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Shelf is a universal element of interior design. It serves as a piece of furniture and decoration. Its possibilities as an object that gives style and tone are endless. An ever-increasing choice of materials allows for infinite design development.

Shelf as a source of design possibilities

The most commonly used materials for shelves are wood, MDF, metal and glass.

Undoubtedly, the best option for all interior styles is a wooden shelf. This is an ageless classic. Such shelves guarantee safety and are environmentally friendly. With proper treatment of wood, they are easy to care for, have a pleasant to the touch texture and elegant appearance.

In a modern interior, shelves for the wall can take any shape: tree branches, a house, clouds. They can be polygonal, referring to the structure of honeycomb, round and square. For the owner of the apartment, the problem is usually not in the choice of form, but in how to drill holes in the concrete walls and mount the shelf so that it holds firmly. Let’s try to describe the types of shelves, classifying them in terms of their placement and arrangement.

Hanging shelf

The wall in the living room will decorate effectively a simple shelf suspended on a rope, string or wire. All you need to do is to make a hole in the wall in the right place and hammer a nail into it. The only thing you need to work on is a solid installation of the rope, chain or wire – the thing that will hold the shelf. You can make the latter from an ordinary board. Just be careful not to put fragile and delicate objects on such an unstable surface.

A board on a string is only one of many variations of a hanging shelf. Instead, you can hang a wooden box, a basket, a tray of appropriate size, a wooden window ledge, a polished slice of wood… Any unnecessary thing in your home can turn into a small work of art. You will create a place in your living room where you can put some souvenir or a nice handicraft.

Corner shelf

Corners in any room, not just the living room, are a zone that needs to be softened somehow. Even feng shui teaches that places where walls converge at right angles are a hotbed of bad energy – for the good of the household it should be dispersed.

In the corners there may be sculptures or potted plants, but a better idea to arrange them are corner shelves, which will allow you to display souvenirs or store necessary things. You will need three or four brackets to mount a corner shelf. You will have to use a drill for a while, but in return you will get additional functional space. Corner shelves will liven up even a boring, empty corner in your living room.

Simple wall shelves

The simple form of such shelves serves as a backdrop for a rhythmic array of objects, mainly books. You can mount horizontal open bookshelves on brackets or use invisible arms. You can hang a series of parallel shelves on consoles. If you appreciate home warmth, create a composition that reflects your passions and achievements. Arrange trophies, awards, collectibles and photos on the shelves.

The side walls and ceiling form a rectangle in which you can arrange your universe in miniature. It’s like having a small stage box inside your living room. A miniature theater where books and small works of art play their roles. Even a solitary vase, shell, cup with saucer gain a special meaning in this rectangular frame. In such a space you can enclose your memories and hobbies. Everything that tells about you.

On one of the walls you can also hang an open, simple shelf made of valuable material. It can be a shelf in the type of antique console, hand-carved and gilded, stone marble board or custom-made from a rare type of solid wood. On such a decoration it is worth exposing something beautiful – a small clock, a small sculpture or a porcelain object.

Designer shelves for the wall

Any departure from the strict horizontal and vertical lines will create an original decor. Recently very fashionable wall shelves with sloping surfaces in the shape of a tree are an ideal solution when we want to divide space in the living room. Some items, such as stacks of magazines, are even better stored on sloping shelves. Giving up horizontal lines, which is also a gentle mockery of the theory of gravity, allows you to create a holistic image of the living room.

Remember, however, that an excessive fascination with unusually shaped shelves may turn out to be tiresome not only for the eye. Everyday experience tells us that objects are better stored on horizontal surfaces.

Main photo: Anna Sullivan/Unsplash

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Lilliana Ross

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