Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tired of boring horizontal shelves? Try these new and unique shelving ideas for a change.

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When you think about it, shelves are like tables for your walls. Being short, there’s a lot of space on my walls that I could use to put my growing stash of stuff (what happens when you stop moving every 6 months!). But what’s more boring that ordinary horizontal shelves placed symmetrically along a wall?

Not a lot.

So I started looking at some original ideas for shelving. These shelves have movement and expression, create focus points for rooms and, best of all, provide extra space for all your stuff (or, you know, books.)

So let’s have a look at some unconventional, original shelving to inspire your next decluttering session.

1. Diamond shelves are a reader’s best friend

One of the basic shelving shapes is the square. But what if you put the square on its corner to make diamonds? This small change makes a big difference in the look of your shelves.

Traditional Family Room by Phoenix Architects & Building Designers Candelaria Design Associates

With just a 45 degree rotation, you get an original shelving look that’s dynamic and attracts the eye. Shelve your books, magazines and DVDs randomly to either side to add some visual interest.

Here’s a variation on the same basic idea:

Modern Home Office by Other Metro Architects & Building Designers sak designs

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Instead of flat (albeit bright) wall-mounted shelves, this unit uses a diagonal line to get more shelving space and provide a focus point for this ultra-minimalist office.

2. I have shelves in strange places

Shelves don’t have to go just in the living room, or bedroom, or office. They can be anywhere, from staircases to hallways. Let’s have a look at a few ingenious placements for shelving space.

Contemporary Staircase by London Architects & Building Designers Platform 5 Architects

Now that is an awesome way to house your book collection. It certainly saves you the trouble of eating more and more space with a growing forest of bookshelves!

Contemporary Hall by Kansas City Design-Build Firms Hufft Projects

Although more decorative, this hallway shelving is certainly original and eye-catching. It enhances the curved movement of the wall and leaves space to display a few thoughtful pieces of art.

3. Shape of my shelf

Sometimes you don’t need strange angles or placement to make your selves interesting. Ever thought about using shapes around the shelves? Let’s have a look at a few examples.

Contemporary Kitchen by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Galeazzo Design

Here, we have straight shelves in a rounded shape; perfect to break the straight, rigid lines of the rest of the kitchen. I also like how the back of the shelving uses wallpaper to contrast with not only the rest of wall, but also the curved shape around the area.

Eclectic Kids by Costa Mesa Architects & Building Designers Grace Blu Designs, Inc.

This kid’s room has rounded shelving units that contrast with the straight lines of the couch. I love how the shapes are put together in this room, and how the colors enhance the overall effect.

4. Material shelf

Sometimes what can make shelves unique is the material it’s made of. Different materials make for different effects, whether subtle or dramatic.

Contemporary Home Bar by Salt Lake City General Contractors DFS Construction Inc.

I love this shelf design not only because of its serpentine, free-floating shape, but also because of the retro look of distressed wood, which contrasts to well with the modern plastic and metal used in the rest of the space.

Mediterranean Dining Room by New York Media & Bloggers Artisan Books

Whoever thought that cinder blocks could be used to hold shelves together? You get a decorative design and a sturdy, industrial look in a single decorative piece.

Eclectic Spaces by Salt Lake City Photographers Lucy Call

If you’re the DIY type, it won’t be hard to find old wood crates and to turn them into retro-looking shelves. Definitely a look worth going for!

What’s your story, shelving glory?

Obviously, you don’t have to answer in song titles (caught that yet?), but I would like to know if you’ve ever used some type of original or unique shelving for your home decor. Let me know in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.