Shelves Buying Guide
Purpose of Shelves
Increasing usable space without taking too much space or time, shelves are the perfect addition to any part of your house that requires easy access to items. You can just place items on your shelves, whether in the kitchen, pantry, living room or anywhere else. But, getting shelves for your home can be a bit of a dilemma considering the numerous uses they can be put to. You can install shelves in your kitchen, living room, pantry or any area of the house, but the same kind won’t look good or serve the same function everywhere.
Factors to consider when buying Shelves
As using the same kind of shelves everywhere is impractical, before you buy shelves, make sure you factor in these elements to make a wise purchase decision.
1. Height from the floor
When buying shelves, one of the main factors to consider would be the height of the shelves from the floor. This has more to do with long term support and sturdiness. Your shelves need to be at an optimum height to be accessible as well as be out of your way to prevent any harm. This means, getting stacked or single shelve can depend on the placement you intend to use them at. So, wooden shelves or metallic shelves at some height would be heavier and would need additional support rather than rack style shelves.
2. Style and Purpose
You definitely want to compliment your room’s look with the shelves you invest in. This just doesn’t apply to your living room or other areas, but also your kitchen, pantry, and other items. Getting an out of place layer or stack of shelves can give it a look similar to that of a warehouse. Most importantly, the style is dependent on the purpose you plan to use it for. So, getting wooden shelves for your living room might be for books and not require the same support and surroundings as the ones you choose to employ for your kitchen. The same can be applied to your pantry and getting the same shelves for the pantry and your living room would only put it more out of place. Where you need a metallic rack style shelf storage for your storage room, pantry or other areas, the same metallic-looking shelf won’t do as a bookshelf or ornamental purposes.
Another important factor to consider is the material you choose to get for your shelves. For example, a bookshelf would look perfect with a furniture setting of your shelves. The same metallic shelves from your pantry won’t look good in your bedroom or prime spaces in your home. Another example would be the glass shelves you use for decoration and they would collect dust, moisture among other elements anywhere else in the house, especially the kitchen. Moreover, the material also impacts the height and kind of shelves you should be getting. On one hand, your wooden shelves are a good idea in a lot of areas, but thick wooden shelves do not need to look good in areas with a lot of dust or natural element exposure.
4. Room type
Your room type is the most important factor to consider when buying shelves. If your room is small to medium-sized, getting outward or bug shelves installed on the walls can add some necessary and required space. But overdoing it can make it feel claustrophobic and dingy. Whereas, the same when applied to a medium to a large-sized room would be an excellent idea to showcase your things, books and store items. Furthermore, glass shelves for decorating items and showcasing would only look good at a good height in living rooms, washrooms but not in the kitchen. Another example would be getting rack style shelves for your storage room for shoes, clothes and other items. Use your room dimensions to judge the best fit for the shelves you plan on buying. Overall, the best idea would be to see what best goes along with your room size and interior décor.
Materials for Shelves
Choosing the right material for your shelves is critical in not only placing it in the right room, but also purposing it better for your room storage. Not only is choosing the right material essential in maintaining it in the long run, but also keeping your items and room safe.
1. Glass Shelves
Glass shelves are usually perfect for showcasing something or where there are excess moisture and dust and you can keep them clean with regular maintenance. For example, installing glass shelves in your washroom to store your cosmetics and items of daily use can ensure a great look as well as a long term use. The same wouldn’t apply to wooden or metallic shelves in this case. You can also make use of glass shelves in the kitchen storage- like wine storage or inside cupboards clearly in view to showcase your wine collection and other items. More of an ornamental material rather than heavy-duty long term use.
2. Stainless Steel/Aluminum
Stainless steel, aluminum, and other shelf materials are perfect where you need a heavy-duty and rough usage. Similar to a warehouse, it is best to use metallic shelves where you intend to store heavy items, such as boxed full of pantry items, shoes, and other items of rough use. Mainly acting as storage and categorizing purpose, metallic shelves are perfect in maintaining places full of dust and other natural items, which would usually spoil wooden and glass shelves. Additionally, it is best to use them in rack-style use in low height, rather than placing them all the way close to the ceiling for a pair of shoes you need to store.
The most versatile and widely used material for your shelves, wood is the perfect material for a variety of purposes. You can even use it as a storage shelf, or clothes storage. Though you have to protect them from pests and moisture, it is the best material to choose for a lot of uses. Moreover, you can use wood as bookshelves in the form of a wall shelf. Using it at a medium-altitude, you can use them for showcasing and storing plenty of items. It is essential in maintaining a good kitchen as well and getting wooden cabinet shelving units can be a good idea too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shelves
1. What is a shelving unit?
A shelving unit can be compared to a rack, and using it as a variety of items makes it one of the best shelf systems to use. Shelving units are perfect for warehouses and storing your items in storage rooms or pantry. You can find them in a variety of sizes, and finding one best for use depends on the purpose and material you want to use.
2. Are floating shelves strong?
Depending on the kind of material and support you use, floating shelves are surprisingly strong. As they’re easy to build and easily affordable, floating shelves are one of the best and minimalistic kinds of shelves you can install.
3. How to install floating shelves?
Floating shelves are not only easy to install, but really strong too. You can install floating shelves in the following steps:
- Measure and mark dimensions of the floating shelf on your wall and figure out the best placement for the shelf.
- Drill in the proper holes for your wall brackets. You can either use a different wooden plank or just use the drill to punch them straight into the wall.
- Next, use the drill to make holes in your shelf as per the wall marking, with proper spaces in between. You can make use of brackets to properly support the shelf from inside leaving no visible support brackets or holes outside.
- Use a level to make sure your shelf is balanced and leveled properly before fixing in the brackets into the wall and the floating shelf.
4. Where should shelf brackets be placed?
Shelf brackets should be placed at an equal distance from each other, whether inside the wall or the floating shelf. It is best to go for brackets that are metallic and thick enough to support your shelf. Drill holes deep enough into the shelf to make sure your brackets can take on the load and not tilt or bend later in any way.
5. How to hang wall shelves without drilling?
There are several ways to fix your shelves on the wall, but the durability and max supported load may vary depending on the use. Here are some methods you can look into:
Adhesive mounting strips
Since we’re not using nails to mount the shelves onto the walls, using other items such as mounting strips is possible, but only with very limited weight support. You can only use them to a particular weight limit and you have to consider both the weight of the shelf and the items you intend to keep.
Adhesive hangers and hooks
Similar to the adhesive strips, the adhesive hangers and hooks work on the same principle. Instead of sticking the wall mount adhesive to the back of your shelf, the hooks and hangers work by supporting the weight through hooks and pins, depending on the style of shelves you have.
6. How deep should storage shelves be?
Depending upon the size requirement, and the use you want to put storage shelves for, they should be great to have enough space for items to stack above them.
7. How to decorate shelves?
You can decorate shelves by using a variety of ornamental elements as well as DIY crafts. The best case scenario for decorating shelves would be to showcase and keep your items you wish to display and prize. Here are some other methods to consider too:
- Making your shelves multifunctional or collapsible. You can also make shelves more decorative if they merge with the interior décor of the house. If you have a minimalistic theme going on, getting shelves that fold or collapse into the wall to look as wooden boards would be a good idea.
- Use books to give a natural use and look to decorate shelves.
- Use fairy lights and LED strips to add another source of night light to your room as well as multifunction as decorating shelves.
- Use a variety of items, in doubles or threes or use small ornamental items to work in a decorational element.
- Another way of decorating items can be to use decorational picture frames, indoor plants among other items.
- You can also beautify your shelves by adding miniature of items such as figures, hang small toys or other things based on your taste and décor.
8. How do I make my shelves less cluttered?
Decluttering your shelves is easy and you can do it by following these steps:
- Leave empty space instead of over stacking your shelves. If it is books, it is best to leave some open space in the end to give the impression of empty shelves.
- Use segregating tools and color themes to make everything look more organized.
- Use an order to arrange your shelves. For example, biggest/largest sized books first or last by ascending or descending order.
- Use the things you barely use towards the back and everyday items on the lower shelves, and in the front.
9. How can I organize shelves in my living room?
You can easily organize and declutter the shelves in your living room:
- Use color coding to segregate small items and figures.
- Make sure you are leaving some empty space between the small and large items, especially when color coding your collections.
- Use books to style and organize your shelves properly.
- Keep things you barely use in the back and daily use items and larger showcase items in the front.
- Regularly clean and organize your shelves to give them a long lasting life as well as a well-organized look.