30 Clever Ideas for Floating Shelves in Any Room

A navy blue laundry room with patterned wallpaper and floating shelves.

Whittney Parkinson Design

Over the past few years, interior designers and homeowners alike have been favoring floating shelves in rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and more. Not only are they a great option for adding storage, but they take up less space than bulky cabinets, making them more versatile and ideal for small spaces. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate floating shelves into your home, we’ve got you covered. Here are 30 clever ideas for floating shelves that you’ll want to copy.

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    Accent Your Fireplace

    Wood floating shelves next to a white fireplace.

    William Lavalette Photography for Lava Interiors

    Fireplaces are a great addition to any living room but can quickly take up valuable space and make a room feel smaller. Install floating shelves on either side of a large fireplace to help keep your living room feeling open and bright.

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  • 02 of 30

    Mount Shelves Above Your Bed

    A long floating shelf installed behind a bed above tongue and groove panelling.

    @laura_porter_interior_design / Instagram

    There are so many options when it comes to styling the wall behind your bed, but this tongue and groove accent wall with a floating shelf by Laura Porter Interior Design takes the cake for us. We love the added storage space and the fact it can double as a plant shelf.

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  • 03 of 30

    Utilize Corner Space

    A recently renovated kitchen with floating shelves in the corner.

    Mandy McGregor Photography for Bearded Builders.

    Utilizing floating shelves rather than upper cabinets in the corner of your kitchen is a great way to open up the space and make the room feel bigger. Take a page from the Bearded Builder’s book, who installed these dreamy custom floating shelves in their client’s kitchen renovation to help provide some stylish and functional storage in an otherwise awkward corner of the room.

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    Create a Hidden Desk

    Built-in floating shelves used as a desk space next to a fireplace.

    @jellyandjonny / Instagram

    If you’re looking for a clever way to incorporate a desk into your home without creating a major eyesore, then built-in floating shelves are the way to go. Instagram user @jellyandjonny created a stylish floating desk in her living room that can double as decorative shelving.

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  • 05 of 30

    Forego Upper Cabinets

    A bright and modern kitchen with no upper cabinets and a floating shelf instead.

    Desiree Burns Interiors

    Looking to open up your kitchen space? Try forgoing upper cabinets altogether in favor of a long floating shelf and let your backsplash steal the show. Use it to display artwork and other curated kitchen goods for a stylish and minimalist finish.

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  • 06 of 30

    Install Shelves Above a Window

    A bright white kitchen with a floating shelf installed above the window.

    Arbor & Co.

    Floating shelves don’t always have to replace cabinets in a kitchen. We love this sneaky floating shelf installation in a kitchen designed by Arbor & Co. It's perfect for showcasing your favorite houseplants.

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  • 07 of 30

    Create a Floating Mantel

    A floating shelf mantle installed above a wood stove in a bright white living room.

    @athomewithnic_ / Instagram

    Installing a floating shelf above a wood stove or fireplace is the perfect way to create a mantel without a huge renovation. The result is functional and stylish. We love this thick wood mantel that Instagram user @athomewithnic_ added to her living room, which is perfect for styling with seasonal decor.

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  • 08 of 30

    Make a Minimalist Beside Table

    A small floating shelf used as a bedside table.

    @lifestyleby_mari / Instagram

    Keep your bedside simple and minimalist by using a floating shelf instead of a table like Instagram user @lifestyleby_mari. It will give you just enough space for your bedtime essentials without creating an opportunity for clutter.

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    Accent a Corner Sink

    A white kitchen with a corner sink and floating shelves on either side.

    Ashley Lyn Home

    Prevent your corner sink from feeling tight and boxed in by replacing the upper cabinets on either side with floating shelves like blogger and home DIY-expert Ashley Lyn Home. Add some houseplants to the shelves or showcase your favorite kitchen items for a seriously stylish display.

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    Fill an Awkward Wall Space

    Two floating shelves installed in a bathroom next to a shower.

    @making_edison_home / Instagram

    If you have a small space that you don’t know what to do with, adding some floating shelves is a great way to finish the space. Instagram user @making_edison_home made the most of the space between her shower and a wall by adding two floating shelves to showcase her favorite art, houseplants, and other accessories.

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  • 11 of 30

    Break Up Your Kitchen Cabinetry

    Floating shelves installed in between two upper kitchen cabinets in a bright white kitchen,

    @wild.hearts.home / Instagram

    Using floating shelves to break up your kitchen cabinetry is a great way to give your eyes a break and provide some visual interest in your space. Instagram user @wild.hearts.home used floating shelves in her kitchen as an opportunity to showcase a beautiful zellige tile backsplash, along with some stylish decor.

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  • 12 of 30

    Hang Shelves Above Your Coffee Bar

    Two small floating shelves installed above a coffee bar,.

    @rejoiceinhome / Instagram

    Calling all coffee lovers: elevate your morning coffee experience with a custom coffee bar. We love how Instagram user @rejoiceinhome created a stylish and functional coffee bar using a combination of floating shelves and mug racks. 

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  • 13 of 30

    Create Bar Storage

    Floating shelves installed to create bar storage.

    Interior Impressions

    When you have barware that looks this good, it deserves to be out on display for everyone to see. Install some floating shelves to showcase your favorite wine glasses, champagne flutes, tumblers, and bar tools.

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  • 14 of 30

    Elevate Your Laundry Room

    Floating shelves in a laundry room.

    @rustiquebyjandp / Instagram

    Laundry rooms can always use more storage. Install some floating shelves to break up the cabinetry and open up your space. Whether you use them for decorative accents like Instagram user @rustiquebyjandp, or to store laundry essentials, they’ll help to make your laundry room a place you won’t mind spending time in.

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    Use Natural Wood Shelves

    Natural wood floating shelves installed on either side of a large fireplace in a living room.

    Interior Impressions

    Bring a touch of nature into your space with floating shelves that showcase the texture and imperfections of natural wood. Match the wood stain to the color of the other furniture in the room to tie the whole look together.

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  • 16 of 30

    Create Over-the-Toilet Storage

    Three floating shelves installed above a toilet in a bright white bathroom.

    @weremodelit / Instagram

    Use the awkward wall space above your toilet to create an open shelving display like Instagram user @weremodelit. It’s a quick way to bring some warmth and style to any bathroom.

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  • 17 of 30

    Style a Small Corner

    Two small black floating shelves installed in the corner of a room with plants and decorative accents.

    @home.by.nayla / Instagram

    If you have a corner that needs a little something extra, consider installing some small floating shelves like Instagram user @home.by.nayla. Use them to showcase your favorite houseplants, candles, and other trinkets.

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  • 18 of 30

    Add Open Storage to a Playroom

    A white playroom with cabinets and open floating shelves.

    Angel Tucker for Wescott Building & Remodeling.

    There’s no denying that kids' playrooms require a lot of storage to keep the mess at bay. We love this combination of cabinets and floating shelves by Wescott Building and Remodeling that allows for hidden storage while also creating a spot to showcase special items.

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  • 19 of 30

    Create Bedside Book Storage

    A floating shelf with stacked books next to a bed in a bedroom.

    @afrobohemianliving / Instagram

    Keep your books within arm's reach at all times by installing a floating shelf at table height next to your bed. Add some pillar candles and a reading lamp to create the perfect little reading nook.

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    Showcase Your Favorite Curated Goods

    Two wood floating shelves with plants and curated vintage decor.

    J Thomas Home / Instagram

    If you’re passionate about collecting vintage decor and home goods, it’s important to have a good place to highlight your finds. We love how Instagram user @shannon.e.santiago displays her carefully curated home decor using wood floating shelves.

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    Make a DIY Bathroom Vanity

    Two large floating shelves used to create a bathroom vanity.

    Timltv / Getty Images

    Looking for a creative idea for your next bathroom renovation? Try creating a minimalist bathroom vanity using floating shelves. You can leave the shelf space open to showcase the wall behind (think stylish tile or wallpaper) or you can get some large storage baskets for some hidden storage.

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  • 22 of 30

    Frame a Deep-Set Window

    A navy blue laundry room with patterned wallpaper and floating shelves.

    Whittney Parkinson Design

    Rather than extend the upper cabinets to the edge of this deep-set laundry room window, Whittney Parkinson Design chose to add floating shelves to keep the area from feeling boxed-in. The result keeps the emphasis on the bright window while remaining functional.

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    Match Your Kitchen Cabinets

    A modern kitchen with matching floating shelves.

    Interior Impressions

    Blend your floating shelves seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen by choosing the same color or type of wood for the cabinets and shelves. This light and bright kitchen by interior design firm Interior Impressions replaces one upper cabinet with slim floating shelves for some extra visual interest. 

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  • 24 of 30

    Create Clever Seating

    Built-in floating shelves with a seating bench,

    @modern.minimalist.home / Instagram

    Extend your built-in floating shelves to seat level to create some clever seating in your space like Instagram user @modern.minimalist.home. Add some throw pillows to create a comfortable bench, perfect for settling in to read a good book.

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    Choose a Floating Shelf Unit

    A round floating shelf unit on a wall with decorative accents and plants.

    Arbor & Co.

    Are standard floating shelves just not speaking to you? If you’re looking for something a little more decorative for your space, don’t forget that floating shelves come in lots of shapes and sizes like this round floating shelf unit styled by Arbor & Co.

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  • 26 of 30

    Create Arched Built-Ins

    Built-in floating shelves with arches in a living room.

    @pataniawoodworks / Instagram

    Arches are back in style and are having a moment in interior design right now. Elevate your living room with arched built-ins paired with floating shelves as demonstrated by Patania Woodworks (@pataniawoodworks on Instagram) that are just as functional as they are stylish. 

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    Use Live Edge Wood

    Live edge wood floating shelves with china and plants stacked on it.

    @elwooddesignco / Instagram

    Live edge wood is a great way to bring a natural touch to your space, and it looks fantastic when used for floating shelves, as demonstrated with these custom shelves by Elwood Design Co.

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  • 28 of 30

    Create Stylish and Functional Bathroom Storage

    Styled floating shelves in a bathroom above a freestanding bathtub.

    @humbleabodeva / Instagram

    Bathrooms are usually relatively small, and while cupboards can provide some much-needed hidden storage, floating shelves are a great option to help keep the room from feeling smaller than it is. Instagram user and professional home stager @humbleabodeva installed floating shelves behind her freestanding bathtub to store bath essentials and showcase her collection of artwork and curated home goods.

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  • 29 of 30

    Showcase Your Books and Plants

    Floating shelves with books and plants.

    @thefeelingsneutral_ / Instagram

    Create a spot to showcase your love of reading and plants with floating shelves. Mix in some personal photos, candles, and other knick knacks to keep the display from feeling monotonous, and if you’re a fan of neutral interiors, take a page out of Instagram user @thefeelingsneutral_’s book and flip the books around to hide any mismatching covers.

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    Match Your Mantel to Your Shelves

    Matching wood mantle and floating shelves in a living room.

    @careyhomedesigns / Instagram

    If you are looking to add a mantle to your fireplace, why not install some matching floating shelves along with it? We love the thick, stained wood mantle and floating shelves that Carey Home Designs created for their client’s living room space.