If space in your place is hard to come by, try looking up to find additional storage. Your walls are just waiting to help you display your favorite photos and hold your books, with a little help from strategically placed shelves.
First, you’ll need clearance from your landlord that you can hang shelves, since they often require larger holes to hold more weight. Also, find out if you’re responsible for spackling over them when you move out. If you get the go ahead, it’s time start hanging!
Next, you’ll need to decide what you want to display and where. If the focal point in the living room is your TV, the wall above it is the perfect spot to show off your favorite collection, whether it’s books by great authors, souvenirs from your travels around the world, or photos and keepsakes from your wedding day.
Shelves can also be used for more practical purposes than decorating. In the kitchen, hang a shelf or two above the stove and voila, you have a built-in spice rack. You can even install shelves on the inside of cabinet doors, or hang wire shelves below existing ones in the cupboards, to store small things like takeout menus, napkins and dish towels.
One place that’s often lacking enough storage space in apartments is the bathroom. If the walls are not the right material for pounding nails (like tile), it may be wise to buy a freestanding shelving unit. Stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond sell shelf sets made specifically for the bathroom, including open wire floor units and cabinets with long legs designed to fit over the toilet. Use this added storage space for towels, extra soap, sunscreen and other toiletries.
If your bedroom closet has a rod and nothing else, shelves can do wonders for creating extra storage, and don’t require nails or hammers. Get a short, long shelf or two to put on the floor and store your shoes. To maximize hanging space, get a multi-compartment hanging bag to create shelves for sweaters, t-shirts, hats, belts and pants.
Those more concerned with aesthetics than function can have a lot of fun with different kinds of shelves, from wood to wire to decorative shadow boxes. A great way to add interest to an otherwise neglected corner is to add a corner shelf, perfect for displaying a single eye-catching item like an ornate vase, tall and branchy sculpture or holiday decoration.
What’s your favorite way to use shelves in your apartment?