Book, more books, magazines, trinkets, souvenirs, vases… All this stuff needs to go somewhere, right? Usually we might have a shelf or even a shelving unit for it all, but when our collections grow and we don’t really want to throw things out (I know, I know, minimalism is all the rage, but I don’t really subscribe to that one), we need to find another solution.
And here it is: wall-to-wall shelving. Literally, floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Filling one designated wall completely with shelving will not only give you lots of space to store and display your belongings, it will also give the room a more coherent look. Where single shelving units can occasionally look like they’re “floating” or awkwardly standing somewhere in your room, a wall completely dedicated to shelving looks very deliberate and thought through. It says “this isn’t accidental, this is absolutely the way it’s supposed to be” and I personally quite like such a statement in homes.
Wall-to-wall shelving can be used in any room you wish, from the living or dining room to the kitchen. I have yet to see it in bathrooms, but I’m sure there is an example out there somewhere. It is particularly practical if you have a large family (kid’s toys need to go somewhere and you eliminate the risk of units toppling over), are an avid reader or collect anything from crockery and vases to art or action figures.
For the most “integrated” (i.e. you want your collection to stand out, not the shelving) look, the colour of the shelving should match your wall colour. White works particularly well since your items will really stand out whilst the shelving itself takes a back seat – after all, it’s not the shelving itself you’re looking to display. Unless you’re a dab hand at diy, it’s advisable to get a carpenter in to do the installation for you. Juggling 3m boards and a level whilst marking drill holes isn’t for the faint-hearted and wonky shelves are not a good look.
You will need to determine the height of the space between each shelf. How tall are your books and vases? Do you want to designate one shelf solely to small paperbacks? Whilst having all shelves spaced equally far apart, it looks more interesting and personal to have some further apart than others and this will also give you the option of displaying items of varying heights without “losing” valuable space.
Sectioning the shelving vertically will give your wall a very neat look reminiscent of a library. This is a particularly good way to have your shelving if you’re looking to completely fill it with books, magazines and records as these items tend to be very heavy and the vertical parts will give it more stability.
Whilst I said that the shelving should ideally blend in with the background, there’s no reason why you can’t make it a statement piece in itself. Here the black shelving matches the door and echoes the fireplace and the look has impact and gives the room some drama. Pretty good for some humble shelves, right?