April 20, 2023



Floating Shelves and Their Rise in Modern Interior Design

maple kitchen floating shelves

Floating shelves have become a popular design element in contemporary interiors, thanks to their sleek appearance and functional versatility. These minimalist shelves seemingly defy gravity, providing an elegant and unobtrusive way to display your favorite items. In this article, we’ll explore the growing popularity of floating shelves in modern design and share insights from notable interior design experts on how to incorporate them into your space.

The Rise of Floating Shelves

Floating shelves have gained popularity as a practical and stylish solution for storage and display. Their clean lines and unobtrusive design create a visually appealing look that complements a wide range of interior styles, from minimalist and Scandinavian to industrial and eclectic. Design experts such as Emily Henderson and Justina Blakeney have embraced floating shelves, showcasing their versatility and functionality in various design projects (Henderson, 2020; Blakeney, 2018).

maple butcher block floating shelves

Choosing the Right Materials

One of the keys to incorporating floating shelves into your space is selecting the right materials. Solid wood, metal, and glass are popular choices, each offering a different aesthetic appeal. Kate Watson-Smyth recommends choosing materials that complement your existing decor and color palette, while also considering the weight and size of the items you plan to display (Watson-Smyth, 2019).

maple long floating shelves

Strategic Placement

Amber Lewis emphasizes the importance of strategic placement when incorporating floating shelves into your space (Lewis, 2019). Consider factors such as wall space, room layout, and the items you want to display. Floating shelves can be used in a variety of spaces, including living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and home offices. They can be arranged horizontally, vertically, or in creative geometric patterns to create visual interest and make the most of your wall space.

maple kitchen floating shelves

Styling Tips from Interior Design Experts

One of the most appealing aspects of floating shelves is their ability to showcase your favorite items while adding a touch of personality to your space. Shea McGee offers several styling tips for creating a visually appealing display on your floating shelves (McGee, 2020):

  • Use a mix of items, including decorative objects, plants, books, and artwork, to create visual interest and depth.
  • Consider color and texture when selecting items for display, ensuring a cohesive and balanced look.
  • Play with varying heights and sizes to create a dynamic arrangement.

Floating Shelves in Small Spaces

Floating shelves can also be a practical solution for small spaces, as they utilize vertical wall space without taking up valuable floor area. Orlando Soria suggests using floating shelves in tight corners or awkward spaces where traditional furniture might not fit (Soria, 2017). By incorporating floating shelves into your small space, you can create additional storage and display options without compromising on style.


Floating shelves offer a sleek, stylish, and versatile solution for storage and display in modern interiors. By following the advice of notable interior design experts and considering factors such as material, placement, and styling, you can incorporate floating shelves into your space and create a visually appealing and functional design element.


Henderson, E. (2020). Styling 101: How to Style Open Shelves. Style by Emily Henderson. Retrieved from https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/styling-101-how-to-style-open-shelves

Blakeney, J. (2018). The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes. Abrams.

Watson-Smyth, K. (2019). Mad About the House: How to Decorate Your Home with Style. Pavilion Books.

Lewis, A. (2019). Made for Living: Collected Interiors for All Sorts of Styles. Clarkson Potter.

McGee, S. (2020). Make Life Beautiful. Harper

Soria, O. (2017). Get It Together!: An Interior Designer’s Guide to Creating Your Best Life. Prestel.

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