Add A Minimalist Look To Your Space With Floating Shelves
Minimalism is a concept most of us are familiar with. Put simply, less is more. When it comes to design, the goal is to declutter and consolidate as much as possible to achieve the bare minimum.
It’s easy to see it’s a popular design concept. It’s almost synonymous with clean, clear, and organized. It focuses only on what is essential.
On the flip side, no matter how minimalist a person is, they’re going to need a place to put their stuff. From hoarders to monks, storage space is a necessity for everyone, so how can you maintain a minimalist lifestyle while keeping your stuff organized accessible?
When it comes to storage, consider the three overall categories:
- Traditional cabinets, which use hinged doors to protect and/or hide their contents.
- Open shelves, which have no doors, but are closed off on the sides and connected.
- Floating shelves, which are open on all sides and rely on individual supports.
Each type has its advantages. You’ll want to keep valuable belongings protected in a cabinet, but you shouldn’t have a cabinet door keeping you from anything you need to grab quickly. Open shelves are great for desks, offices, and studies because they allow for organization and fast access. Finally, floating shelves offer complete exposure and creative freedom but need adequate support.
We love the creative solutions floating shelves provide. We want to share a few tips for using floating shelves in your home or office.
1. Mindful and minimal
Floating shelves are completely exposed. Some people might consider this a disadvantage because clutter might be revealed or shelves might get dusty.
We see this as an opportunity to stay clean, organized, and mindful. You might have to be more deliberate with what you place on your shelves but trust us. With no place to hide, you will notice the contents of your shelves tend to be more tidy and intentional. Plus, this is the perfect opportunity to really show off your favorite decor.
2. Think outside the box
Floating shelves can be used in practically any application. We see floating shelves in kitchens the most, usually flanking the sink or stovetop, but we’re noticing a lot more in bathrooms and living rooms. Where a traditional fireplace might be flanked by upper cabinets or open shelving, people opt for floating shelves instead. In bathrooms, we notice a preference for floating shelves near the tub or vanity.
When it comes to layout, consider alignment and spacing. Three shelves in a perfect row will create a sense of order but offset them and you could have something more inventive and playful. The rule of thumb for spacing is 12 inches between each shelf but bump that up to 15 or 18 inches and you enhance that sense of exposure and accessibility. Length is where you’ll see the most variation.
3. Don’t cut any corners
When designing a space, efficiency is everything. We want to ensure every inch of a room serves a purpose, so when we look at an exposed corner, we immediately think, “Is there any reason I can’t put a shelf here?” Corners can go overlooked sometimes, but we find they are a great opportunity to incorporate more storage space where you might not expect it. For display purposes, place something on the outside corner of a shelf to have it stand out from its surroundings.
4. Function and form
Floating shelves can be used for more than just storage and showcasing. Run some lights through them and you can create a spectacular display. Downlighting is a practical choice for shelves placed above countertops, workspaces, and paths of travel. Uplighting can create a dramatic effect for those looking to make a statement, or just illuminate more empty space.
5. Everyone needs support sometimes
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your floating shelves are sturdy, rigid, and well-secured. Develop a plan for your floating shelves and set up blocking behind your drywall to give the shelf something solid to mount upon. Don’t skimp on your mounting brackets, either. Account for what you’ll be using your shelves for, and how much weight they will have to support, as well as any unexpected weight. In other words, play it safe. The last thing you want is all your favorite cups crashing down around you just because you added one to the collection.
If you couldn’t tell by now, we simply love floating shelves and the endless options they bring to the home. The Olde Mill crafts hollow floating shelves out of reclaimed pine because they believe floating shelves should have the unbeatable look of antique wood as well as the modern advantages of an engineered product. Check them out at theoldemill.com!