Shelving design ideas

Written by aya pauli
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Shelving design ideas
The best shelving designs are useful and artistic. (herbs boxes on kitchen shelf image by araraadt from

Shelves are one of those simple, yet wonderful, inventions that just make life easier. Shelving not only provides storage, but can add artistic and architectural accents to your home. Shelves are such a basic concept that you can incorporate almost any style or material, from silver hanging shelves to red wave-shaped shelves.

Box Frame Shelf

Create a frame around your books or decorations with a box shelf, also known as a cubbyhole shelf. The design consists of a top and bottom shelf linked with side panels for a hollow square shape. You can use just the bottom surface as a shelf for a full-frame look or use the bottom and top surface for a double-shelf look. The versatile shelving design works with an assortment of styles, such as yellow wood for a cheerful style or brown and pink plastic for a funky style.

Hanging Shelf

Hanging shelves very rarely actually hang free. The design provides the illusion of a hanging decoration without the hazards. The back edge of each shelf secures to the wall and the front corners attach to chains hanging from the wall or ceiling. A stainless steel shelf hanging from thick steel chains provides an industrial accent. Three dark wood shelves hanging from twisted copper chains provide an old-fashioned accent.

Inset Wall Shelf

Turn a boring wall into an interesting area with inset wall shelving. The simple shelves cover the wall from left to right and floor to ceiling. For the best results, leave an area in the middle empty. A framed picture, window or mirror in that area helps break up the shelving lines and creates contrast. Cover shelves with a pale colour, such as white or beige, to help make the hues of assorted books and decorations stand out.

Round Corner Shelf

The corner area in a room is often wasted space. Turn that into a decorative storage area with round corner shelves. The design consists of a pie slice-shaped shelf with a rounded front edge that fits perfectly into the corner. Try thick copper-coloured shelves for a fancy look or thin cream shelves with lacelike carved trim for a delicate look.

Wave Shaped Shelf

Wave-shaped wall shelves are especially popular for bathrooms, but look good in any room. The modern shelves consist of a single shelf with a flat back and curved, wave-shaped front. You can hang a shelf alone or hang several shelves in a staggered line where one shelf is lower and slightly left/right of the upper shelf. Try a white wave shelf for a crisp style or a red shelf for a modern style.

Window Seat Shelf

Add an area just for reading and take advantage of wasted space with inset shelves along one wall of a window seat. The window seat consists of a bench, pillows against the plain wall and an inset shelf on the opposing wall that ends right where the window frame begins. Try assorted shelf heights so that there are different areas for tall and short items. Keep the shelving a soothing colour, such as peach or ivory, and complementary to the surrounding wall.

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