22 Great Wall Shelving Ideas

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Shelves are usually the last thing a person thinks about when decorating their home. Bigger furniture like couches and tables is a more pressing matter in an empty room, but those bare walls will need tending to once all that is settled. 

There are so many options out there for shelves that we couldn’t possibly cover every single one in this post – but we gave it a go. From classic bookcases to abstract shelving units and everything in between, we’ve curated a list of 21 great options for wall shelving that is guaranteed to inspire your next interior design project.

Whether your vibe is modern or rustic, whether you have a ton of space or just a small corner to fill, we’ve got it covered. Keep reading to find the perfect shelves for your space. 

vintage shelf with assorted ceramics and glass containers. 22 Great Wall Shelving Ideas

1. Classic Floating Shelves

Bright cozy interior with armchair and Classic Floating Shelves

Sleek, modern, and simple – display all your favorite knick-knacks 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 a piece of art on their own; the shelf space is just a bonus! Try decorating yours with a vining plant, as shown above. The long downward lines created by the plant are an interesting contrast to the round shelves. 

Check out this Tangkula 4-Tier Round Shelf on Amazon. 

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 rental’s walls, try this trick. A bookcase with lots of small sections like the one above mimics the shelves’ look without the risk to your security deposit. Look for a backless option, so the wall shows through – this will be truer to the desired effect. 

5. Staggered Floating Shelves

Laptop On A Desk In Home Office, staggered floating shelves

This idea is perfect for home offices. Two floating shelves that are slightly staggered 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

The kitchen may seem like an odd place for shelves, but you’d 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 little stack of books. It will be like giving each of your favorite items their own stage!

Check out these 4-Inch Floating Wall Shelves on Amazon. 

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 classic wall shelves’ look, 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 a piece 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. 

Check out these Farmhouse Chic Hexagon Floating Shelves on Amazon. 

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, cubicle style shelving, 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. Not only do they have a more interesting look, but they also have extra shelf space. Put objects on both the bottom and top shelves to maximize storage ability. 

13. Book Shelf Cubbies

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 take the place of a wall shelving unit in a pinch. Similar to circular or honeycomb shelves, an abstract bookshelf is a piece of art on its own – the storage space is just a bonus. 

15. Long Corner Shelves

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

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, plus they maximize the amount of shelf space you get by utilizing the entire corner of the wall. What else can you put in the corner of a room that will fit so snugly?

16. Small Corner Shelves

If you’re strapped for space, look for small shelves that just fit in the corner of a room without extending out on either side. This trick is a lifesaver in small apartments or homes with many windows where you may not be able to find wall space for shelves otherwise.

17. 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. DIY this idea by purchasing an even number of regular floating shelves and installing 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!

18. 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!

Check out these OMYSA Hanging Shelves For Wall And Window on Amazon. 

19. 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. 

20. Invisible Book Shelves

Invisible bookshelves are a fantastic way to display your favorite novels. The actual hardware required is just a small bracket that will safely fit a stack of books, so they look like they’re floating! This kitschy shelving idea is perfect for all the bookworms out there. 

Check out these Umbra Conceal Floating Bookshelf Brackets on Amazon. 

21. Picture Ledge

Rather than hang art directly on your walls, take a design tip from Pinterest and install a picture ledge instead! This fun idea is an innovative 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. 

Check out this Extra Long And Narrow Picture Ledge Display on Amazon. 

22. Copper Pipe Shelves

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

How To Build Shelves Under Stairs [3 Easy Steps]

12 Types Of Bathroom Shelves Every Homeowner Should Know

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