5 Stylish Floating Shelf Ideas That Add a Sense of Whimsy to Any Space

floating shelves

Design: 22 Interiors, Photo: Amy Bartlam

There’s arguably no more versatile storage solution than floating shelves: They maximize the size of any room by utilizing wall space to create more surface area rather than having to take up a table, counter, or nightstand surface. Also, they suit just about any space, whether you want to keep things formal and elegant or enhance a casual environment. Even the smallest of rooms are floating shelf–friendly.

Seriously, these hanging miracle workers operate well in a kitchen, bathroom, dining room, bedroom, living room, office, foyer, and even a garage—pretty much anywhere that has a wall. Since they clearly contribute a lot of style and functional value, we decided to peruse the internet for different floating shelf ideas to inspire our home updates, and, let us just say, we were not disappointed. Keep reading to discover our favorite finds below.

01 of 05

Create a Statement Wall

floating shelf ideas

Design: 22 Interiors, Photo: Amy Bartlam

If your space is mostly filled with neutral hues and clean, sharp lines, a great way to bring in dimension without compromising the minimalistic aesthetic is by installing linear, neat rows of floating shelves. Then, stack them your favorite décor. We love how this dining room features color-coded books that are laid flat rather than vertical.

It’s a subtle yet unconventional look, especially since the stacks are broken up by random knickknacks like a clock and potted succulent. Even the two speakers on the top shelf create symmetry that looks like part of the design. This floating shelf idea is perfect for anyone who wants to make a statement and let functional pieces like a dining table take a backseat.

02 of 05

Remember: Less Is More

floating shelf

Photo: Michael Wells

Sometimes one shelf is all it takes. Case in point: this chic living room. In this space, the floating shelf is super understated and subtle while also creating a surface ledge for less sightly than essential pieces (think speakers and other tech accessories) and a couple of decorative objects. Since this living room is playing with proportion, it may have looked too busy with an eye-catching console. We love how unassuming it is this way, letting our eye focus on the edgy, beautiful art installation and one-of-a-kind sculptural furniture.

03 of 05

Stay Organized

floating shelf

Design: Fantastic Frank

Just because you don’t have a lot of room in your home doesn’t mean you can’t adorn your walls with your favorite artwork or keep your beloved books nearby. It simply means that you’ll have to get a little more creative when it comes to making room while also staying clutter-free.

Floating shelves are a stylish storage solution in any space, but they’re especially transformative in tight areas where you need to use every last nook and cranny. With floating shelves, this tiny bedroom is still able to communicate a ton of personal character and style without looking overly crowded. 

04 of 05

Consider Going Camoflauge

floating shelves

Design: Lucy Williams Interiors

To create the ultimate floating illusion, make sure you opt for shelves that match your walls. This way, they’ll blend seamlessly, and your objects will look like they’re suspended mid-air. Okay, not quite, but it does make the entire environment look a lot more open. In this space, the shelves provide a designated area for photographs and books. Plus, the blank-canvas aesthetic really makes the black-and-white photographs pop. 

05 of 05

Keep a Corner in Play

floating shelves

Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel

Perhaps there’s no room better for floating shelves than the kitchen, where you likely have countless items to store. Use your cupboards and drawers to tuck away your less attractive cookware and appliances, and then put your favorite bar and serving ware on display with an exposed floating shelf.

Even if you prefer to conceal all your kitchen goods, floating shelves can still be a great option as they allow you to display décor items to formalize and personalize an otherwise casual and functional setting. The light wood finish of these small but mighty corner shelves contrasts perfectly with the glamorous gray marble backsplash, edgy black matte window frame, and gold handle pulls. Plus, they draw upon the wood-top kitchen island for cohesion. Now that’s material-mixing done right.

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