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Crafting Elegance: The Ultimate Guide to Custom Floating Shelves

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Custom floating shelves are functional storage solutions and a design element that can seamlessly transform any space. Whether you want to add a touch of rustic charm to your living room or create a minimalist look in your kitchen, hand-crafted custom floating wood shelves offer endless possibilities.

Custom floating wood shelves have many benefits, so here’s how to incorporate them into your home decor.

Calling All Custom Shelf Customizations

Whether you purchase a custom shelf from Ultrashelf or have a contractor give you a bid for custom work, there are different levels of customization available.

Customizing the wood type, texture, stain color, length, depth, and thickness gives you total control over the final look of your shelf. These customization options are essential when genuinely looking to customize a space.

Selecting the right wood type for your custom floating shelves allows you to take advantage of each type’s inherent aesthetic qualities. For example, if you want your custom floating shelves to have a rustic finish, you may select Alder over Maple, or if you want a traditional look, you may choose Walnut over Cherry.

Different wood species, such as pine, rustic alder, maple, and rich walnut, each bring unique characteristics that can significantly impact the appearance of your shelves.

Leaning into the specific, natural properties each wood type brings allows you to create a space that looks and feels how you want it to.

Similarly, selecting the stain color is essential to creating custom floating shelves. All the stain colors we offer have either a cool or a warm undertone that blends with or contrasts the wood’s natural cool or warm undertone.

If your home features all warm wood tones—for example, on your floors or cabinets—you don’t want to select custom floating shelves with a cool undertone. This creates a discordance in the space that is hard to combat. When you mix too many warm and cool-toned woods in a space, your room lacks balance and cohesion.

While you can mix warm and cool tones overall in a space, we recommend paying specific attention to other wood features in your home. We want your custom floating shelves to stand out and complement your home’s different woods.

The benefit of using a shelf-specialty company like Ultrashelf is that you can customize many items that may not be available through other channels.

One of the most essential custom features we offer is the ability to completely customize the size of your shelf down to eight inches.

This means that if you’re installing shelves between two cabinets or between two walls and need your shelf to fit an exact opening, we can help. Our product line includes various options, such as corner shelves and other customizations, to suit your needs.

Measure Up

When you’re measuring for shelves, the process can sometimes feel overwhelming. Don’t worry; grab a tape measure and a pencil — we’re here to help.

Start by determining where you want your shelves on the wall and measuring the length you want them to cover. For optimal support and weight distribution, consider using floating brackets to attach the shelves securely to the wall studs.

We offer custom floating shelves up to ninety inches long, so you have much to work with.

After determining the length, you must decide what depth you want your custom floating shelves. Generally speaking, a shelf depth of 11” and 12” is the most common in the kitchen, 6” deep is the most common in the bathroom, and 10” deep is the most common in a living room or bedroom.

It’s always in your best interest to hold a tape measure from the wall and ensure your selected depth works in the space. A few years back, we made the mistake of installing 10” deep shelves in our office and found ourselves bumping into them every time we scooted the office chair back. We learned our lesson and swapped them for 6” deep shelves. They’re a much better fit for the room.

Using a high-quality floating shelf bracket is crucial for ensuring the stability and support of your shelves.

After you determine the depth, pick the thickness. The thickness is the width of the face and sides of the shelves — how many inches tall it is, looking at the front. We offer shelves as thin as 1.25” thick and as thick as 7” thick.

Our Ultra-Thin custom floating shelves, 1.25” thick, are sleek and modern. They have a low profile and look great in a space where even a 2” thick shelf would feel overpowering.

Our thickest shelves often double as fireplace mantels for people, and it’s a look we love. Having a shelf that solid makes a big statement in a room.

Order Up

After you have your floating shelf measurements, you place the order on our site and wait. We do all the heavy lifting, ensuring excellent quality in every step.

Our team of seasoned woodworkers selects a high-quality piece of wood, cuts it to size, sands it, and drills and routers the back of your shelf so your bracket is completely hidden. We use a conversion varnish for a durable and premium finish.

When your shelf arrives, you will need a stud finder, a drill, and a level to install it correctly.

We recommend marking the middle point where you want your shelf on the wall with a pencil. Then, take your bracket and line up the middle of the bracket with the mark on the wall. Then, mark the ends of your bracket on the wall with a pencil.

Once the ends of your bracket are marked, take the stud finder and find all the studs between the two marks. Mark each stud. Then, screw your bracket to the wall using the coordinating keyhole on the bracket.

After your bracket is attached, slide your shelves onto the brackets, and your custom floating shelves will be ready to use. Our great customer service team is always here to assist you through the process.

In Style

Once your custom floating shelves are installed, the fun part starts—styling. Styling transforms them from custom to personalized. Consider the option of corner shelves for unique styling possibilities.

When picking decor for your shelves, we recommend shopping for your house. This will save you time and money and allow you to look through things you love. Our shelves are super sturdy, securely holding all your favorite items.

Once you have items from around your house to decorate the shelves, fill in the rest with new finds. Customers have expressed their joy and satisfaction with the aesthetic appeal of white oak shelves, noting how they add charm, beauty, and functionality to their spaces.

Use groups of three to balance your shelves, and try repeating colors or patterns to make multiple shelves feel cohesive.

Decorating your custom floating shelves can feel overwhelming, but take it from us: No one gets it right the first time. We like to decorate the shelves, sit with them for a day or two, and then change them up if we need something different.

Take many pictures of your progress to revisit the successful parts of old design ideas.

Our best designs often come after combining our favorite ideas from three or four different layouts.

Speaking of pictures, when you get stuck, head to the internet for inspiration. Pinterest and Instagram can be great resources for custom floating shelf decor ideas.

Be patient with the process. You’ll be glad you took your time while enjoying how your fully decorated wood floating shelves breathe life and personality into your room.