web analytics

10 Unexpected shelf Ideas


We are getting ready to install a new bookshelf in our living room. I’m very excited to have a place to put all of our big art books sine they’ve been boxed up in the garage for almost two years. So sad. I was through our archives for shelf ideas and came across so many fun and unexpected shelf ideas that I thought I’d create a new little roundup in case any of you are also getting ready to add shelves in time for spring organizing/cleaning. So here goes! Ten unexpected shelf ideas:

Shelves in Windows
1.) In the above pic, which is from our old jungalow, we had shelves in-set in the windows and painted them green so that they would feel like a greenhouse!


Brackets as a Decorative Accent
2.) In our new kitchen, we had custom copper-plated brackets made so that they would feel like an intentional accent in the kitchen, instead of simply a way to hold up the floating shelves.


Shelf as Vertical Garden 

3.) In our front yard, we turned an old bookshelf we no longer had room for, into a vertical garden. Easy peasy and oh so pretty!


Garden Window Shelves 

4.) In our bedroom, we had a 6 ft. long garden window installed. Not only does it give up more (much-needed :P ) plant storage in our bedroom, it also makes the room feel much, much bigger.


Slightly Staggered Shelves

5.) We had these slightly staggered kitchen shelves custom built to use as our pantry. The staggered-ness makes the shelves feel old and kinda weird–which I love.


Crate Shelving Floor Unit 

6.) In a client home we built a simple modular shelving unit from crates. Still love the look!


Crate Shelving Wall Unit 

7.) While visiting Copenhagen several years ago, this crate shelving wall unit was up in a cafe. I love this idea for a kitchen!


Mid-Century Style Wall Unit 

8.) Also from our last home, this wall unit was custom-made but something similar could easily be built using simple materials from your local home-improvement store. My homie Dabito built one and has instructions here.

12e3b073d6f884d55710643840ca0eff (1)

Spot on the Wall 

9.) I first tried this at a client home. We painted a circle on the wall and a wooden shelf to match. We installed the shelf on the circle and boom! A very fun little wall installation, perfect for an entryway or even a bedside situation.


Hidden Brackets

10.) In Emily Katz and Adam Porterfield’s home that we shot for The New Bohemians, Adam skillfully hid the brackets behind the drywall and then the horizontal piece of the bracket is on top of the shelf  on the higher shelves or beneath the shelf on the lower shelves to keep them out of site.

Alternative Text Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

12 responses to “10 Unexpected shelf Ideas”

  1. Rebecca Lucey says:

    I love this. I made a patio shelfng unit out of wine boxes.

  2. Jake Cann says:

    I’ve been looking for ways to add space for plants in my house, so this was a great find. Putting shelving in window frames never crossed my mind, but I think I might end up doing that for my kitchen to bring in some more greenery. Thanks for these awesome tips!

  3. Caitlin says:

    This gives me so many great ideas!

  4. Brandi says:

    Where did you get the copper brackets?

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Hi Brani. We had them custom made by Treeline Woodworks (they are here in L.A, but they ship everywhere).

  5. Ingi says:

    I love the custom copper-plated brackets. Could anyone give me the measurements of them.

  6. […] For some other great shelf ideas check out our blog post on 10 Unexpected Shelf Ideas! […]

  7. […] For some other great shelf ideas check out our blog post on 10 Unexpected Shelf Ideas! […]

  8. Laura Anne says:

    I LOOOOOVE your custom copper-plated shelf brackets. Our house was built in 1916 and we would love some bookshelves surrounding our fireplace, but because of little built-in shelves on the perpendicular wall in our living room we can ‘t do traditional “built ins”. This would work amazingly, though!! Where can I purchase something like this?? I have scoured the internet and can find nothing of the sort. Would SO love help finding these!!! Your design ideas are gorgeous. <3

    • Laura Anne says:

      Apparently everyone loves them! Just saw you listed the shop!! Thanks so much!! Do you have the length of the brackets by any chance?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.