20 Great Wall Shelving Ideas

Shelves might be the last thing on your mind when decorating, but once the big furniture is in place, those empty walls call for some flair.

We’ve rounded up 20 fantastic shelving options—from timeless bookcases to modern designs—that promise to spark your next decor project.

Large wall shelf filled with a variety of books and home decor items, creating a stylish and functional display against a bright-colored background

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No matter if your style is chic or charming, or your space is big or small, we have something for you. Jump in to find the perfect shelves to complete your space!

1. Classic Floating Shelves

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Bright cozy interior with armchair and Classic Floating Shelves

Sleek, modern, and simple, display all your favorite knickknacks on floating shelves in your living room.

Look for a set that includes multiple shelves of the same size for a tidy appearance. These shelves installed right above your couch or a comfy chair will add a homey feeling to your space. 

2. Recessed Shelves

Scandinavian interior design living room with gray and yellow colored furniture and wooden elements, recessed shelves

If you have a recessed wall in your home, you know how difficult it can be to furnish that area, but a shallow space that’s too small for anything else can be perfect for shelves!

If you can’t find floating shelves that are the exact length of the area, don’t be afraid to go to a hardware store and ask for help. Most places will cut a slab of wood to your requested measurements. 

3. Circular Shelving Unit

A close-up shot of a circular shelving unit on a white wall in a living room interior.

For a modern twist, look for a fun circular shelving unit instead of the classic straight-across option. These shelves are like pieces of art on their own; the shelf space is just a bonus!

Try decorating yours with a vining plant, as shown above. The plant’s long downward lines are an interesting contrast to the round shelves. 

4. Open Backed Bookcase

Picture Frame, Library And Plants In Living Room. open backed bookcase

For apartment dwellers everywhere who can’t drill holes into their walls, try this trick.

A bookcase with many small compartments, like the one mentioned, offers a shelving look without risking your security deposit. Opt for a backless design to let the wall show through, achieving a more authentic effect.

5. Staggered Floating Shelves

Laptop On A Desk In Home Office, staggered floating shelves

This idea is perfect for home offices. Two slightly staggered floating shelves give you tons of room for essential objects and offer a more interesting silhouette on the wall.

Use them for books, planners, a calendar, or anything your heart desires.

6. Kitchen Shelves

wooden kitchen open shelves with bottles

Although the kitchen may seem like an odd place for shelves, you’ll be astonished at how much counter space you’ll save with this tip.

Install them just off to the side of your stove for important cooking utensils, so your spatulas are always at arm’s reach. Or, if you lack cabinet space, display your plates and wine glasses on the shelves instead. 

7. Small Floating Shelves

Cacti on wooden small floating shelves in empty interior on white wall

If you need to fill up space on a big empty wall with something dynamic and interesting, look no further than a set of small floating shelves.

Each shelf has enough space for one small object or a small stack of books. It’s like giving each of your favorite items its own stage!

8. Bathroom Shelves

Clean towels with soap dispenser on shelf and wooden table in bathroom, white brick wall with bathroom shelf

Similar to the kitchen, not many people think of their bathroom as an ideal place for shelves. But if you have limited countertop space next to your bathroom sink, shelves are the perfect solution.

Use them for your skincare and makeup products or take a tip from the photo above and use a small shelf to display hand towels for your guests. 

9. Repurposed Storage Rack

modern office with Repurposed Storage Rack as shelf

A metal or wood storage rack commonly used for pantry or closet storage can be a fantastic makeshift shelving option.

The open design almost perfectly mimics the look of classic wall shelves, and some even come on wheels for easy moving. Decorate yours with trinkets, books, and plants. 

10. Honeycomb Shelves

Wooden Shelves in Hexagon Shape. honeycomb shelves

More shelves that double as works of art—what’s not to love? The honeycomb design of these particular shelves is as pleasing to the eye as it is functional.

Whether you decide to fill the cubbies or not, they would look adorable in any room. 

11. Cubicle-Style Shelves

Office of business person with desk, armchair of professional, chair for clients, cubicle style shelves, clock, green plant

Another excellent option for home offices and studies is cubicle-style shelving, which is incredibly stylish and functional.

This particular design fits perfectly around a desk (or even around a bed frame) and creates much-needed storage space in small rooms. 

12. Box Shelves

set of wooden box shelves

Get more bang for your buck by swapping out classic floating shelves for box shelves.

They have a more interesting look and extra shelf space. To maximize storage capacity, put objects on both the bottom and top shelves. 

13. Book Shelf Cubbies

Colorful bookshelf cubbies in a nursery or child's bedroom with books.

This idea looks great in a nursery or child’s bedroom. Keep all of your child’s favorite picture books in one place with bookshelf cubbies.

Not only are they cute, but books can’t fall off like they could on a normal wall shelf or bookshelf. 

14. Abstract Bookshelf

white abstract bookshelf

A bookshelf with an interesting shape like the one above may not be practical for all your books, but it can replace a wall shelving unit in a pinch.

Similar to circular or honeycomb shelves, an abstract bookshelf is a work of art in itself—the storage space is just a bonus. 

15. Long Corner Shelves

Two white floating shelves simply decorated with yellow and blue. long corner shelves

Do you have an awkward corner in your home that you don’t know what to do with?

Corner shelves can solve that problem in a pinch. They also maximize the amount of shelf space you get by utilizing the entire corner of the wall.

16. V-Shaped Shelves

Beige and red rolled towels on the wall shelf. v-shaped shelves

V-shaped shelves are perfect for stylishly holding rolled-up towels and linens for easy access. To make this idea your own, purchase an even number of regular floating shelves and install them at an angle.

If you look closely at the photo above, you can tell that these shelves are four separate units that expertly fit together!

17. Hanging Shelves

Wooden shelves hanging on ropes with plants in ceramics pots. Front racks on white wall

Hanging shelves look great in homes with rustic-themed interior design.

Install one in a convenient spot or buy multiples and hang them on top of each other, like in the photo above, for a makeshift bookcase made only out of shelves.

18. Wire Shelves For Dishes

woman hand takes dish from inside wire plate drainer. wire shelves for dinner

This is a fun DIY hack that will make your life so much easier in the long run. Did you know a wire shelf can be used as a dish rack? Install it above your sink so your dishes drip right down the drain for a mess-free kitchen. 

19. Picture Ledge

Serene hallway with dark wooden picture ledge displaying a variety of framed artworks, including black and white photos and textual art, complemented by a vase with dried pampas grass

Rather than hanging art directly on your walls, install a picture ledge instead. This innovative idea is a fun way to display your favorite pictures and prints.

Rather than fuss over ten picture frames and trying to get them all straight, just put up two of these shelves and skip all the hassle. 

20. Copper Pipe Shelves

Stylish kitchen with vertical copper pipe shelves on a white wall, displaying kitchenware like bowls, ceramic plates, cups, and utensils, complemented by a hanging green plant

These copper pipe shelves are the pinnacle of cool and rustic. If your home needs a little bit of flair but you don’t know where to start, try upgrading your shelves with something like this. It’s storage and style all in one. 

The Perfect Shelves Are Out There

Shelves don’t have to be plain and boring. Spice up your home and take inspiration from any of these awesome wall shelving ideas.

Curating the perfect look in your living room or kitchen is only a click away, so invest in a floating picture ledge or a set of honeycomb shelves and make anyone who enters your home say, “Wow!”

Check out these articles below for more tips, tricks, and ideas:

15 Ikea Bookshelves You Can Choose From

12 Types Of Bathroom Shelves Every Homeowner Should Know

20 Great Wall Shelving Ideas
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