Wall shelves are useful when it comes to storage. But lately they’ve also become a great wall decor option. A creative shelf isn’t just a pedestal for sweet nothings and display tokens. It can take a role of a focal point or a decorative piece in the room. Many modern designers go for unusual shapes, unconventional materials, and generally a more interesting design approach. We found 25 different and unusual shelves that are as good for storage as they are for decorating walls.
Wall Shelves of Unusual Shapes
Appropriately-named Dream shelf by Dripta Design is shaped as a cloud and bubbles that are often used to illustrate one’s thoughts or dreams in a graphic novel.
Thanks to its shape there is quite some space for storing small books or other such things although it’s definitely made primarily for decoration.
LagoLINEA is an award-winning modular wall shelving system by Daniele Lago that allows flexibility and creativity when it comes to shelf design.
It can be used to create trees, hearts, and various abstract shapes giving a much needed update to the familiar storage unit.
The Wavertree Co specializes in handmade shelves namely the mid-century modern ones shaped as teardrops. Made of red cedar and pine they can be used for different purposes, hence the varying number of shelves.
Because of the thin structure the hanging shelf can be used to only display your favorite plants, glassware, or souvenirs.
Intriguing Wall Shelf Designs
Pulseline by Salomonsen Design was inspired by the form every human can relate to, a heartbeat line. The resulting product is both a wall art piece and a functional shelf for magazines and books.
Covered with florescent paint its edges are glowing in UV light that shows off only the silhouette of the line.
Zaha Hadid‘s Valle wall shelves made from black granite were presented by Citco during this year’s Milan Design Week.
Stylish curved lines of the stacking shelves create a beautiful pattern and a vaguely skeleton-like shape the architect was always fond of.
Torafu Architects decided to make use of the ubiquitous corners and came up with a Catch-Bowl. A circular lightweight hollow bowl functions as a shelf and a storage pocket.
Composed of numerous sections the bowl can be broken down to serve as multiple smaller shelves. But with its top removed it looks like a bowl built into a wall.
Unconventional Wall Shelf Materials
Lava Shelves aren’t just called like that; they are handcrafted from volcanic rock. Designed by Caterina Moretti of Peca the collection comprises shelves that can be arranged and used in a number of ways.
Whether you need a crezenda or an altar an impressive Lava shelf can work as either and even more.
Liquorice is a colorful roto-molded polyethylene shelf designed by Alessandro Masturzo. Taking after a coiled liquorice wheel the modern storage unit works great on its own as well as in colorful combinations.
As a result of its modularity Liquorice can become an open cabinet or a continuous irregularly shaped shelf fit for books and other smaller objects.
Alfabeta float shelf from Tonelli Design was conceived by Fabio Bortolani and Emilio Nanni almost twenty years ago. Made of glass and metal supports the shelf is flexible when it comes to positioning.
Rotate two of these either way and fix using the wall-mounting metal supports. And with each new shelf you can change the arrangement creating new and new combinations.
Stones collection by Stephen Bogaerts was meant as storage that looks beautiful on its own. The designer’s aim was achieved through smart combination of shapes and materials.
Shaped as stones the rounded shelves are covered with felt and woven fabrics, which can be customized upon request. (Photography by Nick Bookelaar)
Interesting Wall Shelf Designs
Tuyo Design Studio‘s wall shelf presented at Salone del Mobile 2010 in Milan was an experiment with ‘traditional wooden shelf structure and the much more flexible wool felt’.
The result is an unusual shelving system that allows to store anything from books and journals to water bottles.
Another modular shelf is the design of Busetti Garuti Redaelli for Calligaris. Interestingly named Moss (because of the cluster-like shape?) the shelving system comes with a matching mirror.
Its asymmetric hexagonal shape makes for a perfect modern accent considering that it comes in five different colors including the bright red and metal sky blue.
Small Wall Shelves
Wow shelf by Variant Studio is a perfect shelf for the small things like coins and keys that always get lost in large drawers and clutter the surfaces of hallway consoles.
From its slender frame created out of a single aluminum sheet it’s hard to tell that ‘wow’ can hold up to 42kg / 93 lbs of weight. Impressive!
Float shelves from Judson Beaumont Straight Line Designs are perfect for kid’s rooms. House-like shapes and colorful walls give off a toy house vibe. And minimized interior furnishings look all the more convincing.
Adults can use them for storing keys, glasses, and various other household items that wouldn’t look out of place in these small model homes.
Kukka offers a series of incredibly simple but eye-catchy wall shelves. Ridges are wall-mounted and bright. Their interesting design differs a lot from what we usually expect in shelf design.
Coordinating containers that go along with the powder-coated laser-cut shelves are fit for storing small things and keep your desk neat and clean.
Box 1-7 is BeaMalevich’s “ever-changing sculpture for your wall”. Comprised of different-sized boxes suspended on natural leather ropes the shelves can be arranged and rearranged on a whim.
Full or empty they will look great as a wall decoration as well as provide plenty of storage space for all kinds of objects.
Typographic Bookshelf by Meb Rure is a cool way to organize a small home library by the books that are yet to be read and the ones already read.
A truly modern design does not only make organization easier but also doubles as a wall decor element.
Network shelves come in a variety of sets and finishes. Available in six different models each shelf can support up to 30 kg (66 kg).
Infinite arrangements and combinations offer a lot of room for experiment and creativity. And flexibility allows to adapt the design to the exact amount of free space.
Gerard de Hoop pieced three layers of black MDF together to create Frames Wall shelves. As a result the storage unit looks graphic and almost drawn on.
The irregular shape gives it a more intriguing look and the contrasting white book covers, though only created for styling purposes, create a nice contrast with the frame.
Eos by Giuseppe Bavuso is an innovative wall shelving system made of lacquered aluminium and glass enhanced with LED lighting.
Whether installed in the living room or bathroom Eos creates a stylish look with its gentle glow and minimal design.
Modern Takes on Classic Wall Shelves
Filip Janssens creates incredible cube-shaped storage units that come as both separate designs and part of the bigger furnishings like wardrobes and cabinetry.
These metal wall shelves are ultra modern and as you can see multifunctional. They can double as library and lighting support.
Flaepps Regal Shelf by Ambivalenz is both interesting and practical. It can be folded away when not in use. But then if need arises it easily becomes functional again.
Available in a colorful pattern as well as neutral black and white the Flaeps can camouflage as a safe or wall decor.
Inspired by the old video game props, designer Igor Chak has created a Donkey Kong Wall, a cool-looking shelf concept with a capacity of 60 lbs (27 kg) that could easily hold a TV, a book collection, or just some decor objects.
Consisting of individual sections the shelving system looks incredibly dynamic and fun thanks to bright ladders and pink anodized aluminum pixels.
Simple Wall Shelves
Another work of Torafu Architects is a seemingly simple shelf named Clopen. The floating design comes dressed in a deceivingly modest ash veneer but hides a secret aluminium frame and a drawer.
Perfect for hallway the outer part of the shelf can be used for displaying objects and the drawer can hide more sensitive things like documents and keys.
Bride & Wolfe Original Fine American OAK hardwood shelves are numerous but all share the same barrel ring aesthetic achieved through the firm’s timber bending techniques dating back to 1890’s.
Hanging by the rope the shelf is easy to install. And its natural finish is equally easy to implement in decor.
Wall shelves are great for all rooms. Living room or office you want a good shelf in decor even if there’s no acute need for one. Varying greatly in shapes, materials, and designs wall shelves are perfect for not only storage but also wall decorating.