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The Essential Guide to Shelves

Whether you’re using them for aesthetic or functional purposes, shelves are an essential addition to any home or apartment. They provide necessary storage, help decorate a space, and are available in various types, meaning there’s a look and purpose that fits any need. How do you pick the best ones for your space? Here are 6 different types of shelves and what you need to know to get the most out of them.

Floating Shelves Filled With Plants

Shelves Can Be Sized to Fit The Space

Bathroom Shelves

Shelves should be chosen to fit the space and needs of specific rooms in the house. Bathroom shelves, for example, are often smaller than shelves in other rooms due to the size of the space. Cubby shelves work great in bathrooms when filled with decorative baskets to hold miscellaneous supplies and toiletries or to display extra towels. Hanging shelves keep items out of the way, and additional shelving added to bathroom closets improves storage capabilities in the room.

Kitchen shelves, on the other hand, should be a bit more expansive to fit all of your kitchen and dining essentials. They will need to vary in size to accommodate even your biggest soup pan, and must be functional for your style of cooking and living. Living room or bedroom storage requires similar questions. What types of items are you storing? How often are you going to need to be removing these items for use? When deciding what shelves to get, think about where they are going and what size will work best. Know your exact room dimensions when you shop to avoid purchasing shelves that are too big or too small for your space.

Bookshelves Serve a Dual Purpose


Shelving units provide great storage, but they also can be used to decorate a space. Bookshelves are especially great at providing both of these functions. They hold all your favorite reads and are a great space for adding plants, statement pottery, baskets, or other trinkets. A mix of fun geometric shapes or unique conversation starters will add interest to the room when displayed on a bookcase as well.

A fun take on the traditional bookcase is a ladder bookshelf. When leaned against a wall and filled with your favorite things, this design makes a charming statement that fills a room without seeming too large or bulky.

Floating Shelves Help Declutter

Floating Shelves

Shelves can either be open or closed by design—depending on whether you want to showcase your items being stored or tuck them out of sight. Because of its open and airy look, open shelving is a trendy design for all rooms of the house—with the kitchen being no exception. This design technique works best when your items are organized and uncluttered, but the shelves must still show variety, charm, and fun contrasting colors or textures to avoid looking dull or boring. Floating shelves allow you to show off your favorite mugs, dining sets, or kitchen tools and decrease your clutter by making you evaluate and show off only your favorite and most-used items.

Organize open shelves with your most-used items in front and easily within reach. This will allow for easy access and will help avoid the hassle of constantly rearranging or straining to reach for items way at the top.

Hanging Shelves Add Aesthetic Variety

Hanging Shelves

With their fun design, hanging shelves add a unique twist to your storage options. They can be small to create a simple statement by displaying just a few items, or they can be large enough to meet your larger storage needs.

Proper hanging is essential to making sure these shelves don’t topple to the ground. Hanging shelves are most stable when mounted into a stud, and can be reinforced if necessary to hold extra weight.

Wall Mounted Shelves Diversify Your Storage Options

Wall Mounted Shelves

Wall mounted shelves can range from a single shelf to an entire shelving unit. They are mounted directly into the wall and do not need a base to support them from underneath. While most of these shelves are open or cubby-style, wall-mounted closed shelves are an option as well. From simplistic living room shelves to durable bathroom shelves, this style has a diverse lineup that can look good in any room of your home.

Metal Shelves Are Great For Utility Purposes

Metal Shelves

Metal shelves are often popular for free-standing shelf towers or metal baskets shelves. Metal shelving units are also popular for temporary or freestanding pantry setups or and can give an industrial feel to your space.

Wire shelving units are also great for use in a garage or basement due to their durability, storage capacity and budget-friendly pricing options.