With so many decorating styles in home decor, there are numerous options for storage shelves if you use a little imagination. A single shelf can make as much of a decorating statement as a large bookcase. Ordinary objects that can provide a flat surface or support a board -- or perhaps only appear to -- can be the inspiration for storage with personality. Whether manufactured or custom constructed by you, shelving is a way to combine function with your personal style.
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Metal Utility Shelving
Stainless steel shelving found at home improvement centres and intended for a garage or workshop provides ideal storage in the living areas of the home. Carts with heavy-duty wheels can be rolled in and out of closets and pantries. Tall units can serve as bookshelves or storage space for toys and games. Two or three large units placed side by side create an airy room divider with an industrial look that can be decorated with contemporary flair.
Gourmet Food Boxes
Wooden boxes that originally held wine, cheese, sauces, candy or condiments can easily become shelving. Use carpenter's wood glue to join several together along their sides to create an odd-shaped shelf unit than can stand freely on the floor or be mounted on a wall. Or scatter several individual boxes (including round ones) within a space where more structured shelving would be difficult to achieve. Use picture frame hardware for hanging.
One or more drawers salvaged from old dressers or cabinets can become instant shelves when mounted on a wall. They do not have to match in style, colour or finish. Mixing pieces with a variety of finishes provides a more interesting look, but they can also be painted in the same colour or several contrasting colours. Turn them in various directions until they create a grouping of shelves that appeals to you and fits the space. Hardware can be left in place or removed. Screw through the drawer bottoms and into wall studs for stability.
A baseball bat, golf club, ski or hockey stick can be used to create shelving with character for a sports fan. A 1 x 6-inch board can be attached to a wall with L-brackets for support, with the piece of sports equipment attached directly below it as though supporting the shelf. This way, the board is attached first to ensure that it is level. The result is a not only a functional shelf but also a conversation piece. Dance shoes, toys or other objects of interest can be incorporated into a shelving design in a similar manner.