Divide and conquer with chic, contemporary shelving to suit any home

Blue sofa in a modern living room with a geometric footstool and patterned cushions plus a half wall shelf

Image: Good Homes/Andrew Boyd

Spirit level in one hand, hammer in the other, putting up shelves can completely transform the both the feel of a room and its practical potential – especially if you're clever about it.

These five ideas will show you how you can take your storage to the next level; from a clever alcove arrangement to half walls and a design perfect for a child's bedroom, displaying your everyday items will never be boring again.

Stagger alcove shelves

Fireplace alcove with white floating shelving against a forest green wall

Image: Good Homes/Andrew Boyd

This neat trick breaks up traditional linear shelving and creates bespoke niches, tailored exactly to your needs. Remember to display tall items that will reach above the next shelf to give your displays movement and modernity, and you needn't go for the evenly-spaced arrangement above – experiment with different shelf lengths and heights for a more higgeldy-piggeldy, creative look.

Let's go low

 Andy Warhol artwork leaning on a low grey concrete shelf, with firewood stored underneath and hanging plants above

Image: Good Homes/Andrew Boyd

Who said that all shelving should be at eye-level? Try something completely different and fit a continuous low shelf across one wall. Paint the shelf itself and the wall underneath a rich grey hue, tuck storage boxes underneath and display vases, books and trinkets along the length. It also gives you a great excuse to not worry about hanging up art prints – you can just lean them against the wall instead. 

Shape it up

Scandi style nursery with yellow and white wall, modern crib and tree-shaped grey shelving

Image: Good Homes/Max Attenborough

Ideal for kids' bedrooms or nurseries, design your own MDF backdrop to frame floating shelves. Trees work well, as do hearts, clouds, houses, animals and even fish. For a more grown-up space, stick to simple shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. If DIY isn't quite your thing, get in touch with a local carpenter and design your shape on graph paper so they can scale it up to whatever size you wish.

Panel halfway

Half panelled wall painted a dusky coral, which has then been used as a shelf to display vases and plants

Image: Good Homes/Malcom Menzies

Panelling adds character and structure to any room, modern or traditional, and if you only go halfway up and add wooden capping, it doubles up as a beautiful display space too. Just remember to measure your widest vase or largest book and make sure the ledge is deep enough to hold them.

 

Are you tackling shelving this month? Show us what idea you try by tagging us on Instagram with #thisgoodhome, tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

5 clever storage ideas for a clutter-free home

Fuss-free kitchen with plenty of storage

5 modern decorating ideas from a renovated Victorian house

painting-your-home-common-myths-debunked
Living Room

Painting your home: 5 common myths debunked

Think twice about these decorating myths, and get top tips on how to actually get the best finished when painting your home.
how-to-plan-for-a-living-room-revamp
Living Room

How to plan for a living room revamp

Get creative and start planning your living room revamp while you have more time at home.
how-to-style-an-industrial-living-room
Living Room

Industrial living rooms: 5 top styling tips

Proven to be one of the hottest interior trends, industrial living rooms are definitely on our style radar.
 
how-to-refresh-your-home-without-going-shopping
Living Room

4 steps to refresh your home (without buying anything new)

Give your home a new lease of life by re-styling it with what you already own.
how-to-prepare-to-lay-new-flooring
Living Room

How to prepare to lay new flooring in your home

Laying a new floor is a more achievable DIY task than you might think. Find out how to do the prep work for a successful...
living-room-updates-for-spring
Living Room

5 ways to update your living room for spring

Give your living space a refresh for spring by following our top decorating tips.