It is finished! You’re staring at your brand-spanking-new floating bookshelves. Now… what to put upon them? We get it, we’ve been there, too. If you’re even HALF as neurotic as I am, you’re probably totally overthinking it. Take a breath and get out of your own head; we got you covered. Here are some seriously solid tips and tricks for decorating floating bookshelves!
5 Dynamite Tips for Decorating a Floating Bookshelf:
#1: Don’t Limit Yourself to Just Books on Your Bookshelves
When it's all said and done, floating bookshelves are just heavy-duty floating shelves. Just because your goal is a “floating bookshelf” doesn’t mean you can’t have some non-book items up on your shelf! These are your bookshelves and you can put whatever you Sam Hill please on them! Try putting plants, vases, ceramic dishes, seasonal items, small toys, or collectibles on your shelves.
Basically, don’t limit yourself! Collect a bunch of items that look fun in your space and get to work, dude!
#2: Get Creative With Colors
If you’re like us, your IG and Pinterest feed is rife with pictures and guides for how to decorate the “perfect” floating shelf. But here is the deal kids: there is no such thing as the “perfectly decorated” floating shelf. Get over it. And another thing: lots of designers and DIYers seem content to stick to super minimal and muted as far as the color palette is concerned. We aren’t saying you can’t do this if you want to—we’re just encouraging you to try something bold and beautiful. For example, most of our powder-coated shelf options are available in 33+ zany color options. Because… why not?
And, you know what? The beauty is that you can just take the items down and try something new next week if it’s just not vibing with you in your space. So give yourself license to go nuts. We dare ya.
#3: Use Contrasting Textures and Shapes
There’s nothing that screams VISUAL INTEREST like a variety of shapes and textures in a display (which is basically what a decorated floating shelf is). You’ll probably have your books on the shelf—these have smooth, glossy, boxy features. To add visual intrigue, toss in a clay vase with curves; my wife (the adventurous soul that she is) would probably put a few short stalks of wheat inside. Just because. A week later, they would probably be gone.
That’s the thing with visual interest: try to find something that tickles your fancy. Try moving things around and feel the design with your heart. What does your eye want more of? Try to create and maintain a balance that satisfies what you expect from your shelf.
#4: Create a Space for Mementos
Another great way to use floating shelves is as a shelf for your nicest trinkets and souvenirs from travels. These probably won’t all have a common visual theme, but they will make sense to you and those you show the objects to. It can be really great to create a shelf system like this and fill it up over time! Wanna create a shrine to all of your Harry Potter first editions or your J. R. R. Tolkien boxed set? Have a sick comic book collection? You do you! Make the space on your floating bookshelf uniquely yours.
#5: Any Way You Want It—That’s the Way You Need It!
Any way you want it! (Guitar riff!)
Sorry, I got lost in song there for a moment. But seriously, this is (perhaps) the most important tip of all. Your shelf is an expression of who you are, so don’t just fall into the trap of copying someone else’s design online! You’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
Instead, take a look at what you love, put it up on your shelf, and pat yourself on the back every time you walk by.
You’ve got this, homies!