Unconventional Shelving Ideas to Give Your Living Room a Facelift

The sky (or at least, the ceiling) is the limit when it comes to creative shelving ideas.

By Ty Anderson


So, you’re running out of floor space. You have more knick-knacks and trinkets than you have hours in the day, and your living room is starting to feel more “hoarders” than homey. Adding some mounted shelving is a great way to save oh-so-precious floor space while making your living space feel airier and less cluttered. But why settle for simple boards and brackets when exciting, compliment-worthy shelving is only an arm’s reach away?


1. Table Scraps

We’ve all got one — that beat-up old table that sits in the guest room, the garage, or the back porch. We tell ourselves we’ll sell it, or we’ll fix it up or find a place for it. But let’s face it: We won’t. Rather than letting it take up space collecting dust, rip the boards apart, buy some inexpensive brackets from the local hardware store, and mount those puppies where the world can see them. Bonus points if the table is made out of solid old wood.




2. Get Creative with Crates

Anything from cheap wooden crates from the craft store to antique shipping crates to dynamite boxes will do. Simply face the open side to the center of the room, drill a few holes, and screw them into a sturdy wall. These crate-shelves are perfect for showcasing prized vases or trinkets, as the walls of the box will act as a frame to feature your favorite decorations. An important thing to note with any sort of mounted shelving is that sturdy walls are essential, and investing in a stud finder will help locate the best places on your walls to mount them.




3. Draw Upon Your Drawers

This one is particularly wacky, but it works. Pull out some drawers from an old jewelry cabinet, a cupboard or a dresser, and mount it to the wall in the same way you would the crates. Take the knobs off, or leave them on and get creative. Filling a wall-space with alternate-facing drawers and knobs can create a fun staircase effect that houseguests won’t stop raving about.




4. Classy Glass

Glass shelves are great for enclosed spaces in front of windows, like above your kitchen sink or across a window seat. Most towns house at least one local glass shop that will be willing to cut made-to-order pieces of glass in your desired dimensions and thickness. Measure the space for your shelf, give them a call, and voila! Mounting glass shelves is much easier than you’d think. Simply drill four holes in the wall, about an inch away from where the corner of the glass will sit. Pick up some cheap pegs from the hardware store, stick them in the holes, and set the glass on top! Voila! You’ve created a chic resting place for plants and pots alike.




5. A Tisket, a Tasket…

A basket! Not necessarily a shelf, but this tip works much like the previous ones. Secure two hooks to the ceiling, in a corner or against a wall, and overlay each with a long piece of twine or string. Tie each string around the handle of your favorite basket, hanging it at eye-level. Suspended baskets are perfect for dangly plants, gloves, and scarves, or simply for miscellaneous storage.




As you can see, the sky (or at least, the ceiling) is the limit when it comes to creative ideas for shelving. If you can drill a hole into it or tie a rope around it, you can find a way to feature it in your home. So get to it! And don’t sell yourself, or your shelf, short.


Images used with permission, courtesy of Ty Anderson

Next: Decorating Your Mantel to Warm Your Hearth