9 Expert Tips To Choose Wall & Display Shelves

Wall and display shelves are some of the most functional and versatile design pieces that make a world of difference; you wouldn’t think flat, horizontal surfaces could do so much – but they do.

Not only do shelves give you a place to store precious items, they can also add to your interior décor, offering an aesthetic appeal all their own. Below, we provide 10 expert tips for choosing shelves that look great in any space!

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How to place shelves in the living room?

If your TV is sitting on a sturdy table, you probably have some space on the wall right above it. Floating display shelves fit great in this area, as they draw your eyes upward and offer an appeal beyond the screen. If you’re a bookworm, you may enjoy color-coding your books on the shelf to add a neat, organized appearance. Or, you could use the shelves to hold some of your favorite house plants and mementos. For a set of standing shelves, like those within a bookcase, you can choose a theme: color palettes and related objects are great for creating a sense of unity.

Antiqued Gold Metal Iron Novelty Three Piece Wall Shelf Set
Silver Mirrored Glass Rectangle Three Piece Floating Wall Shelf Set
Gray Black Metal Manufactured Wood Tiered Wall Shelf
Rustic Shabby White Pine Solid Wood Floating Shelf
White Rectangle Plastic Floating Shelf
Industrial Pipe Round Metal And Wood Wall Shelf
Natural Solid Wood Iron Diamond Wall Shelf
Espresso Manufactured Wood Square Wall Shelf

How to choose shelves that help in the kitchen?

If you need a little more storing room and want to add a design element that doesn’t take up precious counter space, shelves are your answer. You can place shelves between cabinets or any open space on a kitchen wall. Here, you can let your dishes strut their stuff – some of your most beautiful dishes and glasses deserve a stage!

To keep from ever having an empty shelf, keep a rotation going and don’t forget to bring out seasonal items to keep the space feeling fresh and new. In keeping with the functionality of shelves, opt for pieces that come with hooks – here you can hang kitchen utensils, your favorite oven mitt, or a colorful set of coffee mugs.

Live-edge shelves are an amazing choice for a plain kitchen that calls for some rustic charm and an eye-catching decorative element. A perfect combination of function & style!

How to select wall shelf materials?

  • Wood shelves are super sturdy, even in their different varieties. Harder woods are more scratch-resistant but properly treated softer woods are just as durable.
  • Metal shelves are great for moist environments, as they are resistant to the growth of fungus and they also tend to be the most affordable.
  • Glass shelves are heavy, and of course breakable, but they complement a contemporary aesthetic very well.
  • Plywood is great because it is unlikely to sag – it just requires some edge veneer or molding to disguise the melding of different woods.
Pine Solid Wood Rectangle Three Tiered Floating Wall Shelf And Towel Bar
White Manufactured Wood Ladder Tiered Wall Shelf
White Pine Solid Wood Rectangle Two Piece Floating Wall Shelf Set And Towel Bar
Black Manufactured Wood Rectangle Two Piece Floating Shelf Set
Black Brown Pine Solid Wood Rectangle Industrial Pipe Accent Wall Shelf
Natural Fir Wood And Metal Hooks Rectangle Tiered Floating Wall Shelf
Brown Paulownia Wood Metal Rectangle Three Piece Floating Shelf Set
White Manufactured Wood Two Piece Corner Wall Shelf Set

How to spruce the laundry room with shelves?

Laundry rooms do well with added shelf space because they help you keep a tidy floor. If your laundry room lacks color, use floating shelves or a floor shelving unit to bring a touch of color into the space. Shelves with drying racks help you tend to delicate items before throwing the rest of your clothes into the dryer. A shelf that has an accordion drying rack along with some hooks helps you store detergent, dry your delicates, and hang your laundry bag all in one. Choose calming colors, like blues and pastels, to help you destress while you take care of your house chores.

How to choose a unique shelf style?

If you’re looking to add shelves to an eclectic environment, you probably don’t want to settle for a plain white or black simple shelf. No – you need a little drama; something fabulous, just like your personality. Box floating shelves are a perfect addition to serve this purpose. They’re like little enclosed personal rooms for your books and decorative items. Unusual flowers, keepsakes, and small sculptures fit perfectly on these shelves and help you express yourself boldly.

How to style a room with shelves?

A room with the warmth and cozy feel of a farmhouse can benefit from distressed, wooden shelves or silver and brass options that serve as accent colors in a darker space. Display your houseplants, some white candles, and hang your hat on a hook to complete this look.

Traditional environments welcome shelves with a white finish and crafted with crown molding to keep with a timeless look.

When you’re looking to add a shelf to a glam environment, gold and glass items are your friends. A mirrored shelf wall panel displays your favorite items while reflecting the rest of your fabulous décor.

Gold-colored diamond shaped wall shelves add an upscale design element that serves to hold your most treasured items.

Wood and metal shelves look great in industrial environments – a basic standing shelf looks sturdy and classic while a round, enclosed, wall-mounted shelving unit adds a touch of modernity while keeping with the clean lines and natural feel of this look.

Are floating shelves better than bookcases?

Not necessarily – each of these shelving options provides a great amount of space for your storing needs, and each can be chosen strategically to ensure a perfect match to existing décor. The only real difference that will sway your final choice is how much space you have to work with. If you’re shopping shelves for an expansive room, you can easily fit a large standing bookcase; however, if you are living in an apartment that has more limited space, floating shelves help you add to the room without taking away from your floor space.

How to use shelves in a room for kids?

Kids’ rooms always need a little (or a lot of) extra storage for all their fun toys, books, and games. A beautiful white and gold-colored shelf can add a modern touch to a kids’ room while still fitting in with brighter colors and other kid-themed items. To keep your little ones from knocking everything over, you can place shelves higher on the wall out of their reach, or if you want them to partake in clean-up time, you can place them lower on the wall so they are easily accessible.

White Pine Wood And Paper Toy Cubby
Weathered Gray Solid Wood Rectangle Three Piece Floating Wall Shelf Set
White Manufactured Wood Rectangle Four Piece Floating Shelf Set
Gray Mountain Bamboo Solid Wood Floating Shelf
Gray Pine Solid Wood Floating Shelves
White Rectangle Metal U Floating Shelf
White Manufactured Wood Tray Floating Shelf
Floral Manufactured Wood Cube Floating Shelf

How to create a small library with shelves?

You can use a bookcase in conjunction with floating shelves in a corner designated as your reading nook. Or, just layer floating shelves up to three or four rows until you get close to the ceiling. Grab your book collection, alphabetize it, and place each one carefully on your new shelves. Add a tall wooden ladder to make it feel like a real, traditional library!

When you have items you want to display, shelves become the stage for them. With a few stylish picks, you can transform a wall or an entire room. Select light colors to set a calm mood; wooden and metallic accents for a rustic vibe; and keep it funky with box floating shelves. The choices are many and they’re all yours to make.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.