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10 Brilliant Ways To Style And Use Open Shelves

Open shelves are a great way to increase storage space while also being able to display our possessions.

As one of the consequences of urban living is probably not having enough space, shelvings are a great solution to most storage needs.

However, if used uniquely shelves can add much more than just that to our spaces.

There are various ways we can incorporate open shelving and utilize them for different purposes.

I have listed some great ways open shelves can not only be used and styled for your indoor adequacy.

white ceramic bottles on shelf
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(All images via Pinterest unless stated otherwise)

1. Create a Reading Nook

It doesn’t exactly require a genius to think of using shelves for books, I know.

But use these open shelves to stack books along with another shelf/plank to create a cosy surface where you can curl up with a book and you have your very own reading nook.

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2. Replace Kitchen Cabinets with Open Shelves

Gone are the days when you had to tell your guest which cabinet to look into for cups.

The latest decor trend is to have open shelvings in your kitchen, and we’re all about it!

It not only allows you to display all the beautiful china and crockery you have collected over the years, but also lets you clean them easily.

Open shelves look great and they might even be easier to install than regular cabinets if you are one to DIY.


The Victorian Rectory | deVOL Kitchens

3. To Create Divisions

I always love a trend that has multiple uses or solves multiple problems. Open shelves are a subtle way to create a curtain between spaces.

For instance, a large living room can easily and beautifully be divided into a living and a dining space by just adding a curtain of open shelves in between.

It is a genius way to create division in small spaces or make the most out of your apartment.

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shelf life. | sfgirlbybay

4. To Display Art, Books, China and Collectives

Of course, you can use open shelves the traditional way and display all the pieces you have so dearly collected over all these years.

Also, if you are someone like me and want to keep changing the artwork on your walls or are too afraid to commit to them and don’t want to drill in hooks, shelves come to the rescue.

You can just lean these artworks or frames on the shelves, change them when you want or just remove them once you’re bored.

To make these shelves interesting, add quirky things, visually appealing books, pieces of different sizes and flowers/plants to add a little liveliness.

5. To Utilize Wall Openings/Corners

If you have awkward wall openings or just corners that you don’t quite know what to do with, again,

open shelves can be drilled in there and voila! You have a functional space now and no awkward emptiness.

a perfect gray: Neutral Territory

6. To Create a Tv Unit

Don’t like the empty area around your TV?

Drill in some shelves. Add some books. Place some quirky things and you have your very own TV unit.

I’d like to repeat that it is a great way to utilize and make more out of small space.

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If you’d like to learn more about styling a small apartment or a studio, please check out my recent post where I have designed a conceptual studio apartment and discussed some cool ideas on saving space and styling. Check the post out here: How To Style A Studio Apartment: Designed by TMP

7. Create a bar/breakfast corner

If you are living in a small space, you might be dealing with inadequate space to put in a dining table.

Or even if you do have enough space for that, you might like an additional bar/breakfast corner or just a space to hang out when someone comes over for coffee.

A 1’5″ plank on the wall and a couple of barstools might do the trick for you here.


8. Open Closet Space

If you don’t have a walk-in closet, but do have a spare room or say, a storage area lying around, it can easily be turned into your very own walk-in-closet. All you need are some shelves.

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9. Create a Plant Wall

If you are a plant lover and have all these beautifully thriving green babies, why not give them their own home. You can have a wall specifically dedicated to your plant babies, where you can show them off.

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10. A Functional Study Space

If you want a study area but lack space, again, shelves can be your friend. You can add a shelf plank which is wide enough for you to work and it can create a functional area without taking much space.

Decoração barata: ideias acessíveis para mudar a casa já (Foto: @cafofo_208)

Also check out: Why You Need Yellow Walls In Your Home

More Inspirations for Styling And Using Open Shelves:

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12 Concrete Interiors: Concrete cubbies might not be your first choice for storing porcelain, but the chunky concrete shelving unit is gorgeous. The floor in the kitchen of this house in Sri Lanka, by architect Geoffrey Bawa, is polished concrete too.

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