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lathe and plaster walls - attaching shelves

Hello, I'm new to this site, and I'm hoping somebody can help me...

We live in an old apartment building with lathe and plaster walls. I would like to install shelves or at the very least, a counter-top hutch anchored to the wall, with room below for appliances, but I don't know anything about attaching shelves or cabinetry to lathe and plaster walls.

The space I have is 57" tall (from counter-top to ceiling), and about 34" wide. I would like 4 shelves, the first at least 20" above the counter so that I can have my appliances below the shelves or hutch, and at least 10-5/8" deep to store dishes on.

We will be doing the construction ourselves, but have only basic tools (e.g., drill and hammer), and plan to have the wood cut to size at Home Depot, so we can't do anything too fancy.

So, in a nutshell, my questions are (1) how do I attach shelves or cabinetry to lathe and plaster walls (I will be storing dishes and pottery - so they need to hold up under a heavy load), and (2) does anybody know of a good resource for plans for a countertop hutch or attractive (but simple) shelves?

Thanks very much in advance for your help!


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