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How to Decorate Corner Shelves for Effective Shelving: 20 Great Ideas

How to Decorate Corner Shelves for Effective Shelving: 20 Great Ideas Mastering Shelving Art: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Decorate Your Corner Shelf

Mastering Shelving Art: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Decorate Your Corner Shelf

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? That empty corner in your room, the one with the lonely corner shelf standing undecorated, somehow always manages to attract attention. You’ve been looking at it, knowing something great could happen there, something that could transform not just the corner but the entire room. It’s time to learn the art of decorating your corner shelf.

As a seasoned interior designer, I’ve learned that even the tiniest details can alter the ambiance of a space. Evidence-based design, a concept rooted in architectural research, highlights the significance of spatial elements and decor in influencing our well-being. The same principles apply to interior design. For instance, research suggests that the layout of our homes can affect our emotions and health. I’ve personally seen this impact throughout my career, like when I transformed an unused corner into a beacon of style and comfort that lifted my client’s spirits.

Shelving, particularly corner shelves, offers more than just storage. They have the potential to transform your home and bring harmony into the design. They create visual interest, add textures, and highlight items that tell your story. Decorated wisely, a simple corner bookcase becomes a focal point that weaves style into the fabric of the room. A well-adorned shelf can be a perfect display of asymmetry or symmetry, based on your style preference, turning an unused corner into a cozy reading nook or an art-filled inspiration hub.

The decoration of your corner shelves, like any other element of interior design, follows certain principles. The Rule of Three, a design theory rooted in the human brain’s preference for asymmetry, can be instrumental in styling your shelves. But it’s not all about the rules – your personal touch matters too. 

Once, in my small apartment, I decided to give my plain corner shelf a coastal-style makeover, filling it with sea glass, driftwood, and images of serene beach scenes. The result was an unexpected haven that instantly uplifted my mood whenever I walked by. However, before deciding on the coastal makeover, I went through these 20 ideas on how to decorate corner shelves:

  1. Memory Lane: Fill your corner shelves with mementos, photos, and souvenirs. This personal touch can evoke positive memories and emotions, promoting well-being and comfort.
  2. Nature’s Touch: Embrace biophilic design and create a mini indoor garden with low-maintenance plants. The presence of greenery can boost mood and reduce stress, as studies have shown the therapeutic benefits of nature.
  3. Color Therapy: Decorate your corner shelves following a specific color scheme. Different colors evoke different psychological responses, and choosing the right colors can create desired moods.
  4. Literary Haven: Create a reading nook with your favorite books, a reading light, and a comfy chair nearby. Reading is linked to cognitive health, and a dedicated space can help establish a reading habit.
  5. Art Appreciation: Display art pieces that speak to you. Viewing art can stimulate feelings of pleasure and can enhance the emotional ambiance of your room.
  6. Textural Blend: Combine items with various textures to stimulate touch, an often-overlooked sense in interior design, which can contribute to a sense of comfort and richness.
  7. Light and Shadow Play: Use artificial light strategically to create fascinating shadow effects, adding depth and drama. Good lighting design positively impacts mood and functionality.
  8. Coastal Corner: Create a beach-themed shelf with items like seashells, sand in glass jars, and marine artwork. Nature-related themes can create a soothing environment.
  9. Vintage Showcase: Arrange vintage items to add a sense of history and nostalgia. This can create a connection to the past and stimulate memories and stories.
  10. Essential Organizer: Store everyday items such as keys or mail in a decorative way. Evidence shows that organized spaces can reduce stress and increase productivity.
  11. Child’s Play: Display your child’s artwork, toys, or books. Child-centric spaces can foster creativity and learning in kids.
  12. Curiosity Collection: Display unique items, curios, or collectibles. Unique and interesting objects can stimulate conversation and intrigue.
  13. Seasonal Splendor: Rotate decorations according to the season or holiday. This can keep the decor fresh and reflect the passing of time, grounding us in the present.
  14. Culinary Corner: Place cookbooks, spices, and a mini herb garden on kitchen corner shelves. Functional design aids in productivity and reduces stress.
  15. Framed Sentiments: Dedicate a corner to framed family photos. Seeing loved ones can promote feelings of love, belonging, and happiness.
  16. Zen Zone: Display candles, incense, and calming stones for a soothing effect. Creating a tranquil space can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  17. Asymmetry Appeal: Use the rule of three for an asymmetrical look. Asymmetry can create a dynamic and visually interesting space.
  18. Balanced Beauty: Use symmetrical arrangements for a sleek, modern look. Symmetry is pleasing to the eye and can create a sense of order and balance.
  19. DIY Display: Show off your DIY projects, engaging creativity and personal achievement. Having these creations in sight can boost self-esteem.
  20. Spotlight Corner: Use directed lighting to highlight certain objects, creating focus and interest. Lighting plays a crucial role in how we perceive and use space.

Remember, every empty corner shelf presents a blank canvas for your imagination. You can create a stylish display using items that reflect your personality. Perhaps a series of indoor plants for biophilic design enthusiasts or a mix of framed photos and travel souvenirs for those who love to reminisce. Your corner shelf can be as unique as you are.

Decorating your corner shelves isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about creating a space that resonates with you, a space that feels like home. It’s about instilling movement in your interior design through the flow of objects on your shelves or the play of light and shadow on them. And it’s about showing off your personality, your experiences, your style. Because, in the end, isn’t that what makes a house a home?

Whether it’s an intricate corner bookcase in your living room or sleek floating shelves in your bathroom, mastering the art of decorating corner shelves enhances your decor. It brings life to your space, making your home not just a place to live but a place to thrive. 

Like what you see? Check out my Portfolio & work with me or any Havenly designer, & spruce up your home with Havenly, the platform that has revolutionized online interior design since 2013! Offering online interior design services & home decor from the best online interior designers at an affordable price! Take 25% off your first design TODAY!

1. Unlocking Your Corner’s Potential: How to Decorate a Corner Shelf for Maximum Impact

A corner shelf is a canvas with unending possibilities. Decorating it perfectly can elevate an empty corner into a stylish focal point, marrying utility with aesthetics. Start with a blend of purposeful and aesthetic items. A vintage clock can keep time, while an antique globe could spark memories of travel and adventure. 

One cannot understate the impact of the natural world on our interiors. Incorporating biophilic elements such as green plants, a bowl of vibrant fruit, or a sculpture carved from driftwood can breathe life into the corner shelf decor. Pay attention to the interplay of light and shadow; the right illumination can transform your corner shelf into a piece of living art.

I recall a project where the homeowner had a collection of seashells gathered from different beaches. We created a coastal-style corner shelf displaying these seashells. It transformed into an instant conversation starter, a microcosm of their travels, bringing back cherished memories every time they glanced at the corner shelf.

How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas

2. Creating a Cozy Space: How to Decorate Corner Shelves in Your Living Room

The living room is the heart of your home, a space that reflects your personality. Corner shelves can serve as a perfect stage to narrate your story. Create a symphony of color, texture, and form by placing cherished keepsakes, eclectic books, and family photos. 

Balance is key. Juxtapose a tall, stunning vase with smaller trinkets or a smooth ceramic piece next to a rustic wooden artifact. Contrasting textures create visual richness, a feast for the eyes that never tires. Different forms and shapes add depth to the overall composition, making the corner shelf a captivating element of your living room.

In one project, a client had an unused corner in the living room. We installed a sleek, tiered corner shelf. On it, we arranged a selection of vintage clocks, beloved family photos, and classic novels. The corner shelf not only filled the empty corner but added a personal touch, transforming the space into a warm and welcoming environment.

How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas

3. Kitchen Magic: How to Decorate Corner Shelves for a Delightful Cooking Experience

In a kitchen, every inch of space matters. Corner shelves can transform idle wall space into a functional, beautiful display. Use the shelves to showcase an array of decorative dishware, vibrant spice jars, or a collection of cherished cookbooks. 

Follow the FIFO principle to arrange items based on usage frequency. Your corner shelf could serve as a stage for beautiful, functional items – elegant coffee mugs, a vintage cookie jar, a colorful stack of dishes, or your favorite recipe books. Layer these practical items with decorative pieces to create a visually delightful corner.

In one instance, I was working with a client who was an avid tea-lover with a remarkable collection of teapots. We dedicated a corner shelf to showcase these teapots, each one with its unique design and story. This functional display not only added a whimsical charm to the kitchen but also acted as a beacon of their personal interest and passion. 

How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas

4. Spa Vibes at Home: How to Decorate Bathroom Corner Shelves for Ultimate Relaxation

Your bathroom can be a sanctuary, a place to unwind and refresh. A well-decorated corner shelf can amplify this atmosphere. Start by considering essential items – fluffy towels, aromatic candles, or natural bath products. 

The organization of items on the shelf can subtly influence the ambiance. Create a sense of tranquility by opting for minimalist decor. Employ the principle of harmony by selecting items that share a common element, be it shape, color , or material. This could mean rolling plush white towels alongside neatly arranged spa essentials such as a bamboo bath brush, a pumice stone, and a jar of bath salts.

Incorporating elements of nature can provide a calming effect, elevating the bathroom’s ambiance. Add a touch of greenery with a moisture-loving plant like a fern or peace lily. When paired with a neutral color palette, these elements can transform your bathroom into a spa-like retreat.

I recall a project where we transformed a sterile bathroom into a soothing escape. A corner shelf became home to a collection of luxurious bath products displayed in beautiful glass jars and bottles, interspersed with river stones and an indoor plant. Every visit to the bathroom turned into a mini-vacation, a brief escape from the world’s hustle and bustle.

How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas

5. A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Put in a Corner Shelf for Improved Functionality

Installing a corner shelf is a simple yet transformative DIY project. Start by identifying the perfect corner. It could be an unused corner in the living room, a neglected space in the bathroom, or a bare wall in the kitchen. Once you’ve identified the spot, measure the area to determine the size of the shelf you’ll need.

The next step is to select the shelf that fits your space and matches your aesthetic preferences. Wooden corner shelves offer a rustic look, while metal or glass shelves lend a more contemporary vibe. The process of installation will depend on the type of corner shelf you choose. Some require brackets for support, while others can be directly mounted on the wall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a successful installation.

I’ve had the opportunity to assist many homeowners with the installation of corner shelves. Each time, the transformation is remarkable. From an underutilized space, the corner becomes a functional and aesthetic feature of the room. Whether it’s a corner bookcase displaying a lifetime of books or a floating shelf holding a curated selection of family photos, the new addition always enhances the room’s overall appeal.

How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas

Final Thoughts

In the grand symphony of interior design, every corner shelf and every piece of decor sing their own tune, blending together to create a harmonious living space. Imagine walking into your living room, where every item, every piece of furniture, every corner bookshelf resonates with your style and personality. Each corner of the room, far from being empty or unused, now houses tastefully decorated corner shelves, bringing life to otherwise overlooked spaces.

Designing a home isn’t merely about filling space with items—it’s an art form combining color theory, furniture arrangement, textures, patterns, and shapes to create a unique, welcoming environment. Think of your corner shelves not just as storage space but as stages where you display your life’s passions. Use the rule of three to decorate a corner shelf, or go asymmetrical for a modern look. Use colors and textures that evoke emotions, be it a rustic wood for warmth, a sleek black for elegance, or a vibrant blue for serenity.

At the heart of interior design, there lies an evidence-based design approach. The choices we make aren’t random; they’re grounded in research and a deep understanding of human psychology. Take biophilic design as an example—bringing elements of nature into your home, be it through natural light, natural materials, or plants on your bathroom corner shelves, can significantly enhance your well-being. It’s not about filling the entire room with items but rather curating a space that nurtures the soul.

Making your apartment look expensive isn’t about the price tag on your corner bookcase or the brand of your decor. It’s about knowing how to decorate corner shelves to highlight your unique style, adding layers of textures, playing with light and shadow, and creating focal points that draw the eye. Artificial light can accentuate the decor on your shelves, while a cleverly placed mirror can bring in extra natural light. And remember, harmony in interior design isn’t about uniformity; it’s about balance.

Interior design is as much about function as it is about form. Your shelves should not only look great, they should also serve a purpose. Be it a corner bookcase holding your favorite reads, a corner shelving unit in your kitchen displaying your spices, or shower floating shelves housing your bath essentials—every piece has a role to play.

The beauty of interior design is that it’s an ongoing journey. As your life evolves, so does your home. Today you may opt for a recessed corner shelf in your bathroom; tomorrow, you may add shelves to a closet or choose a different style of corner decor for your living room. But the essence remains the same—creating a space that tells your story. 

Remember, a home isn’t built in a day. It’s a labor of love that unfolds over time. But trust me, when you finally sit back in your perfectly decorated living room, sipping a cup of tea, basking in the warm afternoon sun filtering through the window, glancing at the corner shelf that once was an unused space, now adorned with your favorite items—every minute spent in planning, decorating, and arranging would feel worth it. Because in the end, interior design is about creating a space that feels like home. A place that, at the end of a long day, welcomes you with open arms. And isn’t that what we all want our homes to be?

Decorate Corner Shelves – FAQ

1. What are some innovative ways on how to put up shelves in a corner to maximize my space?

To maximize your space, consider using tiered corner shelves. These shelving units provide extra storage space and make a great display option. Floating shelves are a sleek choice, easy to install, and perfect for any room in your home. 

2. Can you share some tips on how to measure for a corner shelf to ensure a perfect fit?

Absolutely! Start by measuring the height, depth, and angle of your corner. Once you have these measurements, look for corner shelves or bookcases on sites like Amazon or Wayfair that match your specs. Keep in mind the size of the items you plan to place on the shelves too.

3. I’m struggling with ideas; what are some suggestions on how to decorate my shelf to reflect my personality?

To reflect your personality in your decor, consider showcasing items that have personal meaning. It could be photos, souvenirs from your travels, or books you love. Layer your display with a mix of shapes, sizes, and colors to add visual interest.

4. My corners look bland. Can you give me some advice on how to decorate a corner to make it more inviting?

Consider adding corner shelves to spruce up the empty corner. Play with different wood textures and colors. For a cozy touch, add a small table lamp or some soft lighting. 

5. What are some effective strategies on how to decorate my shelves to match the existing decor in my room?

One way to ensure your shelves match your existing decor is by keeping a consistent color scheme. DIY-painted shelves can tie in with your room’s color palette. Consider the style of your room too. Coastal style? Think light, airy colors and beach-related items.

6. What are some tried and tested tips for decorating corner shelves in a small living room?

Choose shelves with an open design to keep the room airy. Keep it functional but minimal, and don’t forget to make use of vertical space. In small rooms, wall-mounted corner shelves can be a lifesaver!

7. I’m planning on setting up a reading nook; what kind of corner bookshelves should I consider for my space?

For a reading nook, consider a corner bookcase or bookshelves that can accommodate both large and small books. You might even find a corner unit with a built-in reading light. 

8. I love the coastal style. Can you suggest some decor items that I can use to style my corner shelves?

For a coastal style, think items that evoke the beach: shells, sea glass, driftwood pieces, and nautical-themed decorations. Add some blue and white decor to complete the look.

9. My room has an awkwardly positioned recessed corner. Do you have any shelf ideas that could work with this space?

Recessed corners can work great with built-in shelving. This not only fills the space but provides a built-in storage solution. You could also consider a corner cabinet for a neat, tucked-away storage option.

10. I have an empty corner in my bedroom. Can you suggest some ways to make it functional and aesthetic with shelving?

Certainly! Consider a multi-tiered corner shelf for additional storage. For a decorative touch, display your favorite books, plants, or decorative items. Shelves with under-lighting can also add a cozy ambiance to your bedroom.

How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas
How to Decorate Corner Shelves: 20 Great Ideas

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. 

When you sign up for Havenly, you will take a short quiz about your design style and what you are looking for in a designer. Havenly will then match you with a designer who will help you select paint colors, furniture, and accessories that are both stylish and safe for your furry friend.

In addition, your Havenly designer will be able to provide tips on how to create a space that is both comfortable for your dog and inviting for guests. With Havenly, creating a beautiful and functional home that your dog will love is easy and stress-free.

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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