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Explore our list of wall shelf designs, shapes and styles that can work in different spaces
Whether you need extra storage or a space to display beautiful plants, artwork, photographs and decorative items, every home needs some type of shelves. Depending on your space and décor style, there are a myriad of wall shelf designs to choose from. Some of the options below are based on the type of installation like fixed bracket wall rack, floating shelves, built in wall shelf, freestanding pieces and hanging shelves. Others are based on design or style like crescent moon wall shelf, triangle or hexagon shelves, asymmetrical organisation of the compartments within the unit, etc. Some of these designs can work with a variety of installation types. For instance, a kitchen corner shelf can have a floating or fixed bracket installation or wooden corner shelves for the living room design or bedroom could be built-in or a freestanding unit. We’ve picked out fifteen popular and favourite options for modern wall shelf designs and a variety of shelf types for different spaces in the home.
The fixed bracket wall shelf design is one of the most popular options for wall mounted shelves. It is also a very safe option as the shelves are secured on the bottom to brackets that are screwed in to the wall. Usually made from metal, these visible brackets come in a myriad of ornamental designs which add to the appeal of the decorative wall shelves. You can have two brackets, one on either side, or add more in between to hold greater loads. This makes these kinds of shelves great for display purposes or even provide extra storage. If you are looking for wall shelves for the living room, tiered fixed bracket shelves are a great option.
Floating wall shelves are a great option if you are going in for a clean, minimal aesthetic. Elegant in design, the simple lines of these decorative wall shelves make them an extremely popular option. They are attached to the wall via a support hidden within each shelf with no visible brackets or hardware. This gives the impression that each is an extension of the wall, hence ‘floating’. If you are looking for something inconspicuous, you can go in for a simple wall shelf design with a basic plank that can even match the colour of your wall. Floating shelves also come in a variety of colours, shapes, materials and sizes, including corner shelf designs; the key here is that none of the support or hardware is visible. You can even get options which include concealed LED lighting within these wall mounted shelves to illuminate the area below.
A great way to utilise areas like alcoves, awkward nooks or unused space is to customise built in shelves. Think of that space under the stairs or an empty nook that would be perfect for a corner wall shelf unit; built in shelves could work perfectly in these spaces by being literally built into these recesses using existing walls for support. The design of the shelving unit is completely up to you with as many or little compartments as you like depending on the space you have. You can leave the unit open or craft doors to enclose the shelves. You can use these kinds of decorative shelves as room dividers; the shelves can have a backing to block the view to the other room or be completely open to create a semi-partition with an open feel.
Suspended from ropes, pipes, decorative brackets or other forms of support, hanging wall racks aren’t just functional as they also add a decorative element to the wall shelf design. For a Bohemian vibe, try a wood wall shelf suspended by ropes; to emulate an industrial chic feel try black metal pipes for the hanging shelves; or add metallic highlights to minimal décor via simple suspended wire brackets. This versatile hanging shelves design can be used anywhere in the home but its decorative nature makes it best suited for wall shelves for the bedroom and living areas.
While low on the storage aspect, a crescent moon shaped wall mounted shelf is perfect for those who love the boho look. It could also be a great wall shelf for a bedroom for young kids or teenagers. Placed next to a wall mounted mirror, the duo can turn into a fun dressing area.
Whatever the installation – floating, built-in, freestanding or wall mounted shelves – an asymmetrical design to the shelving unit can add a modern aesthetic to the space. Depending on the design, these wall racks can be a bit awkward for storage purposes hence, better suited to display decorative items, small plants or books.
Great for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and even bathrooms, the shelving unit has a black frame with wood, glass or mirrored shelves. Creating a fun accent to the room, these can be wall mounted shelves or even a free-standing unit as seen in this image. For the bathroom shelving, you can even use an empty corner to create a wall mounted unit that has glass corner shelves and a towel hanging rail.
To take your wooden wall shelves up a notch, try a live edge on the shelves. The term live edge refers to the natural edge of the wood left on the display side rather than cutting it down to a clean, sharp line. Along with the wood grain, a live edge retains the natural beauty of the wood and adds a rustic feel. You can also look for wooden shelves that replicate the tree bark on the displayed edge or even a wood tree stump design for the decorative wall shelves.
If you are looking for a simple wall shelf design with a touch of drama, try this wall pipe shelf set with wooden shelves and black pipes as the supporting frame. This wall shelf design works perfectly in industrial style décor which is inspired by old factories and industrial spaces and features elements like exposed pipes and brick as well as salvaged or recycled wood and metal.
Just as the name suggests, these units are pieces of furniture that are freestanding i.e. they are not attached to the wall. However, for safety reasons, especially in a home with toddlers or pets, we do suggest some form of anchoring to make sure the unit does not tip over. The most common use for a freestanding wall shelf unit is as a bookcase or display unit for decorative items, plants, etc. These can come with open shelves, enclosed shelves or a combination of the two. Some are designed to be used in a horizontal or vertical orientation. Freestanding shelves don’t have to placed against a wall. Just like built in shelves, they can be used as room dividers. In the horizontal orientation, they could also double as a sideboard.
Resembling a ladder leaning against the wall, these can come in a variety of materials though the most common is a wooden wall shelf. Some come with shelves placed at equal distances while others have the distance between each shelf decrease with height so taller items can go on the bottom shelf and shorter items on the top shelves. A tall, narrow ladder wall rack can even work instead of a bedside table for a unique effect. As with freestanding shelves, we suggest anchoring ladder shelves for extra security.
Whether it is a built-in, floating or freestanding type, you can opt for units that combine open and closed shelves which can be used for both display and storage purposes. These units are perfect as wall shelves for the bedroom, home office or a child’s room though they can work very well in living rooms, kitchens or bathrooms if planned well.
An accent wall rack is a great way to bring a layer of visual interest to a space and a round shape makes for a perfect modern wall shelf design. You can opt for a simple wall shelf design of thin metal frame with wooden shelves or one with a mirrored shelf backing perfect for tiny entryways that cannot accommodate a console.
If you want to add a touch of that breezy Bohemian vibe to your space you can’t go wrong with softer wood finishes paired with natural materials like rope or a frame made from macramé for hanging shelves.
From choosing just one to stand out to creating a gallery wall of sorts with different shapes, there is so much you can do with these decorative wall shelves.
With these stylish wall shelf design ideas as a starting point, you might have a better sense of what you want. Wall shelves fulfil both storage and display purposes, hence the design should be well thought out to fit the space and storage needs. If you are unsure about how to customise the perfect decorative shelves for any space in your home, reach out to the Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints.
The panel of design experts work out every detail and are with you every step of the way to make the process of home interior design easy, enjoyable and hassle-free. You will get the benefit of a panel of designers, seasoned contractors as well as a dedicated project manager to work out each step of the way. You can also peruse the Beautiful Homes online shop or retails stores in various cities for an exceptional range of furniture, lighting, home décor, accessories and wallpapers. Go through the website for more design ideas including shelf decorating ideas or tips on styling your bookshelves.
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Want to get a beautiful home makeover of your own?Let’s talk