How to Create Wow Shelving
More often than not, shelving is something that we overlook in our homes because of its practicality and often because it has been inherited from our younger years or (if better quality), or has been passed down to us from family. Beautiful shelving can be hugely rewarding and practical, especially when thought-out perfectly. Thinking about shelving as more than just for storing books or essential items can create truly imaginative and beautiful spaces. A shelf can be so much more than just a piece of laminated chipboard that bends after a few months because you put too many books on it.
Your shelving needs to be considered alongside your storage solution and also needs to be considered for each individual space. That isn’t to say that shelving is just practical, although beautifully organised items play an important role in the overall look and feel of a room. Shelving can be sculptural, textural or it can include artistic elements and work as mood lighting and or even as an artwork.
The first step to creating beautiful, practical shelving is to always consider the types of items you have to store, which location they are best suited for and the space in which you are going to place them. The next step is to consider how you would like the room to look or feel overall and see how you can create that feeling with the combination of items either on the shelving or think of a way that the shelving itself can enhance that feeling through texture, light, shape or contrast.
Although thinking about the purpose of your shelves will help you make your decision, it is best to ask yourself whether you want your shelves to stand out or blend in with your home. Shelving doesn’t need to be simple or basic and there are many ways to incorporate practical solutions into whatever space you live.
Below are are a few ways to rethink your shelving solutions and create some wow factor with your bookshelves.
Play with the type
Built-in, custom made, freestanding or floating. Rethink the typical shelf and find original ways to create your shelving. Creativity can stem from looking at an existing piece and trying to make it work in a new area or you can consider an every day object that you wouldn’t normally use as shelving and consider it in a new way. For example, try using boxes as free floating shelves.
Consider the shape
We are used to seeing rectangular shelves or built-in units, but what if your shelving was sculptural, vertical rather than horizontal or undulating? Think about the space you have what you want to display and also consider how the shape can enhance the overall mood of the space. What if your shelving grew out of the wall like a tree branch or what if parts of a 2D wallpaper were made 3 dimensional with your shelving elements? Get creative or ask your kids for ideas!
Hidden lighting, visible lighting, surround lighting or detail lighting. There are numerous ways to integrate light and contrast into a shelving unit. This can not-only work as mood lighting throughout a room, but can also be used to highlight specific objects on the shelving unit. Consider the whole room and see how you can create a focal point by lighting a specific area of your shelving.
Make a material change
The laminated or timber shelving that we are used to seeing can remind us (fondly or not) of our grandparents houses or our first few rented properties. Just imagine that shelving can be covered in leather or fabric or it can be covered with metal or even red velvet! Take a material that you would never have considered as a highlight material for your shelving and see how you can include it to create a different feel or mood and imagine what a sensual surprise it can bring into a space.
Shelving is often thought about as something practical that holds a few items or ornaments or worse still, something to fill in some space on the wall, but your shelving even as a storage solution doesn’t need to be boring or last minute and if considered well, it can become a real personal feature in your home.