What is Floating Shelf

If you googled ‘what is floating shelf’ and ended up on our page, the chances are you probably know what a shelf is, but that floating adjective might sound confusing. We will give you a simplistic answer: shelves are attached to the wall and look like they are floating in the air. 

It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? However, this is just some simple dictionary meaning, so if you want to find more about them in a pretty aesthetic interior design reference, you have come to the right place. 

We have prepared the ultimate guide on the floating shelves, why they are the perfect storage solution, how you can install them and how to make them appear as unique as possible. 

What is Floating Shelf

Everything You Want to Know About Floating Shelves and More

Closer view of floating shelves

Having read our brief definition of what is floating shelf, you probably now have a general idea of what floating shelves are. But let us get more precise here; floating shelves are the same as regular shelves, only there is no back to hold them; instead, they are attached directly to the wall without anything visible. 

Even though this sounds a little magical to you, no, they aren’t floating like the candles in Harry Potter. They are attached to the wall with the help of internal brackets containing at least two rods that hold the shelves from the inside, and this overall look makes them appear especially minimalistic for the simple yet modernistic type of look. 

Floating shelves attaching process

If you are thinking of setting floating shelves in your home, it’s better to call a professional; however, if you intend to do them yourself, you might need a few things, including a ladder, wall anchors, and additional tools for attachment. These are the installation steps. 

  • Using your stud finder, find the studs 
  • Put marks using a pencil where you want the mounting brackets to be set
  • Using a screwdriver or drill, attach the brackets
  • Using tape, measure the place where you want the next shelf to go
  • After you set all the brackets, now place all the shelves over them and secure them by tightening the screws under the shelf

How strong and safe are the floating shelves?

As easy as they seem and cool they look, you might still be wondering how secure the floating shelves are. To eliminate any anxiety, it all depends on the weight capacity. Generally, and surprisingly enough, the floating shelves can hold weight up to 100 pounds or more. 

These are some of the most important things to keep in mind for extra-strong floating shelves:

Deep installment

Suppose you want your floating shelves to hold your precious porcelain dishes or impressive trophy collection and dozens of books. In that case, you’ll need to consider making the installments as deep as possible. 

The more rods and screws, the better

This might now be something that your wall will be particularly happy about; however, if you want your floating shelves to be a hundred percent strong and secure to endure everything you want to put on them, you’ll need many rods and scores to be able to hold all that weight. 

Floating Shelves Decoration Ideas

Floating Shelves Decoration Ideas

Organization at its finest

Floating shelves can make everything look neat and perfect. With their minimalistic yet sophisticated design, you’ll be able to make your living area more organized and less chaotic. You can transform it into a little artwork gallery where you can put your beloved possessions like your books, ornaments, artwork, etc. 

If you have a small bedroom, they are perfect for storing your accessories and makeup without making the space look crowded. 

Edgy and yet sophisticated

Remember that saying “less is more”. Floating shelves give you that unique and unconventional type of look while also being very classy and sophisticated. If you are into the more minimalist decor, you can play with proportions. 

They don’t necessarily look like a pharmacy stand, all neat and perfectly aligned; instead, you can place them at different distances a little bit here and there to break that monotonous type of look. This style would go perfectly with one-of-a-kind sculptures and other interesting and eye-catching ornaments. 

Make a statement

Yes, we understand how the laid-back interior looks “safe”, but having everything neutral and clean looking arranged might not be too interesting to the eye and even appear bland, so in this case, you’ll need something that will bring all the attention to your floating shelves decor. 

In this case, you can play with the different colors and patterns. You can even mix two types of shelf material, white wood and brown, to give a little more character to the space. If there is a particular theme of decor going on, make a statement by adding something totally out of character.

Don’t be afraid to go a little extra

You can use your floating shelves to draw attention to a certain area in your home; for example, display your spices collection in multi-colored containers. Present your artwork, book collection, greenery, or anything that holds value for you, and don’t be afraid to go a little extra and combine them. 

This way, you can add both dimension and character to the area. You can make the whole area even more impressive by adding wall decorations or wallpapers. 


Now that you know what is floating shelf and don’t think of it as something from Harry Potter, you can finally decide whether it’s your cup of tea aesthetic. 

Floating shelves can be considered a classic staple piece of decor for any living room, kitchen, and bathroom area as they are pretty simple to maintain and organize everything. 

The best part is that they are directly attached to the wall, and there is no back piece, so it would be easier for you to remove them. The wood texture complements the white walls perfectly and warms up the room, so if you are into that minimalist vibe, this style is the perfect option.

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