Shelf Help

If you are decorating a studio, dorm room or loft, you are undoubtedly dealing with shelves. When not appointed properly, shelves can be an eyesore or simply appear to be too cumbersome. Fortunately, there are some furniture designers who understand the geometry of shelving and create pieces that are true works of art. When used properly, shelves can add style to a room, eliminate clutter and even be used in a creative and artful manner. 

Just because shelving is practical doesn’t mean that it cannot add an aesthetic quality to a room. Shelves are a great place to display all of the small art pieces and souvenirs that you have collected and been gifted. They also give you the opportunity to give a room a whole new look without ever having to move a single piece of furniture. 

What kind of Shelves Should You Buy?

Floating shelves are currently a hot trend in interior design. A floating shelf is a single shelf that has wall fixings camouflaged within the shelf board itself. It is best to attach them to a wall stud. If you are wondering how to find studs in your wall, you can simply use a stud finder. A stud finder is basically a metal detector that you use to find things such as nails in your wall. You can hang floating shelves virtually anywhere. You can put one or two above the television or use them to add extra storage space to your kitchen. They can add a simple bookshelf to a room or be used to store extra towel shelves over the toilet in your bathroom.

Wooden shelves with a metallic frame can offer a nice textural contrast to a home office space which is likely to have a lot of wires and have a utilitarian appearance. They can also work in a living room or bedroom, so long as they are fairly small and not used as the focal point of the room. 

How to Arrange Art on Shelves

When you are placing artwork on shelving, make sure to vary the size of the pieces. You always want to draw a visitor’s attention upward. 

Leaning artwork on a floating shelf is also an easy way to add style to a space.  You can place a floating shelf over your sofa and put several framed pictures on it. If you let them overlap a bit, it will have a hip and eye catching effect on a room.

Have no idea where to put that fabulous African artwork you picked up on your trip to Kenya? Why not display it on a high wall attached shelf right next to some small wicker storage baskets or a painting in a solid colored frame? Although it may sound like too much of a contrast, if you combine the colors and tones correctly, it will actually draw the eye to each individual piece of artwork. You can also change the artwork on the shelves every now and then to change the look of the room without changing the furniture.


Creating Artwork Using Shelves

The way you arrange your shelves can be an art form in itself. You can take an old school wooden bookshelf and place a metal step ladder next to it, creating a library effect in the corner of the living room or as a centerpiece to a study. You can stack floating shelves in a stair like fashion and display those classic hardcover books you took so much time to read back in college. You can also arrange your books by the color of their covers to add a brightening effect to any room. 

No matter how you decide to use shelving, it is important to keep shelves free of clutter. Make sure to dust them regularly and keep everything that you put on them clean. If you feel that you do not have the time to keep everything you put on an open shelf looking good, than drawers may be the way to go. Shelves can add a personal style to a room. Symmetrical placement of the shelves and a careful balance of the objects you put on them will allow you to put your best style on display.