Store away clutter and create beautiful displays with these great ideas for floating shelves.
1/10 Floating living room picture shelf
A floating picture shelf is shallow so it works brilliantly placed above a sofa to display art or photographs. Group and overlap different sized frames for a relaxed vibe. Here, a neutral backdrop, chunky wooden furniture and ikat prints create a tribal feel.
Don’t miss our pick of the best floating shelves.
Floating picture ledge
2/10 Bank of shelves in home office
Extra-long floating shelves are a really practical solution in a home office. The bottom shelf is set quite low, so it acts as an extension of desk space, while the highest shelf is perfect for larger objects such as box files and decorations. An all-white scheme keeps the look neat, clean and tidy.
3/10 Wooden joist alcove shelves
Old spare joists from a roof have been upcycled to create rustic shelves in this dining room. A stunning display piece in themselves set against a plain, white wall, they also create a mini gallery space to exhibit favourite ornaments and keepsakes. The pieces chosen for these shelves are kept to a natural colourway with hints of blue that echo the artwork.
Similar joists for shelves
4/10 Floating shelf above bed
Use unused space above your bed by fitting a discreet cupboard shelf in a colour that matches your wall to keep the look simple. This design is suggestive of a headboard, but with the added advantage of providing storage and display space for accessories and pictures. In a small room like this, keep your colours tightly controlled for a tailored feel.
5/10 Floor-to-ceiling floating alcove shelves
Liven up an alcove with floor-to-ceiling shelving. Pick a strong shade, then paint the walls and shelves the same colour as it can make a small space appear bigger. Look for designs that have a lip at the front that will prevent items slipping off when stored face on like these books. Use a matt paint finish for a sophisticated look and take the colour to furniture and furnishings too.
Farrow & Ball
6/10 Hexagonal shelves for house plants
Treat your house plants to a dedicated wall space. For a clean, contemporary display choose quirky shapes like these hexagonal wooden box shelves. Each one makes a feature of its contents by creating a frame around it. Place two or three close together for added impact and try painting each interior in a different tone for a pretty finish.
Similar storage boxes
Rigby & Mac
7/10 Symmetrical floating shelves in smart living room
Add depth to an otherwise plain living room wall by hanging regimented box shelves in a symmetrical pattern. Paint the shelves in the same shade as the wall to give the look an understated, elegant finish. Fill with decorative files and pretty stationery in complementary shades to create a cohesive scheme.
Made In Design
8/10 Dark wood kitchen floating shelves
Chunky dark wood shelves set against stark white walls and cabinets give this kitchen a 1960s Californian feel. Fitting easily accessible open shelving rather than wall units opens up the room, giving a feeling of space. Colourful chairs and funky printed cushions add to the open-plan, retro look.
9/10 Pretty house-shaped shelving
Energise a neutral room like this kitchen-diner with playful pops of colour and happy accessories. Choose fun shapes like these box shelves designed as little house shapes, then add character with pretty ornaments and feminine pastels - perfect for a contemporary, yet country, look. Each shelf frames its contents, giving it extra emphasis in a room scheme.
Rigby & Mac
10/10 Floating shelves in green painted alcoves
Make a personal library vibrant by painting the walls behind shelves an eye-catching colour. Here, the clever use of zingy lime picks out green tones in the traditional fireplace creating an eclectic mix of old and new. The use of white across the other elements of the room turns the shelves into visual framing elements for their contents.
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Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at Idealhome.co.uk to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.
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