Floating Wall Shelves for Any Decor

Save precious floor space and enhance your interior design.

byJeremy Helligar| PUBLISHED Sep 17, 2020 6:54 PM
Floating Wall Shelves for Any Decor
Floating shelves are a breeze to install and let you display all your favorite knick-knacks and books. SRIWATANA

Say goodbye to massive bookshelves that take up half of your floor space and threaten to break your back on moving day. With floating shelves, you can free up a large chunk of your room, and they are much easier to match to your furniture. You can also arrange them in decorative patterns that enhance the look of a room. But before buying one, figure out how much weight you need it to hold as well as the height, width and depth that your space will accommodate.

Small and Decorative
Check Price
These little cuties are designed for holding photos, plants and smaller collectibles.

You don’t want your floating shelf to buckle under the weight of what you put on top of it, so always opt for shelves that will hold a little bit more than you need them to. The strongest shelves tend to be made of wood and steel, so keep this in mind if you’re going to be stacking thick, heavy books on it.

Modern Look
Check Price
Deep enough for small plants and collectibles.

Although we usually associate shelves with more muted colors, keep this in mind: shelves in bright colors or white will create the illusion of enhanced light in a room. Meanwhile, darker shades will make a large space seem more intimate and cozy.

Versatile Design
Check Price
Arrange this set to sit on top of the brackets or between them.

Once you know how much weight you want to place on top of your floating shelf, you can determine how much bracket support you’ll need. Longer shelves require more brackets to prevent sagging. Horizontal rods on brackets allow them to hold up increased shelf weight, so the more rods you have, the more books you can stack. Make sure your bracket will fit completely under your shelf. A good rule of thumb is to measure the shelf’s depth and subtract at least one inch. The sides of the shelf shouldn’t overhang the brackets by more than six inches.

Perfect for Toiletries
Check Price
It’s damp-proof and heat-resistant, plus a separate hanging rack can be attached or used on its own.

Whether you’re installing the shelves yourself or leaving it to a professional, you’ll need screws to attach the brackets to studs or blocking behind the wall, so keep these measurements in mind: if you’re attaching them to concrete or brick, 2-inch-long, 3/16 inch- and ¼ inch- diameter screws with plastic anchors should provide adequate support. For fixing to wooden joists, #8 diameter deck-type screws that are at least 1 ¼- inch long should work, while screws and nails for attaching to drywall can be the same diameter with a length of 1 ¼ to 1 ⅝ inches.

Rustic Look
Check Price
The set of three have a torched finish and U-shaped design and are perfectly shaped for leaning smaller books vertically.

Books are probably the heaviest thing you’ll put on a floating shelf in the living room or bedroom, and since most books aren’t more than 9 inches deep, you’ll likely be OK with shelves that are only an inch deeper. For all-purpose floating kitchen shelves, 12 inches should nicely match the storage space of most cabinets.