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How To Decorate A Corner Shelf: 11 Awesome Ideas

Having a corner shelf is a great way to utilize space. This is ideal if you live in a small apartment or if you simply want to reduce the clutter around your home. Of course, you want these corner shelves to seamlessly blend into your interior, so how do you decorate them? We have gathered ideas to inspire you. 

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Decorating your floating shelves depends on the style of your room. The key is to make the design as cohesive as possible. Here are ideas you can try:

  1. Sleek & Minimalist
  2. Light & Warm
  3. Antique & Classic
  4. Refreshing Greens
  5. Cozy & Rustic
  6. Shabby Chic Look
  7. Structured & Geometric
  8. Zigzagged Corner Shelf
  9. Repurposed Corner Shelf
  10. Recessed Corner Shelf
  11. Boxed Floating Shelves

There are many ways you can design your corner shelves. Aside from the aesthetic, you also want your corner shelves to be functional, so make sure you are intentional with how you build them. If you want to learn more about how to effectively decorate your corner shelves, keep reading below.

A white sofa with bright patterned throw pillows and a tall corner shelf inside a living room with laminated flooring, How To Decorate A Corner Shelf: 11 Awesome Ideas

11 Awesome Ideas for Corner Shelves 

If you feel that your interior is not balanced, installing a corner shelf is a cost-effective and functional way to make your space look visually harmonious. 

Corner shelves can also make you more productive, as you won't need to keep some things tucked inside a cabinet at one end of your home. This is why it's ideal not only to store books but also things you may need to use daily. 

A stainless steel corner shelf with glass flooring

Here are corner shelf designs you'd want to try incorporating in your bathroom, kitchen, living room, or bedroom. 

Read: "3 Best Paints For Bookshelves."

1. Sleek & Minimalist

Going for a sleek-looking corner shelf is the safest and simplest design route you can take. This is ideal if you are more concerned about functionality than aesthetics but still would like it to blend with the rest of your interior effortlessly. 

Go for dark-colored corner shelves with a thin structure. This can either be freestanding or floating, depending on your preference. This can make your space look more cosmopolitan, and you can use it to display ceramic sculptures or sophisticated art to add character to the interior. 

For a more industrial and sleek style, go for a tiered corner shelf. The different sizes of the shelves will make your corners more unique since most corner shelves have a uniform structure. 

2. Light & Warm

For a softer appeal, decorate your corner shelves with warm recessed lighting that can make floating shelves look magical at night. You can also install this in freestanding built-in corner shelves to satisfy both aesthetics and function. 

Go for light or neutral color-painted corner shelves to lean into the warm appeal of the shelf. This style is ideal if you already have a soft color scheme in your interior or if you are starting to get into a more effortlessly chic style.

3. Antique & Classic

If your interior has a deeper and richer color scheme, such as dark-stained wood and gold trim, an antique-looking corner shelf will fit right in.

You can build one on your corner wall, or you can get a freestanding wood shelf that you can decorate with antique collectables and priceless items.

To fully lean into the traditionally classic aesthetic, make sure your corner shelves have intricate moldings. You can try building your own tiered floating corner shelves, or you can try looking for them at a local antique store. Choose shelves with the same color as the rest of your furniture to create a cohesive design scheme. 

4. Refreshing Greens

If you have a modern farmhouse or nature-themed aesthetic, it only makes sense if you decorate your corner shelves with succulents, plants, or flowers--fresh or dried. 

White or light-stained wood corner shelves will go well with this design. These colors will highlight your greens better, and your succulents will be more visible. 

If you want something more low maintenance, decorate the shelves with dried flowers to add a feminine flair to the design. Fresh flowers are good too, as long as you know how to take care of them properly so they last longer. You can tie this all up with warm fairy lights or artificial vines for visual appeal. 

5. Cozy & Rustic

Make your corner shelves blend into your rustic interior, and go for elegantly-rugged corner shelves. Wooden shelves with a vibrant stain will fit in with the cozy space, especially if you decorate it with scented candles and dried plants or succulents. 

Corner shelves that have been recreated from scrap wood can also add character to the room; just stain them with a warm golden color to give them a cozy glow. 

You can install these floating shelves near a cozy couch or above a wooden console to achieve visual balance. 

6. Shabby-Chic Look

The shabby-chic aesthetic refers to curated chaos that makes the space look whimsically used. Shelves with this style usually have scalloped edges, unique moldings on the edges, and are painted with a pastel color or floral pattern.

To achieve this look, build a corner shelf with intricate moldings. Paint it with a soft color, something that goes with your existing color scheme. After that, decorate it with soft fabric, fresh flowers, and scented candles. 

You can also purchase one with tiered shelves, the base being the biggest. This shape will add uniqueness to the area, and it will be more functional since you can have more space at the bottom. 

7. Structured & Geometric

If you want a more cosmopolitan vibe, go for a corner shelf with a geometric shape. For example, having a diamond outline over floating shelves will add depth to the space, and give it a visually appealing flair that won't easily be replicated by common-shaped corner shelves. 

This design will work best if the diamond or geometric outline is painted in gold. It will tie up the colors you decide to paint the shelves with, and it will easily blend with any interior. 

8. Zigzagged Corner Shelf

If you want the design to be unpredictable and visually stimulating, go for a zigzagged corner shelf. You can opt for this to be light or dark-stained, depending on the style you want to achieve.

Dark-stained shelves will highlight the zigzag shape better and will look more modern and structured. Light paint on this kind of shelf will look polished against your walls, although the shape will be visually toned down. A good rule to follow is to match the color of the shelf to the most prominent furniture around the space.

One drawback of this shelf is you have a limited space to work with. You'll only be able to place small books and succulents on the panels, and the items can be knocked over easily. 

See this zigzagged shelf on Amazon.

9. Repurposed Corner Shelf

Old doors can be turned into a corner shelf, and their structure is the perfect material for it. This design will easily make your space look artistic and ingenious, especially if you make it yourself. 

Since it already has a unique design, you can go all the way and paint it with a vibrant color that matches your creativity. You can try attaching wallpaper on the surface too, if you want a more low-key but visually appealing approach.

You can go for floral-patterned wallpapers for a shabby chic aesthetic, or you can paint it in a neutral color for a safer design choice.

10. Recessed Corner Shelf

Recessed corner shelves are less noticeable since they are a part of the wall. You can make them pop out by painting them a more vibrant or contrasting color, or you can try putting eye-catching personal collections on them as a good conversation piece. 

For example, if your walls have a neutral color, you can paint them a vibrant blue or sage green. You can also install overhead lighting if you don't want a permanent design. 

Recessed corner shelves are easier to integrate into the interior, but the challenge is to make them eye-catching, especially if you build them on your living room walls. 

11. Boxed Floating Shelves

If you want unique-looking shelves that can make your items safer, go for boxed floating corner shelves. You won't have to worry about anyone knocking over anything, and they look visually appealing at the same time. 

You can make the edges curved or sharp, depending on your preference. Since they offer protection on all sides, you can decorate them with more fragile items. 

Read: "How Deep Should Floating Shelves Be? What About Thickness?"

See this boxed shelf on Amazon.

A two seater gray sofa with brown patterned throw pillows and a tall wooden shelf with a dangling lamp

Final Thoughts

A white sofa with bright patterned throw pillows and a tall corner shelf inside a living room with laminated flooring

Designing corner shelves can be challenging, but it's easier if you have the right materials and if you've conjured up an artistic vision. Incorporate these ideas into your next project and get creative!