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8 Types of Shelves to Organise Your Home

white alcove shelves
3 August 2023 Edited 15 February 2024 8 min read
8 Types of Shelves to Organise Your Home

Shelving is an indispensable part of any home or office. Shelves provide much-needed storage and organisation solutions in nearly every room. With so many options available, it can be tricky to determine which shelf type best suits your space and storage needs. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular shelf varieties along with their distinct characteristics.

Whether you need display ledges for carefully curated collections, sturdy shelves to bear the weight of heavy books, or convenient open shelving to maximise storage, there is a shelf style fit for your needs. Factors like aesthetics, weight capacity, installation method, and budget play key roles in shelf selection. Keep reading as we break down the pros, cons, features, and best uses of various common shelving types to help inform your purchasing or DIY project decisions.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are aptly named for their appearance of being suspended in midair without visible supports. This illusion is achieved with brackets mounted to the rear or top surface of the shelf that are hidden from view. Key features include:

  • Sleek, minimalist aesthetic
  • Hidden brackets attach securely to wall studs
  • Best for displaying lightweight items and decor
  • Available in varied sizes and configurations

The streamlined silhouette makes floating shelves a popular choice for modern, contemporary homes. They can be used singly or in clusters to artfully display vases, framed photos, small decorative objects, accent lighting, and more while appearing weightless. Just be mindful of weight limits when styling.

Bracket Shelves

scaffold shelves scaffold shelves

Bracket shelves are characterized by exposed brackets or standards mounted under the shelf surface to provide reinforcement and support. Key features of bracket shelves include:

  • Large, weight-bearing brackets offer sturdy support
  • Ideal for heavy books, collectables, appliances, and more
  • Can be purchased ready-made or custom-built
  • Some brackets allow for adjustable shelf heights
  • Can be used free-standing or mounted to walls

The visible brackets lend an architectural, structural look well-suited for industrial or farmhouse decors. Bracket shelves are perfect for heavily loaded bookshelves, kitchen appliances, or displaying bulky collectables. Just be sure to install it into studs and account for weight limits properly. Check out our range of scaffold shelves if you're after a rustic, visible bracket look.

Corner Shelves

corner shelves corner shelves

Corner shelves are designed to effectively utilise awkward, often neglected corner spaces that typically collect clutter. Some key features include:

  • Take advantage of wasted corner real estate
  • Triangle-shaped shelving fits seamlessly into corners
  • Can be open-faced, wall-mounted and corner-connected
  • Great for collections, plants, accent pieces, and small items

The right corner shelf opens up storage potential where you need it most while adding style. Use corner shelves in living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and more for practical storage and organisation.

Ceiling Mounted Shelves

Ceiling-mounted shelving hangs from the ceiling rather than attaching to the wall.

  • Creates a floating, aerial effect without floor space
  • Allows for open, walk-under shelf space
  • Ideal above beds, desks, kitchen islands and in garages

Defy gravity with ceiling-mounted shelving that appears to soar overhead while freeing up precious floor area. This speciality shelving adds modern appeal and space-saving solutions perfect for tight quarters. Weight capacity is limited, depending on the fastenings used, so aim for lightweight displays.

Pipe Shelves

pipe shelves pipe shelves

Pipe shelves are made from plumbing pipes cut to desired lengths, paired with wood shelving. Some key features of pipe shelving include:

  • Plumbing pipes screwed into flanges to create supports
  • Exposed piping gives an industrial, urban vibe
  • Compliments Modern and rustic aesthetics
  • Configurable as wall-mounted or free-standing

The utilitarian look of pipe shelves brings rugged warehouse chic to any space. We offer a variety of pipe shelves made-to-measure, with configurable heights and wax finishes. Alternatively, you can buy pipe shelf brackets to pair with a shelf board.

Wall Mounted Shelves

wall mounted shelves wall mounted shelves

Wall-mounted shelves fasten directly to the wall as a singular piece or with basic supports. Key features include:

  • Mounted flush against the wall as one solid unit
  • Many sizes and configurations are possible
  • Floating, bracketed, or ledge styles are available
  • Provides versatile storage for any room

Go for a simple integrated look with wall-mounted shelving customized to your space. Measure carefully and utilise studs for secure mounting. Consider built-ins for a seamless look with cabinetry and architecture. We offer a range of wall-mounted rustic shelves in a range of styles and finishes.

Free Standing Shelves

free standing shelves free standing shelves

Free-standing shelves sit on the floor rather than attached to the wall. Key features include:

  • Floor-based units like bookcases, utility shelves, and display cabinets
  • Do not require mounting for installation
  • Provides expansive storage and organisation
  • Typically have a higher load-bearing

Freestanding shelves are perfect when wall space is limited or when you require large, movable units. These can also be used as room dividers or organisers anywhere floor space allows. Remember to ensure that proper anti-tip hardware is used, especially if you plan to store heavy or delicate objects on your free-standing shelves.

Built-in Shelves

free standing shelves free standing shelves

Built-in shelving integrates directly into existing cabinetry, like wardrobes, alcoves and kitchens.

  • Installed seamlessly into surrounding cabinetry or walls
  • Custom-designed and built specifically for the space
  • Provides a cohesive, streamlined appearance
  • Options for doors, drawers, and internal dividers

For a unified look, opt for built-in shelving tailored precisely to your storage needs and shaped to your space. Work with carpenters or contractors to construct fixed shelving that appears to be part of the existing architecture and flows with the surroundings.

Find the Right Style of Shelf For You

With such a wide variety of shelving styles to consider, take time to assess your space, storage needs, weight requirements, and style preferences before choosing the perfect shelves for your home or workspace. Analyze where clutter tends to accumulate to determine optimal shelf placement and configurations. Measure carefully before purchasing or building shelving. Please browse our range of shelving systems to find your ideal aesthetic. With the right informed shelf choice, you can enjoy stylish, functional storage solutions exactly where you need them most.

Floating shelf with bowl and plant Floating shelf with bowl and plant

Oak Floating Shelves

Veneered with real hardwood oak.

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Desk Tops

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About author

Chloe Parke

When not working with the digital team at Cut My, Chloe is a Professional Organiser with over 5 years experience transforming homes across Sussex. She shares her passion for storage and organisation on the Cut My Blog.

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