The Art of Floating Shelves

There is definitely an art to hanging and decorating floating shelves. The trick is to make them look purposeful and not random, and you want them to feel organized and not cluttered. Floating shelves can be used in so many different ways, it’s hard to cover them all in one blog post. But, there are some simple tricks to help you envision how and where to use them in your own space. My first tip is that if you are using smaller shelves (3 feet wide and under would be a good general rule) anchor them with a table, stools or something substantial underneath them. This will create a good visual balance on the wall and help to keep you from walking into them if you are a klutz like me!


Another great way to use floating shelves is to create the look of a built-in storage unit for a fraction of the cost. If you have a nook that doesn’t seem to really work in the space, fill it in with shelves going all the way up the wall. If you have a little bit more in the budget, add some closed storage on the bottom to really give that custom built-in look.

And a final trick is to put floating shelves in a corner. It’s an unexpected detail that can help you bring some life into an otherwise boring and dull corner of a space. This works really well in larger rooms where you tend to lose energy in some parts of the space.

These are just a few general rules to making floating shelves work, and there are a ton of unique and creative ways to make the shelves work for you. Thinking outside the box can create some of the best interiors!

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  1. 1
    Jennifer Lawrence says:

    can you hang a longer floating shelf above a shorter one…I know the rule of thumb is to have the shorter one on top but can you do the opposite as well?

    I appreciate your advice

    Jennifer Lawrence

    • 2

      It would definitely depend on the space where you are hanging them, but typically the longer shelf would go underneath for visual balance. You want bigger, bulkier, and longer items underneath things that are visually lighter, smaller and shorter. It keeps the eye from thinking the display is upside down.

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