Top-Shelf Ideas | Organize Your Space with Great Displays

More time at home these days means more time to look around and see the need to organize and redecorate. The addition of new shelving to your home just might be the answer, whether you’re looking to update the kids’ rooms, a home office, the kitchen or the family room. Since your home is a reflection of who you are, why not use shelving to showcase your personality, hobbies and interests all while creating order and freeing up some space? There are numerous materials and styles of shelving from which to choose, most of which can be installed on your own with little time and expense.

Open up
A popular trend in home improvement is open shelving. To create this look, you can choose from a wide variety of materials and styles for brackets, and just as many for the shelf that is placed on top of those brackets. While seen in a lot of kitchen remodels, open shelving is a unique and non-traditional way to update any room in your home. Open shelving creates a light and airy feel and can be installed in a space that otherwise seems unusable. A laundry room is a great place for open shelving where detergent and other necessities can be stored in baskets and jars. For collectors, open shelving is a nice option as it allows for the arrangement of treasured possessions that may have been tucked away over the years.

When styling open shelving, organization is key. Group similar colors and styles of items together, and add greenery or flowers for a fresh look. Especially in the kitchen, keep things straightened up and don’t forget to clean often. This will keep your display from becoming a dusty, cluttered mess.

A specific type of open shelving also on trend is the floating shelf. A floating shelf lacks visible brackets holding it to the wall and is ideal for small spaces. They fit perfectly in a tiny nook or corner. Choose black or gray wood or metal for a sleek and modern look; create a warm and cozy feel with a live-edge wood, or farmhouse chic with reclaimed wood. LED lighting can be easily installed to open or floating shelves to highlight photographs, artwork or other collectibles. Consider bringing the outdoors in by installing acrylic floating shelves in a window frame to house small plants and herbs.

Upcycle for style
Homeowners and designers alike have gotten increasingly creative with materials and ideas for shelving. Vintage dresser drawers can be painted and hung on the wall and used as shelves. Choose multiple sizes and shapes for added interest. An unused coffee table or side table in your attic or basement could also be cut in half and hung on the wall for decorative shelving; leave the legs on for a more dramatic look. Even some of your favorite books can be placed on top of brackets and turned into small shelves in an office or reading area.

If you are limited in your ability to hang things on the wall, simply use wine crates to make an instant shelving unit. They can be painted to match any decor, easily moved around, and stacked into different patterns. An old wooden ladder can also be turned into a stylish shelf. After some sanding and a fresh coat of paint, attach wooden boards increasing in length from the top step down to the bottom, using a level as you go. The boards will lay across the steps and ladder rungs, giving you lots of room for extra kitchen storage or a place to display favorite family photographs.

Refresh and restyle
A little creativity can go a long way when taking your current shelving from somber to stunning. Try replacing the existing brackets with a more modern color or finish, or use corbels instead, a thicker and more substantial support for shelves, usually made of wood or stone, for architectural interest. The area behind your shelves can be painted or wallpapered, or you can install beadboard for added texture and warmth. Decorative moldings affixed to the edge of a shelf or on the top or bottom of a bookcase turn an ordinary piece into something more distinctive.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding or updating your shelves. Why not take a cold winter weekend and get your friends or family involved in a fun and relatively easy activity? Whether you tackle a small area in a powder room, or an entire wall in the dining room, you’ll be updating your home while making memories.


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