Shelving should suit the way you live and the space you have. Find a place for everything with these ideas using freestanding, wall-hung and modular shelves.
Create wall to wall shelving
Place three open shelf units flush to the wall to create the look of built-in storage that doesn’t dominate the room – and requires no DIY
How to choose the right unit
Allow 3cm to 5cm space above books so you can easily pull them out
For accessibility, go for units no higher than 21cm, with the top shelf at 180cm
Shelves should be 30cm wide to fit larger books and 20cm for paperbacks, CDs and DVDs. Leave 25cm to 30cm between each shelf
Hardback books are heavy, so need sturdy shelves. Slim shelves are only suitable for lighter paperbacks and ornaments
Keep the wall color light to contrast with dark shelving and provide a backdrop for ornaments
Divide the room and add space for everything
Separate living and dining areas with freestanding shelves. They’ll add storage that can be accessed from both sides
How to style your shelving
Display objects in between books – it’ll lighten the overall feel
Keep the look neat by tucking small items away in storage boxes
Arrange books by size – it’s more visually pleasing to have large ones at the bottom in deeper shelves
For closed-back bookshelves, line the back of the shelves with wallpaper to add a personal touch
Store over sized books horizontally to reduce the stress on their spines
Put display items on eye-level shelves
Light-colored shelves divide without being too dominating; choose a darker unit for a greater impact.
Create a focal point by grouping flowers in the middle of the unit – mix and match vases of different shapes and sizes for an eye-catching feature.
Use box shelves to create a focal point
Hang box shelves above your desk, painted to match the color of your wall. It looks smart and you’ll never need book ends again.
To customize your shelving, line the backs of the cubbyholes with a bold-print wallpaper
Double the capacity of your shelves
Fit two rows of books on each shelf – simply raise the back row of books on a piece of wood that’s painted to match the shelves.
Paint the floating shelves the same color as a desk below to create a modern take on a dresser
Hide your stuff behind sliding panels
Create stunning but inexpensive sliding fabric panels that’ll look fantastic drawn across alcoves. Try IKEA for the tracks and fixings.
Match the fabric on the panels to the wallpaper on the chimney breast to create the illusion of a feature wall
Transform plain shelves into a bespoke bookcase
Give your shelving a bespoke look – and disguise fittings – by fixing skirting board in the same finish around the front edges
A strip light above the ornaments draws attention to the display area and creates mood lighting
Choose Storage That Grows With Your Family
Want something you can add to over time? Go for modular units you can arrange exactly how you want, with drawer inserts to hide clutter
Laid back on their sides and covered with a seat pad, the modular units create a handy window seat with storage