How to: Use Floating Shelves

The beauty of floating shelves is that without visible brackets or hardware there is nothing to distract the eye from your display. In contrast to a traditional shelf unit, a set of floating shelves creates a light and airy visual impression that creates a focal point without necessarily dominating the wall. They also free up the space under the shelves for seating, storage or large display items. Choosing your shelves Opt for dark shelves on a pale wall, or vice versa, for a high-contrast look with lots of pop. Alternatively, choose glass shelves or solid shelves that match the wall for a barely-there impression that puts all the focus on the items you are displaying. Custom-built shelves can be matched to your case goods to help create a perfectly coordinated room. Placing your shelves Designing a room is a bit like planning a city; if you can not spread out, build up. Floating shelves look great above the sofa, over doors, between windows, alongside the vanity or ascending up the wall beside the stairs. Fill a corner with a set of triangular or L-shaped floating shelves to turn an under-utilized space into the perfect spot for displaying accessories. Use long, low floating shelves as an alternative to a buffet to display your dishes, glasses and servingware rather than hiding them away. Replace bulky bedside tables with a floating shelf or two on either side of the bed, to give yourself a handy space for lamps, books and glasses of water without taking up a ton of room. If you do not have a full room to set aside for an office, create a micro office by installing a floating shelf at desk height. Suddenly, you've got a dedicated home for your laptop and no awkward desk legs to bang into. In a smaller bathroom, powder room or dressing room, do away with cabinets in favour of displaying your towels, cosmetics and other essentials with pride. You would be surprised how much space this frees up, and how an awkward wall or nook can be made both useful and attractive with the addition of floating shelves. Walk-in wardrobes can also benefit from floating shelves as homes for shoes, bags and favourite accessories that are too good to hide away. Styling your shelves Perhaps the most obvious use for floating shelves is as a contemporary alternative to a bookcase. Display your book collection with a little extra verve by organizing them by color, either as a rainbow or with a single color family per shelf. Floating shelves are also ideal for displaying accents, art, and collections of personal items. Larger pieces like framed artworks should sit at the back of the shelf - you can choose to hang them or just lean them against the wall for an arrangement that can be updated anytime. Look for accents that complement one another, but remember to work a variety of heights, widths and shapes in there. Aim to position taller items on the ends of the shelves for balance, layer smaller and shorter items in front of the larger ones, and try arranging them at a variety of depths for visual interest. Plants and fresh flowers add an ever-changing dimension of color and life to any shelf display. Remember that odd numbers of items tend to look more harmonious together. Some great examples of floating shelves available at Sklar are the Alfabeto and Brama shelves from Tonelli, and the Press Bookshelves from ALF.

How to: Use Floating Shelves 1

1. Where to find simple floating shelves?

Try looking in the river we have all sorts floating in ours

2. Floating Bookshelf Mounting Ideas

Mounted correctly, floating shelves are strong, despite their light appearance. Without visible support brackets, the shelves seem to float on the wall rather than hang from them. Whichever method you choose for mounting a floating shelf, attach the cleat -- the ledger board that connects to the wall -- into framing studs. As an alternative, you can mount the cleat to drywall with wall anchors, such as molly or toggle bolts, but you sacrifice some of the weight the shelf will hold. And when the shelf is holding books, it has to be able to bear weight. A single cleat is the simplest, easiest means of hanging floating bookshelves. Construct the shelf from pine or hardwood for the front edge and the sides. Attach plywood for the top and bottom of the shelf. This leaves an opening in the back of the shelf, and it makes the inside of the shelf hollow. The cleat serves as both the back edge of the shelf -- the edge that mounts against the wall -- as well as the means with which to mount the shelf to the wall. The cleat disappears inside the shelf once the assembly is in place on the wall. Mount the cleat to the wall with wood screws or lag bolts long enough to penetrate the thickness of the drywall and about 2 inches into the stud. Slip the back of the shelf over the cleat until the shelf meets the wall. Tap nails through the plywood that forms the top of the shelf, and into the cleat. You can substitute screws for nails, which makes removal of the floating shelf easier. Beef up hollow core bookshelves while providing a means of mounting the assembly by building a frame that fits entirely inside the shelf. A frame consists of a cleat attached to a parallel board by several perpendicular members. A frame offers more strength and support than a single cleat, because it works inside the hollow shelf to firm up the plywood top and bottom, while a cleat simply holds the shelf to the wall. Measure the opening left at the back of the shelf. Cut the wood you will use for a frame so it is just wide enough and long enough to slide inside that opening. Build the frame, then mount it to the wall. Slip the shelf over the frame and nail or screw it into place. You can purchase metal keyhole style hangers at hardware stores. These hangers fit over a screw head mounted on the wall, then slip downward to lock the screw head in place. Keyhole hangers are best reserved for thicker bookshelves, as they are typically about 1 1/2 inches long. Good choices are solid shelves made from two-by-fours or shelves with decorative molding -- such as crown molding -- installed below the shelf. Beveled cleats, sometimes called French cleats, are used to hang large paintings, but they can be modified for use on some floating bookshelves as well. A beveled cleat is similar to a single cleat, but it's split in half lengthwise with a 45-degree beveled cut. Attach the bottom half of the beveled cleat the same way you would a single cleat; make sure the bevel points down toward the wall. Attach the top half of the cleat to the back of a floating shelf. The bottom cleat captures the top one, making a surprisingly strong support. Be aware that the cleats halves are not fastened together, so the shelving essentially is secured by gravity; therefore, this anchoring system may not be suitable for seismic areas.

How to: Use Floating Shelves 2

3. White panelling,red couch,yellow walls,beige berber, white 2" blinds. Need a color to soften contrast.?

Actually, I think that gold and red are far more elegant a combination with the white. Have you considered doing a really easy Faux Finish over the yellow walls to pull everything together? Use your base colour,the yellow. Now mix a glaze that has a nice gold tone . You can achieve this least expensively by mixing 1 part paint by 2 parts water in a bucket. If you have extra yellow paint, use that with a small bottle of acrylic colour called "Yellow Sienna" and mix it until you like the gold colour.(You can purchase at WallMart) or you have to buy 1 pint of a golden yellow to use for the mix. Get a lint free rag (like a clean T-Shirt cut up into rags) and submerge it into the bucket, use plastic gloves as this is messy, wring out the rag and rag it onto the wall in uneven but consistant pattern. This will give a beautiful effect that will soften and tone down the contrast between the two colours,,. I would stay away from the aqua colour other than what you already have. Any of the reputable paint stores have these. Use alot of glass, floating shelves that you can purchase at IKEA for $20.00 ea. I would stick with gold and other tones of reds for my pillows, Winners has a great selection. I have done rooms like this for my clients and they love it. Do not forget to layer and juxapose things that will give you some visual interest in your room. I would stay away from adding any other colours than what you already have. Green for plants and some chocolate or dark coloured table would be fine but I would not introduce the colour Salmon. Hope I helped.

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