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Spice Up Your Custom Floating Shelves

Overlapping shelves and windows

Austin Merrill |

Nothing beats being inspired by seeing beautiful house projects unfold. If you’re looking for new ways to add custom floating shelves to your home or a few ways to change up the ones you already have, look no further. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ways to reinvent the floating shelves in your home.


In the past few months, we have seen more and more shelves overlapping windows and yes, we love it. On paper, the idea seems a little weird, but in execution, we love the look.

Overlapping shelves and widowns
Image by Stewart-Schäfer

Take a look at this project from Stewart-Schäfer. In the back of the picture, you can see one floating shelf extending across the window just a little. It’s subtle but impactful — and it eliminates the preconceived barriers that come when we believe that a shelf is meant only for a wall.

Shelves overlapping with windows
Image by @stacyssavings

Instagram DIYer Stacy’s Savings takes a floating shelf all the way across the top of the window above her bathtub and we love this look too. The juxtaposition of the strong, straight line created by the floating shelf with the delicate details and curves of the window create something unique and visually interesting. This look isn’t for every home or space, but if you’ve got the right set up, consider using your floating shelves in this unexpected way.


One of the most popular ways we see our custom floating shelves used is to create at-home bars. We love seeing this particular project come to life because of all of the ways people customize their shelves. You can purchase a glass holder to attach to the bottom of one of your shelves to hold wine glasses. These holders are fun and add a little big of visual interest to your shelves — after all, it’s not every day that you see glasses being stored this way in a home.

A home bar
Image by @phlippingourhome

Another fun custom moment we see on bar shelves, and shelves in general, is people adding lights to the bottom of their shelves. There are dozens of ways to bring this look to life, and you can even add lights on a budget using puck lights. Even a little light elevates the space and makes your shelves look even more custom. Custom lighting outside the home increases curb appeal and when you add them to your shelves, it increases kitchen appeal.

A floating shelf in a closet
Image by In Honor of Design

In closets and laundry rooms, the addition of a clothing bar is something we see a lot. You can add one of these clothing bars to help you store clothes or give your wet laundry a place to dry. We love the custom element that this bar brings, and because you can buy or DIY with floating shelf upgrade, you have the ability to create a completely custom look. 

We’ve seen bars attached to floating shelves directly, matching bars attached to the wall just below the shelf to create a cohesive look without drilling into the shelf, and — a personal favorite — we’ve seen leather straps attached to the bottom of the shelf with a large dowel placed through the bottom loops to create an easy, cute DIY clothing bar.

Get Unconventional

Typically we see floating shelves in the kitchen, and maybe in the laundry room, bathroom, or bedroom. But even when shelves go up in those rooms, the placement is pretty standard. If you’re looking for a more interesting way to add shelves to your space, start in the corner. You don’t have to center your shelves on your wall for your space to feel balanced. When you use one wall as an anchor point for your shelves, you create a unique look that inspires visual interest in your space.

Wallpaper is another way to spice up a space in need of something a little different. And we know, we know, this doesn’t really count as a way to update your shelves but we love the idea so we’re going to let it slide. Even McGee and Co has begun wallpapering behind floating shelves as a fun way to draw more attention and create a moment. 

You can also achieve this same affect using paint. Painting the wall behind your open shelving a different color is an easy way to quickly draw attention to the focal point in your home. You can also paint shapes, like arches, behind your shelves for a fun, trendy look. The great thing about paint is that it’s inexpensive and easy to change up when trends or your taste changes.

Woman standing in front of wallpaper
Image by @my.cozy_corner

Normally we see shelves high up on walls, but we love the idea of going low. It’s unconventional and unexpected, but it makes a big impact and it’s surprisingly practical. We love these floating shelves tucked under the window in this pantry. There’s a good chance that most people would have opted to put the custom floating shelves next to the window, but we love the look of the open shelving under the window. It’s not too low that it’s inaccessible, but it’s low enough that it’s delightfully unexpected.

Ready to customize your home with floating shelves? Shop custom floating shelves here.