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Refresh Your Bedroom with Custom Floating Shelves

A custom floating shelf above the bed

Austin Merrill |

If your personal space is in need of a little refresh, then you've come to the right place. Now more than ever, your bedroom is likely a multi-purpose space. If you had told us in March of 2020 that our bedroom would be doubling as an office and a daycare center, we would have laughed. Now, here we are a few years later, and more often than not we have the whole family in and out of our bedroom throughout the day.

And believe it or not, after spending so much time in here, it's time for a refresh. And we know we can't be the only ones who feel that way.

Refreshing your bedroom can be as simple as updating a few throw pillows, or as complex as a full-on renovation. Depending on your time constraints and budget, you may find yourself having to pick and choose which projects you to tackle now and which ones to save for a future date. We sat down and made a list of everything we wanted to change in our bedroom, we made a mood board, we sketched out some plans, and then we set a budget.

We can't tackle everything now, but we have a plan to renovate the space throughout the next three months. This is how we like to tackle any big project in our house, and when you start with a budget in mind, you know what you need to say for and you know where you need to pinch your pennies.

Decor items on a floating shelf

Save: Decor

One area where we always try to save when we're updating space is with the decor items. We find there are so many ways you can DIY your decor or thrift for that perfect piece that will save you money. We also like to shop around our own house to see what we can repurpose from one room and another room. These are all ways that we save money when we're looking at updating space.

Another way we like to save on decor is by purchasing digital download art. If buying art printed on premium paper isn't in the budget, a digital download can be a great way to upgrade the art in your room without breaking the bank.

Spend: The Big Stuff

We believe in spending on big items that are crafted with quality materials and made to last a long time. When we're purchasing things like a bed frame, a dresser, shelves, and even nightstands — things we intend to use for a very long time — we want these items to be really high quality and sturdy.

And while we love a good deal on these kinds of items, this is definitely not the place where we're trying to pinch our pennies super tight. This is a place where we allow a little more wiggle room in the budget because we want to purchase quality items that are going to last a very long time. This is not to say that you can't find really great quality items at a thrift store or, in our case, digging through your grandma’s storage unit – but if we need to spend on a bigger item that's going to last us a long time we’re okay doing that.

Splurge: That One Perfect Piece

We don't often splurge, but in every design project, there's that one thing that's going to make the room feel absolutely perfect and put together and amazing — and that's where we splurge. Splurging doesn't necessarily have a specific price tag attached to it, it more depends on the item and the project.

As we're getting ready to refresh our room, we just spent more than we should have spent on a pillow – but it was the perfect pillow and it's going to tie the whole project together. In other cases, your splurged might be a lot bigger than an expensive throw pillow. But we try to reserve the splurge for the one perfect item that we think the room really can't live without.

A wood floating shelf above a warm bed

How to Add Floating Shelves Above Your Bed

Adding floating shelves above your bed is a popular way to spruce up your space, and this on-trend look is easy to achieve on your own. Personally, we're big fans of floating shelves above beds that are covered in all sorts of greenery – but that's just our plant-loving heart talking.

Regardless of how you choose to decorate floating shelves above your bed, it's a great way to add storage and style to your bedroom. When picking the wood type or paint color for your floating shelves, there are few things to consider. Firstly, look at the other wood tones in your room. You may find these in the floor, in your nightstand drawer dresser, or even in frames around your space. 

Identify if the wood tone is cool or warm, as you will likely want to match tones in your bedroom. You also need to decide if you want your shelves to blend into your wall or really stand out. You can order custom painted floating shelves that are the same color as your wall paint for a seamless blend, or you can pick something that's going to pop.

To install floating shelves above your bed, you're going to want to move your bed away from the wall and use a step stool or ladder to install your shelves. You don't want to try and install while standing on your bed. You need to determine how high on the wall you want your shelves to go, and your ceiling height and bed frame height will play into this a lot. We recommend marking on the wall where you want your shelves to go and then marking the studs in the wall. You're going to want to attach your shelves to his many studs as possible, because the more studs they're attached to, the more weight will be able to hold.

If you're installing more than one shelf, make sure to leave a large enough space between the shelves. We recommend at least 15 in as a minimum – so that you have room for all of your decor and your shelves have room to breathe. It's also important to make sure that your shelves aren't too close to the ceiling as it can make the room look smaller and less balance.

An accent wall in a bedroom featuring floating shelves

Floating Shelf Bedroom Accent Wall

If you are going to use floating shelves as an accent wall in your room, there are a few fun ways to tackle that project. Firstly, you can add floating shelves above an anchor piece. We use floor bookshelves under the floating shelves in our bedroom, and the bookshelves on the floor help anchor the floating shelves and keep everything balanced. Tables and chairs also make great anchor points.

You can also take floating shelves floor-to-ceiling on an accent wall for a really dramatic look that pops. If you have a smaller wall in your room that needs something unique, this might be the look that completes your space. Though you won't put an anchor piece under your floating shelves in this scenario, it may be a good idea to put a larger piece of furniture, like a chair, next to the floating shelves to still give them an anchored element.

We also love white oak floating shelves used to mimic a built-in in a bedroom. It's a way that you can make your room look really customized and unique without having to spend a fortune. A lot of times we see people transform a random nook or use things as simple as IKEA cabinets and some floating shelves to create a look that is genuinely stunning. It takes a little DIY finesse, but it's a lot less expensive than having built-ins retroactively put into your home by a builder after the the initial build is complete.

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