18 Unique Floating Shelves Ideas for Your Living Room

by Charlotte Evans
18 Unique Floating Shelves Ideas for Your Living Room

Are you looking forward to organizing your living room in a more efficient and stylish way? A good way to do this is to add floating shelves in your living room. Floating shelves, other than providing the functional benefit of organizing stuff, also add character and depth to your living space.

A living room with no shelves on the walls will not give a very refreshing look and would look plain and dry. For this reason, adding floating shelves to the living room is a quick way to spruce up the place.

But there are so many questions that need to be answered before adding floating shelves in the living room. For instance, how many shelves are needed, what style and color would suit my living room, and most importantly, how to design it to look aesthetic?

Let’s get started to learn the answers to these commonly asked questions.

Stylish and Functional Floating Shelves in Living Room

1. Creating a Statement Wall

Creating a Statement Wall

As the name suggests, a statement wall in the living room speaks more about your character than the home, so it’s essential to be creative and authentic. In the image given above, the colors used are all neutrals. Be it the color of the walls, shelves, and the decor itself. The whole minimalist aesthetic really keeps the entire living room well together. To make a statement with the floating shelves in the living room, consider putting the things which are personal and unique to you. This will oddly make your wall and the shelves stand out.

As you can see in the image, the decor items are nearly organized, almost equidistant to each other. Also, the shelves are in complete symmetry portraying a variety of items. The speakers on the topmost shelf on both sides add symmetry to your living room.

2. Use Your Corners Well

Use Your Corners Well

Corners in any room are highly neglected and regarded as useless. However, utilizing the corners in the right way might be all you need to enhance the aesthetic of your living room. Instead of just ignoring them completely, place some floating shelves in the living room and showcase your unique decor items to the world. Remember not to add the floating shelves on too much height as it will affect how your room appears in height. Moreover, nailing it too close to the side wall will make it look cramped.

In the image above, the light-colored wall is perfectly balanced with the use of light-colored wooden shelves. Also, the potted plant brings a natural vibe to the space. The natural light from the window quickly shifts the focus to the floating shelves.

3. Make a Gallery Wall

 Make a Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are timeless and add to the aesthetic of your living room. Incorporating floating shelves into the living room is a sure shot way to make your living room look better. To start with, consider adding two shelves of almost equal length and place them equidistant to each other. Make sure to leave enough space between them to include the works, sceneries, frames, etc, that you want to incorporate.

After you are done with constructing the floating shelves, add the decor items that you want. Try matching them and arranging them in line with your current theme of home decor. Having a gallery on floating shelves in the living room allows you to change the setting frequently and makes your living room feel more inviting.

4. Showcase Your Record Collection

Showcase Your Record Collection

Are you a fan of music and would love to showcase that to the world by adding your record collection to your living room? Floating shelves in the living room are a great place for you to adorn your records and show the world your choices. Records add a very vintage and farmhouse aesthetic to the scene. The idea of putting the best albums that you found in your life along with their pretty album set on display will surely add character to your living room.

However, be a little mindful of what you choose. Records have album art on display with various colors, which can really stand out if not blended well with the existing home decor. For this reason, it’s safer to choose neutral and muted colors for your record collection.

5. Style Over the Sofa

Style Over the Sofa

We have all seen houses with shelves added on top of the sofa. This one is a cliche and one of the most popular ways to design a living room. But why is it so popular? The reason is that the place itself is so highly attention-seeking. Whenever any guests come, they sit on the sofa first, which pushes everybody’s attention to the shelves too. All these factors make the shelves a highly competitive place, and for a good reason too.

However, even if the idea is the same as adding floating shelves in the living room’s sofa, you can tweak it around a bit to make it more engaging and creative. For instance, add some scenery or frames that outrightly match one of the decor items. In the image above, the short to tall placement from left to right on the shelves shows the level of detail it took to finish up a room.

6. Creating a Hanging Effect

 Creating a Hanging Effect

Hanging the floating shelves in the living room brings luxury vibes to your space. This effect creates depth and makes you showcase your floating shelves in a unique way. In the given image, the hanging shelves are let down by a black metal chain, and the shelves seem wide enough to incorporate many decor items. Moreover, the hanging shelves are paired with vintage-looking lamps.

The ceiling has many vaults, and the color of the wood also accentuates the vintage feeling of your living room. Having floating shelves in the living room and creating a hanging effect also allows you to save some wall space which you can use for applying wallpaper, hanging frames, etc.

7. Consider Going Camouflage

Consider Going Camouflage

There is nothing that will look as clean as going camouflage with your floating shelves in the living room. It goes without saying to create camouflage, i.e., blending it perfectly with the background, it’s essential to choose a color similar to the wall in the backdrop. The shelves will not be easily distinguished, creating a very seamless look. Moreover, it makes the environment look more open and airy. In the above image, the shelves are used for some designated items like books, frames, etc. Notice that all of them are of almost similar dimensions.

With the plain and white background, the shelves are the highlight of the room. The whole setup is very minimal and clean. There are only neutral uses of colors like black, white, green, and brown. The big potted plant on the side really adds much-needed details to the scene.

8. Light a Few Candles

Light a Few Candles

This point focuses solely on what to put on floating shelves in your living room. We agree that there are many items available online that can be put on the shelves. However, nothing looks as exquisite and timeless as candles. Lighting up candles is a natural and aesthetic way to bring warmth and elegance to your living space. To start right, you should experiment with different candle stands and sticks available. It’s crucial to get the accessories right to complement the overall look well.

In the above image, the whole setup is inspired by softcore and looks absolutely clean, minimal, and sharp to the eyes. The pair of candlesticks pair well with minimally looking frames on the side. The wall color is also exceptionally light, which helps in shifting the focus to the floating shelves.

9. Adding Unique Colors and Design

You don’t necessarily have to stick to well-known and established themes to make your living room look amazing with the help of floating shelves. You can experiment with your own color palettes and design to make a bold statement. Floating shelves in the living room are a great way to portray your creativity, thanks to the customization that it offers. Be it choosing the wood color, what to keep on the shelves, or how to design, the possibilities are truly endless.

On this note, you can consider creating a quirky living room by adding lots of color to your floating shelves. In the given image, the yellow, orange, and green shelves add playfulness to the living room. Moreover, the decor items also contain dynamic colors giving the scene a very playful and cheery look.

10. Adding a Low-Light Lamp

Adding a Low-Light Lamp

There are numerous ways to enhance the beauty of your living room. However, nothing comes close to adding a soft, warm, and inviting touch by adding a low-light lamp in the mix. The lighting need not just be decorative but also highly functional. Incorporating low-light lamps on the floating shelves in the living rooms can be used on various occasions, like family dinners, festivals, celebrations, etc, to light up the place. To start with, the location of your shelves plays a crucial role.

In the image given above, the floating shelves are pushed to the corner, and the exposed brick backdrop adds texture to the shelves. You can even pair shelf-mounted lights and place aesthetic decor below them to draw the focus of the viewers. For an extra step, you can consider hanging string lights from the upper shelf to the lower shelf.

11. Modernize with Glass Objects

Modernize with Glass Objects

When you want a modern and contemporary vibe to your living space, nothing can match the beauty of using glass objects. They also give the room a very airy feel without looking too bold. For this reason, you can decorate the shelves in your living room with a variety of glass objects without overcrowding the room. But do remember that glass being delicate in nature, should be used cautiously and should be out of reach of children.

In the image above, there are many glass objects that are used to decorate the floating shelves of your living room. Be it ceramic vases, mugs, glass frames, and sceneries, they all help define the aesthetic of your living room. Make sure to pair the items well with each other. Otherwise, the shelves can end up looking crowded.

12. Add in Some Texture

Add in Some Texture

Texture-rich decor fills the space with aesthetic yet vintage vibes. There are certain key points that you should remember while adding texture-rich decor to your shelves. Otherwise, you might end up overpowering the shelves, and it would look really cramped up. Firstly, you should prefer the pieces that stand out but don’t hide the shelves at the same time. Second, look for vintage items like sculptures, bowls, potted plants, vases, etc. Lastly, prefer muted and light colors for your decor items. All these factors make your texture-rich floating shelves in your living room remain timeless and elegant.

To bring forth an eclectic look, experiment with mixing the items with different dimensions, colors, and types. This will ensure that the shelves have their own personality and will truly stand out. One crucial thing to note is not to put too many decor items on the shelf. Blank space should also be maintained on the shelves to maintain the balance.

13. Flank Your Fireplace

Flank Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace in your living room, then most likely, you are also aware of the awkward blank spaces that get left on either side of the fireplace. But worry not. There is something you can do about it while still maintaining the sophistication of your fireplace. Adding floating shelves in and around the mantel is a perfect opportunity to elevate the beauty of your fireplace even more. Floating shelves in the fireplace living room allow you to customize the look fully.

In the image above, the shelves are camouflaged with the background, and the decor items have a sophisticated and floating element to them. Since this space is mostly unused, nothing is better than adding floating shelves and showing off swanky decor items that you proudly own.

14. Style a Glass Display Cabinet

Style a Glass Display Cabinet

This idea is a bit different from all the ideas in this list. While other ideas focus on functionality and style, this one is heavily oriented toward functionality. We all need a closed cabinet with glass doors to showcase and keep an eye on items we might not need frequently. For this reason, a stylish yet extremely functional glass display cabinet serves the purpose pretty well. But what separates it exactly from adding floating shelves in the living room? It’s the added protection from dust, less risk of falling and breaking of sensitive items, and helps in keeping things out of children by locking the cabinets.

In the image above, the white glass door cabinet with a minimal finish blends extremely well with the light-colored walls. It offers plenty of space and keeps your things organized. Moreover, if you are renting or leasing, nailing the floating shelves on the walls won’t really be an option.

15. Utilize Unexpected Spaces

Utilize Unexpected Spaces

We agree that most of the ideas given here pertaining to adding floating shelves in the living room suit large or medium-sized living rooms. But this idea is suitable for a small living room. Not only this but if you are someone who is not a fan of having big floating shelves on your walls, this idea might be it for you. For instance, we all have an empty wall beside the bottom of the staircase, as shown in the image. This area, albeit small, can very well be used to organize stuff by adding floating shelves.

These unexpected places will surprise the viewers every chance it gets. Not only the staircase you can look around your living room and find a decent size space to have built-in floating shelves. This idea perfectly captures the quote – where there is a will, there is always a way!

16. Installing Room Dividing Shelves

 Installing Room Dividing Shelves

This is one of the most unique and creative ideas for adding floating shelves to your living room. In this idea, shelves are used as a way to divide your living room space. Needless to say, this is only possible when your living room is considerably big and you can actually afford to divide your living room. To start with, figure out the space where you can install floor-to-ceiling floating shelves. You can even close some open floating shelves with the door, where you can store some items you don’t frequently need.

Be wary of the lighting placement as well. Ideally, the light should fall on the bookshelf illuminating the decor items. The light will act as the guide for the viewer’s eyes to your floating shelves in the living room.

17. Arched Alcove

Arched Alcove

Arches are a type of design inherently popular among home decor and interior designers alike. The arches supplement your space with its elegance, minimalist look, and its timelessness. On this thought, you can follow an arched alcove design for constructing the floating shelves in the living room. They give your living room a very stylish and artistic finish.

In the image above, the arched floating shelves are created deep enough into the wall to store items with considerable width. And with the white walls as the backdrop, the dark-colored decor items really make the whole scene pop. So why wait anymore? Create these arched built-in floating shelves in your living room today!

18. Design a Floating Mantel

Design a Floating Mantel

A floating mantel? Yes, you heard it right. With the help of floating shelves, you can easily create the appearance of a floating mantel right in your living room. To replicate the above look, you simply need to add a long shelf matching the color of the mantel. Ensure that the shelf extends the fireplace by at least 1.5 feet on either side to have a symmetrical look.

This symmetrical look, such as this one, is paired well with equally symmetrical decor items on either side of the floating shelves. The overall look of the living room, especially the wall, gets really enhanced because of the large mirror and arched white ceiling at the top.

Final Thoughts

Floating shelves in the living room bring character and aesthetics to your space. Without the shelves, the walls will most likely lack personality, even if you do hang some decor items here and there.

They also provide you with a dedicated space to unleash your creativity and show the world what makes you different. Using these shelves for placing your favorite album, plants, movies, sentimental decor items like a precious gift, or something which you emotionally connect with.

You can pick out any one of the above ideas or simply take inspiration from the ideas mentioned above to create something new of your own!

If you are considering DIY, be safe around tools and always wear protective gear. Happy building!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Floating Shelves Outdated?

No, floating shelves are not outdated. In fact, they are timeless and versatile enough to go with a variety of home decor. Not only do they help organize stuff better, but they also create a style statement on the go. Moreover, the floating shelves are highly customizable according to your needs, making them very hard to forget.

What is the Best Material for Floating Shelves in the Living Room?

Choosing the best material for your floating shelves in the living room is of utmost importance. Not only the right material will ensure longevity, but it also will look absolutely aesthetic. Hardwood is the best material for constructing floating shelves. Wood is non-transparent, hides the hardware well, and also gives a rustic, vintage feel to your living room.

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