Thursday, December 13

Floating Shelves

This eclectic kitchen was designed by
Tamar Schechner

Many times, a new trend surfaces, and it is either loved or hated, with little room for indifference.  This is true when talking about floating shelves.  Some love the open minimalistic feel of an open shelf in their kitchen or bathroom.  They love the casual appearance of a floating shelf being used as a picture rail.  Others, however, don't want all of their items on display, and out in the open to collect dust, fearing having to clean their dishes before each use, or having yet another ledge in the living room to remove dog or cat hair.  So where do you stand on this trend? 

I believe that this trend is yet another versatile trend, and has it's place in the design world.  While like many trends, this one shouldn't be over used in every space, it is a great look for most spaces.   Floating shelves, when styled properly and accessorized creatively and smartly, are a great accent for any space.  If you pile too much onto the shelf, you do have more to dust (and who wants that?) or the shelf could look overly cluttered.  When it comes to the floating and open shelf, less is more.

This eclectic living room was designed by
Michelle Hinckley 
Styling, or staging, a floating shelf is difficult.  There is a fine line between a bare shelf, and an overloaded shelf.  When stylizing your shelf, be sure to have fun, and try a few things.  This picture rail to the left shows various sizes of photo frames, alternating large and small.  The balance is perfect, and by using the same color frames and mat's, you keep the minimalist feel of the shelves.  By showing various sizes of frames, and orientations of the photographs, you welcome in eclectic design.

Traditional Kitchen designed by
Jane Ellison
Floating shelves aren't just for the contemporary space.  When the addition of corbels or shelf supports are used, they can lend themselves to more traditional designs and chic spaces.  The thicker floating shelves are typically more contemporary, but still look great in most spaces. This traditional kitchen uses multiple cabinetry finishes to add to the traditional feel.  They keep the shelves simple by keeping only white dishes on the shelves.  The shelves are utilitarian by having stacks of dishes, and less displayed features, keeping a comfortable, lived in design.  

If you are looking to stylize floating shelves, take a look through the ideabook below.