Shelving in the interior – original ideas, design, functionality

By installing a Shelving in the interior of any room, you get a practical and organized mini-space. A room of any style is decorated with this simple device. Both the structure itself and its contents will serve as decoration. Especially if the back wall creates a beneficial contrasting background for items and parts on the shelves. Along with the design function, the shelves do an excellent job of ergonomics. Items are neatly arranged to form a real storage system.


The article describes in detail all the options for rack installations, what capabilities they have, attractive sides, and disadvantages. Separate items are the materials from which the furniture accessory is made. You can find out which of their colors and shades are considered classic, and which are fashionable. Here we consider shelving in the interiors of rooms with different purposes. Several rules and tips are proposed on how best to place an object in space, how to zone a room with it, and how to decorate everything beautifully.


Shelving is a practical piece of furniture

Different things are stored on the shelves. Their set always depends on the preferences, hobbies, or occupation of the owners of the room. If a direct purpose is provided, then they proceed from these goals, the functions of the room itself.

Rack filling:

  • books
  • figurines
  • modern miniatures
  • a photo
  • vases
  • candlesticks with candles
  • desk clock
  • sewing accessories in a chest
  • original dishes
  • thermometer
  • piggy bank
  • seashell
  • interesting design puzzles
  • origami figures
  • collectible little things
  • abstract decor
  • souvenirs
  • stacks of folded home textiles (for bedrooms, bathrooms)
  • shoes, clothes (for dressing rooms)
  • coloring books, stationery, and toys (for the nursery).
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Advice! Try to fill the shelves with items that are in harmony with the overall interior and its style.

Standard dimensions of classic shelving structures:

  • height – 180 cm
  • width – 90 cm
  • shelf-wall width – 2-3 m
  • depth – 45 cm
  • the depth of the lower shelves – no more than 30 cm
  • height between shelves – 35-40 cm.


  • Ease of installation.
  • Lightness (there are some exceptions).
  • Ergonomics. A large number of items can be stored in a small area.
  • Great organizer. It is easy to find the right thing.
  • Compared to cabinets, the openness of the shelves represents openness and lightness to the visual perception.
  • The optimal solution for a small room – there is no feeling of something heavy, pressing.
  • Easily transforms into interior partitions.
  • It is always easy to repaint or change the appearance of the shelves.
  • Application as a decorative element.
  • Suitable for any room, in almost any style and purpose.

The rack plays two roles – a functional space and a decor (give the interior originality). Connoisseurs of miniatures (sculptures, figurines, paintings, photographs), archaeologists, geologists, any collectors will definitely like such a useful device

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Disadvantages (they are conditional):

  • Not everyone likes open shelf space.
  • For high-tech style, it is better to hide all the details, so the racks will have a scanty filling.
  • Not everything can be placed on the rack – the width of the shelves is limited, the item may not match the style of the room.
  • Completely through structures can seem inconvenient – without side restraints, things can fall to the floor, they need to be installed further from the edge.
  • Dust builds up quickly. We often have to do the cleaning.
  • From the lower tiers, things will be easy for children or pets to get.
  • Books and other decorative items on the shelves placed by the window can fade in the sun.

Personal small things are also placed on the shelves – a stand with jewelry, a stand for a smartphone, jewelry boxes, a cigarette case, champion cups, medals, awards, a diploma in a frame under glass. In order not to clutter up the desk, a calendar, a diary, a mini-organizer, a planner are put on the bookcase.

For a pleasant stay, service with your favorite drink and glass is placed on the lower level. An abstract decor can be driftwood, metal rods in a spontaneous connection, skewed cubes. Anything that is small in size and eye-catching is safely put on the shelves.

Shelving 5

Shelving types

Shelving units are:

  • the frame (or through) – several levels of shelves are fastened with racks
  • with a blank wall – similar to a closet, has a back wall, shelves, but without doors
  • hanging shelves
  • classic floor racks
  • non-standard (for example, a stepladder rack)
  • straight, angular
  • decorative – an unusual form of construction
  • closed – with glass doors
  • built into wall niches or furniture
  • heavy-weight stationary units with or without legs
  • mobile – mobile shelving
  • with a shelf-table top
  • asymmetrical with different depths
  • various forms of installation – straight lines, with the letter “G”, “P”, a slide (pyramid), a ladder.

Frame racks in the interior can serve as a delimiter when zoning space. Instances of light shades look very good on a dark background of wall decoration. This contrast adds a pleasing variety to the overall design theme.


Materials for making

Metal structures will perfectly serve in rooms with high intensity of use – storerooms, garages, utility rooms, utility rooms. Products made of chrome-plated strong steel are also suitable for kitchens, dining rooms, or living rooms, but only if these rooms are made in the style of high-tech, minimalism, modern, cosmo, eclecticism, or constructivism. Designs with glass shelves are also suitable here.

For interiors with smooth lines, soft shapes, and curves, racks from:

  • plastic
  • DVA
  • LDSP – laminated chipboard
  • array.

An example of interiors with warm colors, large space, and heterogeneous geometry – Scandinavian, hygge, classic, pop art, art deco, loft. For Provence, retro, country, Italian or English styles, additional decorative details will be needed – moldings, overlays on the end of the shelves, with wood carvings.

Standard colors and popular shades

The shades and colors of materials are selected so that they are combined with the decoration of the walls, floor, ceiling, and echoed the interior idea, the general style ensemble. In the design world, all colors and shades are used for items such as interior shelving.

Fashionable Shelving Colors:

  • white;
  • cream;
  • beige;
  • the black;
  • for wood;
  • chocolate;
  • classic brown;
  • steel;
  • Gray;
  • blue;
  • yellow;
  • turquoise;
  • olive.

Advice! For those who are afraid to overdo it with shades and color combinations, we recommend using three colors. Let two of them be contrasting. The third is a shade of one of the first two. For example – on a light gray rack, items of dark gray, blue, and white will ideally be combined.

Shelving 6

Shelving in different interiors

The fewer shelves and blank walls in the structure of the rack, the more it seems weightless, unassuming, and stylish. If the rack is intended for decorating the space, then its shelves do not clutter up with objects. Non-standard will be the shelves, equipped under the stairs, in the niches of the walls, in the attic, where the ceiling hangs at an angle, or on balconies, loggias. Consider arranging shelving in different rooms.

Shelving 7


A small or narrow hallway will be functionally complemented by a narrow shelving unit attached to the wall. In small spaces, it is important to save space in a high traffic area. Floor models are not used in such hallways. Mounting options are most suitable here. If the corridor is spacious or the hallway looks like a square hall, then the rack can occupy the entire wall or half of it. Such designs can be combined with a shoe rack, mirror stand, and seat.

Shelving 8

Living room

The end-to-end shelving in the living room will look unusual, delimiting the space end-to-end to the doorway between the hallway and the living room. One side of such an installation can be decorated with frosted or transparent glass. Any living room will look beautiful with a shelving unit. It is easy to place decorative figurines, vases, books, framed photographs, periodicals, correspondence in it. You can even integrate a TV, music, or game center.


The convenience of the shelving in the bedroom lies in its mobility. If the model is not heavy, then, if necessary, it can always be rearranged to another place. Functionally, its purpose is the same as that of a chest of drawers. Neatly folded towels, linens, and other items that can be displayed are stacked on shelves. The lower tiers can be made with baskets with linen covers, in which all sorts of little things are usually kept. The open organizer is perfect for Scandinavian, Hygge, or Provence bedrooms.


A shelving unit in children’s rooms is an essential attribute. It will serve as a place for storing children’s things, toys, stationery, and other small parts. It is convenient to place a globe or any other voluminous objects on it. And at the same time, it will become the main element of the play area. A dense rug is usually laid close to the bottom of the shelf or wall shelf, on which the child would be comfortable to play.


Kitchen, dining room

In the kitchen, the rack can be anything – floor-standing, wall-mounted, small, large on the entire wall, classic or non-standard shape. Much depends on the interior style and parameters of the area of ​​the room. Small kitchens will seem more spacious with hanging shelves than massive cabinets with blank facades. In spacious kitchens, you can install a free-standing rack for decorative dishes, crystal, and wine boxes.


The upper part of the rack is given for storing items of the outgoing seasons on its shelves. Mediums are for clothes you can wear now. The lower shelves are convenient for shoes, accessories (gloves, umbrellas). It is better to store scarves, stoles, and hats higher. The shelf can be combined with two units – a full-length mirror and a large space like a wardrobe, where a hanger bar is mounted. All together makeup one stylish design.


Bathroom, home laundry

An indispensable attribute – shelving in the interior of bathrooms, home laundries, or a combined bathroom. The lower tiers can be occupied by various small utensils (detergents, cleaning products, washing powder, gel, sponges, rags, and others). They can be stacked in special boxes or baskets. Middle and upper – under towels, napkins, body care products (shampoos, balms, creams, bath foams). The decor will look beautiful – candles in glass candlesticks, sachets, fragrances, dried flowers, herb brooms.

Different spaces

With the help of shelving in the bedroom, living room, or dining room, you can arrange a corner of your study, library, and even a mini-workshop for needlework. If there is a separate room, then whatnot will come in handy there too. For craftswomen or craftsmen, it will contain various tools, consumables (for example, yarn, threads for a home loom, or artist’s brushes and canvases). In a library, shelving can occupy an entire wall, even more than one. And the study will look more interesting if the shelves are arranged along the wall around the work table (with the letter “P”).


Pantry, utility rooms, stairs

Separate storage rooms and utility rooms will be less functional if cabinets are installed there instead of racks. If the house has a wide staircase leading to the second or attic floor, it is more convenient to place a shelf with a shallow depth along with the gallery of steps. For cramped stairs, this technique is ineffective. But the spaces under the narrow stairs can be easily made practical by installing a small rack there.

Zoning with shelving

Zoning using a stack as a partition is organized based on the purpose of the object. If you need to separate part of it with a rack in the interior of the living room so as not to create the appearance of two rooms in one large room, then they put a thorough structure with shelves. For design solutions, where a floor rack should delimit, divide a large room into two, they put a structure with a solid back wall.


Shelving decoration

Here are some helpful tips for harmonizing shelf space:

  • They use different approaches – symmetry and asymmetry, paired, single and complete items.
  • For motley and multi-colored book spines, a simple technique is used – each book (or several unsuitable bright ones) is wrapped in beautiful paper.
  • Superfluous little things, things that should not be displayed, are hidden in boxes, baskets (for a Scandinavian interior style), boxes (for a classic interior), chests, or suitcases (for vintage design). If the containers are massive, then they are installed on the lower tiers. For light and attractive specimens, place on higher levels.
  • Everything beautiful and stylish is put on top, heavy, and large – down.
  • The layering method will allow you to stack as many things as possible on the shelf. And they will all look organic. The principle of using the height and depth of the shelves works here. For example – horizontally stacked books will serve as a “pedestal” for a statuette.
  • It is easy to balance the filling using different heights. For example – we put some books vertically. Others are stacked horizontally.
  • Identical objects do not clump next to each other. It is better to distribute everything evenly over different tiers.
  • You can correctly arrange items on the shelves using the “Triangle” technique. The method helps to balance the shelf content. A triangular figure is visually drawn between things (shown in the figure below). It can be any – isosceles, equilateral. Rhombuses are allowed. Different distances of triangular visualizations will give dynamics to the overall composition.

The lighting for the rack can be made of LED strip or spotlights mounted on the upper tier. In the dark, it will add romance and emphasize the whole ensemble. For rooms in the hygge style, ordinary electric garlands, carelessly thrown on shelves and window curtains, can serve as backlighting.

Indoor flowers, ikebana, placed on the upper shelves on the sides, will bring liveliness and a breath of natural uniqueness. Seasonal options will look very nice – autumn, summer, spring bouquets, winter ikebana. The small decor is suitable for a children’s room – floral, butterflies, colorful stickers. For the bedroom, the bookcase can be decorated with a casually thrown string of beads.


A shelving unit is a useful and aesthetic interior element. With its help, you can quickly organize the order in the space and at the same time fill it with stylish little things. There are a large number of types of whatnots. They can be installed in the corner of the room, along the wall, or they can zone the room, serving as a light interior partition. For each type of room, as well as the functionality and purpose of the furniture accessory, the rack will differ in detail. Its presence makes space lightweight, orderly, balanced.

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