Shelf Life

Create storage, add character and save money by adding floating shelves to your walls.


Floating shelves have been around for years, but not until recently have they become a predominant trend among homeowners and interior designers. Fans of the versatile look appreciate the fact that floating shelves can be used in a kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom—just about anywhere in the house. The addition of floating shelves can transform a room into an attractive and functional space that both you and your guests can enjoy. 

Organization is key when it comes to creating a beautiful, orderly setting. For homes with limited space, the addition of floating shelves can provide a unique and utilitarian storage option for essentials as well as decorative items. 

John McClain of John McClain Design says, “I always recommend floating shelves to clients who have a small space but are in need of storage options. Floating shelves can be useful and artistic depending on how you style them.” 

Instead of putting vintage knickknacks in a hutch, try displaying them on a floating shelf in the living room. To reduce the clutter in your child’s bedroom, get stuffed animals and toys off the floor and onto a shelf. Floating shelves eliminate the need for large storage units, leaving rooms with more space and an inviting appearance. 

If you have everyday household items within eyesight and reach, you’ll avoid the possibility of misplacing items. Dishes, bowls and glasses that are used on a regular basis can be placed on kitchen shelves, while plastic cups, storage containers and mismatched items are better hidden behind cabinet doors. Style your bathroom shelves with items like decorative soaps and towels. Fill baskets with detergents and laundry products and place them on shelves for a neat, sophisticated look. You’ll enjoy the convenience of having everyday essentials within arm’s reach.

Along with being decorative and practical, floating shelves also are affordable for just about any budget. Kitchen renovations can cost significantly less when using floating shelves instead of cabinets. Depending on the size and material, floating shelves can range from $9 to $100 each, whereas cabinets can cost $150 and up for one basic unit. Other benefits: Floating shelves are typically easy to assemble and install, and cause minimal damage to walls. They’re also available in numerous types of materials including wood, glass and stainless steel. 

“We incorporate floating shelves into almost every project that we do—more and more clients are wanting that clean minimalist look,” says Susan Pridgen, design consultant at PB Interiors. “What’s so great about floating shelves, is that they can work in any style home from modern to traditional.” 

Regardless of how you use them in your home, floating shelves deliver a chic, custom look. They offer an opportunity to let your personality shine by providing a showcase for the objects you cherish most.

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