Whether you’re trying to make the most of a small space or simply enjoy taking full advantage of a bigger space, when it comes to additional storage, shelves are a fantastic way to go about it.
Shelves not only give you extra storage space but they also make for an interesting feature in your home.
When it comes to the world of shelves, your options are practically endless. Today we would like to show you everything that shelves have to offer. What we love so much about them is that more often than not, they can end up being your favourite part of the room!
What Do We Need To Consider Before Buying Storage Shelves?
When buying yourself a storage shelf, there are several things that you want to take into consideration. Additionally, shelves come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Before jumping the gun and rushing into purchasing one, consider the likes of where you will be putting this shelf and its purpose.
It is a good idea to think about where you would like to put this soon-to-be new addition as it will help you narrow down your choices. Once you know where you intend to put the shelf, you will find yourself with a better understanding of the size you’re going to be looking at.
Understanding your space limitation will also help you decide between wall-mounted shelves or free-standing ones. The former requires much less, however, the latter can also serve to make a smaller space appear larger given the proper layout.
As you can see, we weren’t kidding when we said that the possibilities are almost endless.
Space & Size
We’ve just mentioned how important space is when deciding which type of shelf to go with. A bigger room definitely gives you more to play with. While a small room forces you to get a little more creative.
Small Rooms – How Do You Make Space?
When considering a tighter space, it boils down to what exactly you’re trying to achieve with your shelves. Are you simply trying to create more storage space? Or are you aiming to create partitions to give the illusions of a bigger room?
If your sole purpose is storage, you might want to consider dedicating one full wall to a floor-to-ceiling shelf. Floor-to-ceiling shelves are brilliant as they give you a tonne of space. What’s more is that they become a focal point to the room.
If you’re worried about overwhelming a smaller room, consider picking the smallest wall for your floor-to-ceiling shelf. This way, you still get your feature wall without running the risk of leaving the room cramped.
Additionally, smaller rooms benefit from suspension shelves if you’re looking at having them floor-to-ceiling. They are less clunky than built-in shelves. Thus, leave your room feeling airier.
If you’re trying to divide a smallish room, box shelves are what you’re looking for. Instead of getting them full-length, opt for something shorter, without a backing. This will help you give the illusion of a partition. Giving you the option of adding a lounge area to a studio, for example.
Big Rooms – How Do You Fill Space?
On the other hand, if you find that you’re lucky enough that space is not an issue. And you’re looking to dress up a bigger room, a built-in floor-to-ceiling shelf can add plenty of depth and character.
Stock your shelves predominantly with books and you’ve got your own little library. You can even choose to install an elephant ladder and you’re all set for conversation starters when you host!
There are plenty of other options for both big and small spaces. We will discuss them here and more in depth through the links we have running throughout this article.
Now that you’ve decided what kind of space you’re working with, your next step would be to consider what you need these shelves for. If you’re leaning towards them being more for decorative purposes, they will vary quite greatly compared to if you needed them more for functionality.
Additionally, you’re going to want to think about which room in your house these shelves are for. For example, you might want open-concept shelving for the kitchen where cupboards do most of the actual storage.
Alternatively, if you need your shelves for storage while still remaining aesthetically pleasing, you are going to want to look at different types of shelves from someone with an open-concept kitchen.
Decorative Storage Shelves
If you’ve been blessed with an abundance of storage space and are just looking for ways to spruce up a room a little, you have quite a few more options in terms of the types of shelves you might consider.
Also, you’re not limited to what you should be putting on your shelves. If they are purely decorative you will find yourself with far more leeway. Since your shelves are there mainly to beautify a space, let yourself think outside of the box a little.
Play around with floating shelves. While they can be used to create a playful and eclectic feel, floating shelves are also perfect for freeing up space.
With floating shelves, you’re given the freedom to place your shelves where you feel they look best. And in whatever pattern you feel happiest with. If you’ve got a blank space on a wall, use floating shelves to liven up the area.
Additionally, by using items of varying height, you help to create an interesting focal piece. Consider leaning pictures up on your new floating shelves. Alternatively, floating shelves are a great spot for some plants! You can never go wrong with a little greenery.
Functional Storage Shelves
If you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum, fret not! Just because you need your shelves to be more functional than aesthetically pleasing, doesn’t mean you’re going to be stuck with eyesores for shelves.
You can most definitely make a functional shelf work with the theme of the overall room. All this means is that you’re going to have to be a little more creative when it comes to storage and keeping your space in order.
Maximise the space of a small room by installing shelves along the perimeter of the room. Shelves higher up mean that they don’t take away from precious floor space. If you need to disguise the clutter, get a couple of boxes that fit the colour scheme and theme of your space. They will cleverly disguise your mess while being pleasant to look at.
If you’re making the most of a small bedroom, don’t forget the space above your bed. Often neglected, there’s plenty you can do with this space. The space above your bed is one of the best places for a floating shelf!
However, try using it for books as opposed to knick-knacks or pictures, since you are trying to make the most of what you’ve got.
We’re sure you’ve realised by now that a shelf is not just a shelf. A shelf is an extension of your room. And your room is an extension of you. Therefore, when it comes to picking a shelf, there is by default plenty to consider. Especially when there are so many different types of shelves available for you to choose from.
• Fixed Bracket Shelves
• Floating Shelves
• Built-In Shelves
• Corner Shelves
• Hanging Shelves
• Free Standing Shelves
• Adjustable Slotted Shelves
We’ve already discussed some of the aforementioned shelves and how they can either complement or clutter a room. When it comes to deciding which type of shelf best suits a particular space, it not only depends on your theme but the primary function for the shelf.
For example, you’re not going to want a corner shelf that is tucked away for items you need frequently. One might use a corner shelf for displaying your favourite knick-knacks that highlight the feel you’re attempting to achieve.
On the other hand, adjustable slotted shelves are perfect if you’re searching for something with minimal commitment. You can always switch up the height and space between your shelves.
While these shelves are typically suited to a garage for tools, if you’re going for an industrial vibe in your room, these are great!
When you’re looking at the material of your shelf, several factors come into play. You’re going to want to consider where you’re putting the shelf, how much space you have, and how much cleaning this shelf will require.
As with the other factors we have mentioned today, the material of your shelf almost always links back to the atmosphere you’re pulling together in your space.
Steel shelving for a rough yet sleek industrial vibe. Minimalistic wooden pieces to tie together your Scandinavian inspired bedroom. Fabric shelving works wonderfully in spots like your laundry room. Where you want easy, extra storage that can be tucked away when not in use.
Wood Storage Shelves
On top of these primary reasons, some materials are without a doubt sturdier than others. Wood shelving is probably one of the most popular and preferred materials. This exquisite black bookshelfCheck Latest Price is one of our favourite models for something sturdy and functional.
However, if you’re looking for shelving for your bathroom, you might not want a material like wood around all that moisture.
Glass Storage Shelves
Glass shelving has been a popular choice for bathrooms for many years. It adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to your bathroom and won’t suffer at the hands of water damage.
Stainless Steel Storage Shelves
However, in more recent times, stainless steel has become a popular choice for modern bathrooms. They often add to the industrial feeling and complement exposed piping. Furthermore, the rough look added by stainless steel shelves is offset nicely by adding some coloured tiles or marble.
Plastic Storage Shelves
A rather unorthodox option when it comes to shelving material is plastic. However, if you’re furnishing an area for children, plastic shelves are a solid, durable choice. Additionally, they’re extremely easy to clean and can easily be found in bright colours.
The fact that plastic shelves are lightweight is an added benefit. Children grow quickly and their preferences change just as fast. Plastic shelves can easily be swapped out to something more ‘grown-up’. The fact that plastic is relatively inexpensive doesn’t hurt either!
We’ve explored the differences between the sizes of different shelves and how they impact various spaces. On top of that, we have also had a look at the materials that best complement specific rooms in your home.
Now we’re moving on to another important factor that comes into play when you’re looking at new shelves for your home, budget. You’re not going to want to put all your funds to one, incredibly pricey shelf, no matter how much you think it is going to perfect a room.
With a little patience, we assure you that you can find something similar with a lower price point.
When it comes to budgeting, we suggest first understanding the space you’re buying for. How many shelves are you looking at? How much space do you have to play with? How much storage space do you need?
Basically, you should first consider all the various topics we’ve explored in the first part of this article. Once you’re sure at what you’re looking to buy, you can then decide how much money you can and is worth putting towards it.
However, we always believe in finding the biggest bang for your buck. If you can save a little money, why not? This brings to the next thing we would like to talk about. That is where you can buy cheap and high-quality shelves.
Where to Buy Cheap & High-Quality Storage Shelves
Cheap and high-quality are hard to find in the same sentence. However, if you’re watching your budget and still want some form of quality, there are some available options.
Check out your local Home Depot and Ikea. These brands usually provide quality for a lower price than you might find with an artisan carpenter. While quality might also vary from that of a dedicated carpenter, you will be pleased to know that both of these brands create high-quality products.
Both Ikea and Home Depot offer warranties on their products. However, do take note that these warranties may vary. Ikea boasts a 25-year warranty on some items and Home Depot gives a lifetime warranty of specific items, however, most of them come with a basic 1-year warranty.
Additionally, these mass-produced items don’t have to run boring. Once again, all it takes is a little creativity on your end to ensure that your end result looks unique to your home.
Alternatively, if you’re up for a little more adventure, a good place to find high-quality, cheap shelves is to scour your local thrift and secondhand shops.
While this option can be hit-or-miss, more often than not, you can find some serious gems tucked away in these stores. What makes it all better? You’re bound to get them at a fraction of the price of buying them brand new!
How To Maximize Your Storage Space
Not all of us have the luxury of space, therefore many of us are on the hunt for the best ways to maximize storage space. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways you can make your shelves work for you. With a couple of adjustments, you will find yourself feeling like you gained square meters!
When it comes to maximizing floor space, ironically it boils down to looking beyond just the floor. More often than not, we neglect the fact that our walls have plenty to offer. When you look above the floor, you realise that your living space has more to give than you realised.
We’ve already mentioned that when you’re trying to maximize the given space in a room, you should consider the perimeter above your room. Add shelving that follows the perimeter of your room and you’ll find yourself with heaps of storage that is neatly tucked away.
To The Wall…
Another great method for maximizing the space in a smaller room or home are hanging shelves or floating shelves. Both of these types of shelves don’t require any of your limited floor space. Instead, they hang or float, as the names suggest.
Additionally, if you’re trying to maximize storage space but don’t want to leave a space looking cluttered, think about using storage baskets or boxes. When you start to make use of storage baskets or boxes, you give the illusion of your space being organised – even when it might not be! Plus, boxes and baskets also mean you can put more in one spot than you could with just the shelf.
Or Down Under
Another great way to maximize the storage space you have is to look at the available space underneath things. Your bed, for example, is a great spot for some unorthodox shelving.
Consider cubby holes, placed under the bed cubby holes make a great spot for books or storage baskets with knick-knacks, socks, or shoes.
Lastly, don’t forget to make use of the space behind your door. A simple, shallow set of shelves can be built behind most doors. This tiny bit of extra space can go a long way in keeping your room neat and organised.
Best uses of Storage Shelves
It goes without saying that one of the best uses of storage shelves, is well, storage. Aside from that your storage shelves can and should be seen as a great way to breathe new life into a tired room or space.
You will be amazed at not just how much more space you end up with, but with how exciting and fresh a room can feel after a few simple additions.
For example, you could build a storage shelf around a flat-screen TV. This takes the focus off the TV and leaves the space feeling a little more intimate. Make your TV room double as a cosy space for reading or getting together with guests.
Alternatively, a fun way to spruce up a room is to make use of ladder shelves. All you need for a ladder shelf is a ladder, some planks of wood in various lengths, and some paint.
A great spot for this fun-shaped shelf is in your kitchen. It makes a fabulous spot for your bowls and ladles.
Another interesting use of a storage shelf is to create a vertical garden! If you’ve been on the hunt for how you can add some green into your life and living space, vertical gardens are just what you’ve been looking for.
You can go big with a dedicated wall of shelves for all your house plants – keeping to one type of plant per shelf gives it a nice visual effect. Alternatively, keep it smaller and use it for growing your own herbs in your kitchen. Both functional and pretty!
Types of Storage shelves
Earlier on, we already broke down the main types of shelves available in the market. If you need a refresher, they are Fixed, Floating, Built-In, Corner, Hanging, Free-Standing.
However, now we would like to go a little more specific as we explore some of our favourite types of shelves that exist within the bigger categories that we have mentioned.
Tier Shelf Unit
A tier shelf unit is probably what comes to mind when one pictures shelves. It is a pretty basic shelf design. However, basic certainly does not mean boring! Think of a tier shelf unit as the foundation to whatever it is you’re trying to build.
Depending on the atmosphere you’re going for, a simple tier shelf unit will not only fit in with ease, but it can also be used to complement the surrounding decor through its material and colour.
Since its design is so simple, you can slot it in pretty much any space you feel without feeling like it will steal the spotlight.
Tier shelf units are also extremely versatile since you can find them with a number of different tiers. This means that you can easily score yourself heaps of extra storage space from this simple and fluid design.
Tier Wide Folding Metal Shelf
If you were already impressed with the likes of the tier shelf unit, prepare to be absolutely blown away by the tier wide folding metal shelf.
With the same basic concept as the tier shelf unit, their wide folding metal shelf comes with the added benefit of being able to be folded and tucked away when not in use.
The only downside here is that with this shelf, you lose out on the ability to play with materials. You can, however, still, pick your colour preferences to have the shelf meld better with the intended space.
Tier wide folding metal shelves are handy in areas where you need the extra storage and find you might do some reshuffling rather frequently. The storeroom or pantry, for example, are perfect for this type of shelf. It makes re-arranging a cinch and it can be folded and put away with ease.
3-Tier Bamboo Folding Bookcase Tower
Giving off similar vibes to that off the ladder shelf, this 3-tier bamboo folding bookcase towerCheck Latest Price is an easy solution if you’re not much of do-it-yourself person. Despite the word ‘bookcase’ being right in the name, we find that this shelf is a lot more versatile than that.
In fact, given its earthy feel courtesy of the bamboo, we love to use this piece to add a little greenery to your house. It makes a beautiful stand for your potted plants. Start with the biggest pots on the bottom and the smallest ones on the topmost tier.
Not only will this give your shelf stability, but it also creates a pleasant visual effect. With all your plants stacked neatly in one area, watering and caring for them also becomes that much easier!
Most likely named SoHo shelves as a nod to their popularity and functionality back in the 1970s in loft-styled homes of SoHo. A SoHo shelf is essentially a simple floor-to-ceiling shelf. This style of shelving can provide the room with a light, airy, and minimalistic feel if done right.
We mentioned earlier how making use of a floor-to-ceiling shelf can act as a focal point to the room. SoHo shelves might be best suited for big, lofty spaces but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them work for a smaller apartment.
Incorporating it into a smaller apartment can be done by using a smaller wall so the entire room isn’t overwhelmed, as we’ve mentioned before.
Best Storage Shelves Ideas
If this is your first time trying your hand at organizing and revamping your space, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Fret not, we’re here with some of the best storage shelf ideas that exist out there.
If you stick to these simple tricks and tips, we assure you, maximizing and utilizing any space you have will be fun and easy. Here are a few of our favourite tips for when it comes to the best storage shelf ideas.
Baskets & Boxes
As we said, boxes and baskets are a great way to give you more storage space, while keeping the mess at bay. They give the illusion of uniformity and order, even if you’re a little behind on your last declutter day!
Additionally, they give you more bang for your buck. What we mean to say is that placing baskets or boxes on your shelves allows you to put more within a single shelf than if you were to rely solely on the original shelf space.
You’re going to love this if you have kids, or are simply the kind of person with plenty of knick-knacks. A simple shelf with several boxes or baskets thrown in creates an interesting visual piece while allowing you to quickly and easily clean up an area.
Likewise, for smaller items, consider utilizing mason jars. They not only lend an interesting perspective to an otherwise plain-looking shelf but they also are a convenient way to store your bits and bobs.
For bathroom shelving, you can even paint your mason jars to fit with the overall colour scheme of the room but they’re perfect for storing everything from make-up sponges to bobby pins and even your toothbrushes! Say goodbye to messy bathroom counters.
A magnetic strip placed along your dresser or within a storage shelf can help to declutter the space within minutes. Use it to hold your tweezers, pins, and anything magnetic.
Instead of leaving these items sprawled out on your shelf, have them neatly aligned and within easy reach with a magnetic strip.
Similarly, magnetic strips go great in kitchens as an interesting way to store your knives and other clunky utensils that would otherwise take up precious drawer and counter or shelf space!
Just remember to be careful using this method if you have children. Keep it high up enough that your child cannot get to them.
If you’re working with a shelf that you already own but are looking for ways to breathe more life and space into it, tension rods are a good way to go about this. Installing a tension rod to an existing shelf gives you leeway to hang additional items where you previously would not have been able too.
This trick works wonderfully in any practically any space. From your kitchen to your bathroom – you’ll find that tension rods help tremendously when it comes to removing clutter.
Similar to the tension rod tip, installing an extra shelf to an existing space within a shelf gives you extra room. Working with what you’ve got doesn’t have to be boring or dull.
There is often no need for you to throw out a perfectly good shelf when all you really need to do is add a few simple things to make it work.
Basic Interior Design Rules
Not everyone is a natural interior designer, and that’s okay! However, that shouldn’t mean that your living space should be less than stunning. When it comes to decorating a room or space, there are a couple of easy rules that will help make the entire process that much easier.
The best part? You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to have someone do it for you!
When it comes to making a room inviting and visually interesting, it helps to have a focal point or piece. We’ve mentioned several times throughout this article how a floor-to-ceiling shelf is a perfect option for a focal point.
However, there is another way to make a focal point in your living space, without having to sacrifice an entire wall. It is as simple as adding colour to an otherwise dull-looking shelf. This works especially well if your space consists mostly of a neutral colour palette.
Spice up the overall look and feel of your room by taking an existing, ordinary shelf and painting it a bright, eye-catching colour.
The opposite of this rule is also true. If you are big on bright colours, you can make the room feel more coherent by having a couple of shelves painted white. This tones down the blast of colours and allow your eyes to take a break, allowing you to appreciate the colours that much more.
The same goes for when you’re considering various materials for your storage shelves. If most of your space consists of wood and ceramic, a good way to shake things up would be with a glass shelf. Alternatively, a space filled with mostly metals and glass would benefit from a wooden shelf.
When it comes to interior design, it is important to try and shake things up every so often. So you avoid running the risk of having a room that feels generic and like it is lacking personality.
Mixed material shelves are also a great option for beginners, it allows you to have a little fun with your furniture without taking any giant steps. Look for shelves that are already a good combination of wood and steel. The contrast can leave you with an interesting conversation starter and focus-piece for your room.
Decorative Ways To Style Your Storage Shelves
Your shelves may primarily be for storage. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be allowed to have fun with them. When it comes two styling your shelves, all you need to do are keep a few things in mind.
Firstly, play with height. If you’re using your shelf as a bookcase, you might find that having a long stretch of books of the same height can make it look a little boring. Break this up by including a significantly bigger or smaller plant, for example.
The shift in height attracts the eyes and makes the shelf look more interesting overall. What we like best about this method is that it is extremely easy to do. Plus, you now have a space for that plant you didn’t know what to do with. You can make this method work with many things, don’t limit yourself to plants.
Next, while you want your shelf mainly to help you keep your space neat and tidy, you should also take advantage of it to display some of your favourite items. Using framed images to break a line of books on a shelf is another easy to achieve tip.
Alternatively, you can try painting the inside of your shelving a shade or two darker than the colour of your walls. This gives the illusion of depth and subtly attracts the eye!
Cool Hacks For Shelving
You might not always have the luxury of space or money when it comes to shelving. Therefore, it is super important to learn how to take advantage of what you do have and make it work to your needs.
If you’re not in the position to be bringing in a big, space-consuming shelf, some easy hacks can provide you with some much-needed storage. What makes this even better is that these hacks won’t cost you much either.
With a few of these 9 7/8 x 7 3/8 inch bracketsCheck Latest Price , you can quickly turn an extra plank of wood into a nifty shelf that can be installed practically anywhere. If you don’t have a nightstand, you can create a floating bedside table using this method.
This is probably one of the most versatile methods of shelving hacks. Depending on the length of wood you’re working with, adjust the number of brackets below. You can also play with a variety of materials and styles to create a shelf that blends with the theme of your room.
Alternatively, refurbish old drawers and give them a new lease on life by turning them into floating shelves. A fresh coat of paint and a little creativity when it comes to arranging them will give you an interesting piece in your home.
The last nifty hack that we think is worth trying out, is stacking wooden crates together and slapping on a layer of paint to create a new shelf on the cheap!
Wooden crates add a rustic feel to any room and they come in various sizes meaning you can customize how big or small you’d like your shelf to be. You can then choose to paint it whatever colour you wish or leave it au natural by opting for just a layer of clear varnish!
Frequently Asked Questions About Storage Shelves
Now that we’re coming to the end of this extensive guide to storage shelves, you might find yourself faced with a few questions. Especially if this is your first time when it comes to home improvement, refurbishing, and the shelf life in general.
1. How Much Weight Can A Floating Shelf Hold?
If you’ve installed it well and it is secured, such as a wall stud, you needn’t worry too much. A floating shelf is sturdy enough to sustain the weight of most things that you’d find yourself putting on a shelf. If you are using wall studs, your shelf should easily hold the weight of a row of standard books, for example.
However, if you’re looking at an extra heavy load, you might want to consider L-brackets that will provide your shelf with more support than if you intended to have floating shelves.
Another rule of thumb being, the deeper the floating shelf, the less it can support. Basic rules of physics apply here if you have a deeper shelf, the wall studs need to support more in terms of the weight of the shelf itself.
2. Can A Shelf Hold A TV?
A strong, well-supported shelf should easily support your TV and aid in keeping your area looking organized and neat. However, we would definitely suggest you opt for a shelf with brackets as opposed to a floating one.
3. Floating Shelves On Drywall, Can It Be Done?
Drywall is a little less sturdy than plaster, however, this does not mean you can’t have an amazing set of floating shelves with drywall. All it means is that you should aim to provide a little extra support for your shelves.
Get yourself some wall anchors for extra support and you should find that installing a floating shelf to drywall to be no problem at all.
4. Where To Put Your Storage Shelves?
Most of the time, shelves can be shifted around every now and then if you’re looking to shake things up in a particular space. However, if you’ve gone through the trouble of installing wall studs and anchors, you might want to keep the shelf where you put it originally.
Take note that this shouldn’t mean that you can never rearrange the furniture in a particular room due to the placement of some shelves. When installing the likes of floating shelves, try to keep them high up enough that even if you did move things around, they wouldn’t be in the way.
For example, if you haven’t determined the permanent arrangement of a room your floating shelves should be high enough so that if you wanted to move a different piece of furniture underneath it, they wouldn’t be in one another’s way.
With other types of storage shelves, you can move them pretty easily, therefore making them less of an issue when it comes to determining the placement.
Our last point worth mentioning here would be to avoid placing a shelf where it might cut off the natural light. Light is good, light gives a room the feeling of spaciousness. Try to place your shelves out of the direct line in front of windows for the best results!
5. How To Protect Storage Shelves
When It comes to protecting your storage shelves, some might turn to contact paper. However, these can be troublesome. And when they age they tend to make a shelf look even more worn than if you had skipped them altogether.
Another option that runs similar to contact paper are liners. These liners don’t stick to the surface the way contact paper would but they do serve to ‘line’ your shelves. They grip the surface just enough to not shift about without needing glue to stick.
Alternatively, a regular wipe down with a bit of soapy water followed by a generous spray of wood polish can keep your shelves looking brand new. If all else fails, take comfort in the fact that a damaged piece can always be turned into a refurbishing project!
Storage Shelves: A Great Investment For Any Household
We hope we’ve covered pretty much anything you might find yourself wondering about the wonderful world of storage shelves. Remember to always have a little fun with whatever it is you’re doing.
After all, one’s living space is where you should feel most comfortable. Take the time and invest a little in making it a place you truly feel at home in. Choose pieces that work towards creating the vibe and theme you wish to have.
Lastly, always see how an old piece can be refurbished or used in a way you might not have initially thought about! Not only is this better for the environment but it also helps you save a pretty penny or two!