Installing decorative wall shelves is an easy and fun way to give your home a stylish decor element without much hassle or headache. It's a great way to add sparks of your personality to the room, and it can also serve the ultimate function of providing storage or a place to add even more home accents you'd like to display. Picking the right shelving unit can turn a simple-looking space into an area filled with life, artistry, and charm.

A primary concern we hear is regarding installation and design. However, with the proper guidance, these worries can float away. Putting wall-mounted shelving in a room doesn't have to be crazy, time-consuming, or expensive. Instead, it's likely a project you can complete relatively quickly, leaving yourself in awe of both the new design element, affordability, and level of effort needed to accomplish the task.

However, choosing the right decorative wall shelves is crucial. From sizing to weight, design shape to placement, what to place on the shelves, and more, it's key to know what to look for.

At Old Time Pottery, we have affordable wall decor for all spaces, tastes, and purposes. With floating wall shelves, wall-mounted shelving, wood, resin-coated shelves, metal wall shelves, and so much more, you can find just the right pieces to elevate the look of your living space.

Keep reading to learn more about different shelving options, such as style and shape, how to pick the shelves you need, tips for installation, placement, and ideas for adding decor to your new design.

Different Shelving Options

The first place to start is to select the right shape for your new decorative wall shelves. The shelving units should match the feel of the room you're styling. Rustic farmhouse areas are an excellent place for wood or distressed resin units, which help pull the space together by extending that natural, outside feel. Using a metal wall shelf is an excellent addition to a living area with more of an industrial feel, full of mixed-medium pieces.

Additionally, finding the right shape and color is essential to complement your space. One way to look at a shelf installation process is to think of it as adding to the room, bringing out the best in the pieces you already have. Consider providing an eye-drawing contrast on a wall. You can do this by using floating shelves that are darker or lighter than the surrounding elements. Alternately, with a room full of curved furniture, straight shelves can help balance out the circular look.

Consider what you're going for in terms of style, material, shape, and color before you begin shopping to know what you need before diving in.

How to Pick Which Shelves You Need

To figure out which decorative wall shelves you need, there are a few points to keep in mind. The first and most essential point is determining how much weight the shelves need to hold. Some units, like floating wall shelves, mainly serve as a spot to hold shallow, low-weight items. Small pieces like mini-succulents, small picture frames, or eclectic art books are great options.

You need to ensure that the shelving you install is equipped to hold the weight you need. If you're looking to use decorative shelving as more of a storage or organizational space, a deeper and sturdier option, such as metal wall shelving, is the way to go.

When shopping for your new home decor, always check the packaging or product description first–it should have the weight limit listed.

How to Install Decorative Wall Shelves

The great thing about adding new decorative shelving is that it's generally easy to install. It won't turn into a project for the entire weekend–most people find they can complete the job in just about an hour, depending on the size of the units. Another perk is that decorative shelving doesn't require the work of a professional; it's a great DIY project. You won't have to dig deep in your pockets to add new, fashionable decor to your space.

To complete the job, you will need basic hand tools, usually a hammer, nails, and perhaps a screwdriver. Most decorative wall shelving sets have everything you need to complete the job—wall mounts, screws, and attachments. You won't have to go to the local hardware store hunting for small items–everything you need is in the box or where you keep your tools!

Follow the instructions on the box or product guide to assembling the shelves in no time.

Tips on Placement

Placement, placement, placement! Where's the best spot to install your new shelves? Usually, the best option is to keep the unit centered on one wall or over a central piece of furniture. If you have a narrow wall next to a sliding door, adding a few small floating shelves can amp up and add flair to what would otherwise be a blank space.

Centering the units over the most prominent space in the room is another excellent option. Loveseats, couches, chests, or home office desks are all popular choices.

You can also "frame" your furniture and existing decor with shelves. Use the same number of shelves on either side of an entertainment console, for example, at evenly spaced intervals.

While traditionally, shelving has been imagined as one straight line, you can create unique, stunning designs with floating wall shelves. Consider staggering the shelves at different heights while keeping them in straight lines to maintain a cohesive look. A way to do this is to use one long shelf as the bottom piece with two shorter shelves placed above. Others create a "zig-zag" shelving up a wall, an eclectic way to elevate your design further.

Tips on Decorating Wall Shelves

Now that you have the right wall shelves installed how you like, it's time to get to the fun part–decorating. With this step, the sky is the limit, and your imagination can run wild. Fill decorative wall shelves with lightweight faux greenery, sentimental family photos, treasures and keepsakes from vacations, small geometric home accents, and whatever else your heart desires.

There's no wrong way to decorate a wall shelf, as long as it's with things you love and want to serve as a focal point in the room. Anything that fits, that's special to you and is within the weight limit, and the depth of the shelves is a possibility. You can place items in your house that you've been dying to display or shop for new home accents to create an entirely new look. The choice is yours!

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About Our Blog

When it comes to home decor inspiration, we think our shoppers have the best ideas! We have a passion for the unique and beautiful - whether it's decor, food, or furnishings. You'll find simple, inspired ideas to enhance your home and excite your family from real Old Time Pottery fans. Browse all of the looks from Instagram and Pinterest to others' #otpstyle, and use the hashtag to show off your own styles.