Interior Obsessions – the Shelf

By Modern Simplicity • Updated on 07/07/2021

Moving away from our focus on the bedroom and last week’s look at headboards, today’s look at interiors focuses on an item that can be used virtually anywhere in the house: the shelf. A shelf is define as “a flat length of wood or rigid material, attached to a wall or forming part of a piece of furniture, that provides a surface for the storage or display of objects,” and can be used throughout the home in a multitude of ways.

Shelves can become an integral part of the architecture of your living space, built completely into the walls, or can be as simple as a storebought bookshelf. Open shelving can hold tableware or favorite objects, can be as deep as a full cabinet or shallow to provide a simple ledge for framed photos or a mirror. Shelves can serve as a room divider, can become a minimalist desk, or can be an art object that becomes the focus of the wall itself. They can display an entire collection or a single object. Made of wood, stone, glass or metal, they can be alone or in groups, stacked or staggered, thick or thin. By far the most important concept in the use of open shelving is that you need to be deliberate in your choices of the items you display, because they are on immediate view. So group like items and/or colors, and simplify your picks to avoid a hodge-podge look.

(above) Mezzanine Shelf

Mirror Ledge + Angled Kitchen Shelving

Stacked Boxes

Movable Shelf Divider + Slab Desk

Built-in Niche

Amy wrote this post. She is the designer and owner of FormFire Glassworks, where she creates modern lampwork glass beads and jewelry. You can follow her twitter @formfireglass.

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I love the ideas in this post!


Oh, I love the last shelf – such a clever way to create storage space in an unobtrusive way. Very clean and simple!

Julia @ Boredom Abounds
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