready to trash the shelf in frustration. But the washers worked on the first try! Didn’t even know we had washers nor how to use them so you can imagine how “handy” we are. Thank you!

  10. Thank you! I spent way too much time spinning my wheels before finding your post. The washers worked like a charm!

  11. Thank you for this! My husband and I spent the better part of a night trying to hang these shelves and almost had a meltdown because we could not get the @*#&$* shelves to slide down over the brackets. Screwing the brackets in was pretty easy and the lady in the PB installation videos made the installation process look like a piece of cake, so we were feeling kind of dumb for not being able to install them. I’m glad we are not the only ones! I’m going to buy some washers as soon as the hardware store opens tomorrow and give it a try.

  12. Hi! I just came across your post, are your shelves still up? I bought these and I am about to have an aneurysm out of frustration.

  13. Thanks so much for this advice!
    BTW – do you think a flat screen can be supported by the Holman Shelf? The depth is good and the width matches the width of the Holman I have, Probably about 35 lbs at the most.

    Thanks again!

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