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Shelves - How to find the right shelf for your home

Compile Shelving System from Muuto
  1. Wall shelf, ladder rack, standing shelf: variety of shelves
  2. Glass, wood, metal: materials of shelves
  3. The right size: shelves for every space requirement
  4. Decorate shelves
  5. Conclusion

1. Wall mounted shelving, ladder rack, standing shelving: variety of shelves

Shelves are a wonderful way to store useful and decorative items and at the same time set the scene. Thanks to the wide range on offer, there is a suitable model for every space requirement and taste.

Compact wall shelves (1) are ideal for small living areas. Plants, paperbacks or decoration articles can be arranged here in style. Large standing shelves (2) with numerous compartments offer open storage space for files and can be used as a classic bookcase. Semi-enclosed upright shelves (3) with highboard or sideboard character create closed storage space for all objects that should not be visible at first glance. Ladder racks (4) are perfect for small rooms due to their narrow and high dimensions, as they provide space for all kinds of objects on a vertical level.

Variety of shelves

2. Glass, wood, metal: Shelf materials

Shelves made of natural materials: Shelves made of materials such as wood, rattan or bamboo make the living ambience look particularly natural and perfectly match the boho look, which is characterised by lightness, warmth and closeness to nature. Shelves made of natural materials can be used in all rooms; however, in the case of untreated materials, the humidity in the bathroom or kitchen should be taken into account to prevent the material from swelling or warping.

Metal shelves: shelves made of metal are ideal for integration into industrial style furnishings. At first they appear simple and cool, but can be filled with life through decorative items and personal items. The material is easy to clean and can therefore be used, for example, as a dish rack in the kitchen.

Shelves made of glass: Those who like it particularly chic and clean will reach for a shelf made of glass. Shelves made of glass appear airy and light and can be decorated with perfume flacons, crockery or vases, for example. The durable material is particularly suitable for the bathroom.

Shelves in a material mix: shelves made of different materials can be used accordingly in numerous facilities. Combinations of metal frames and wooden floors are particularly popular. They blend in equally well with natural, modern and classically furnished living spaces.

Shelf materials

Load capacity of shelves:
The material also influences the load capacity of the shelf. As a general rule, the longer the shelves, the less loadable they are - unless you consciously pay attention to the thickness of the material. This can vary greatly with materials such as wood or metal. In the case of particularly thin shelves, the stringboard elements should not be placed too far apart from each other to ensure stability.

Load capacity of shelves

3. The right size: shelves for every space requirement

Depth of wall shelving and standing shelving:
In order to choose the right size of the desired shelf, the space available, the location and the use of the shelf should be taken into account in the planning. First of all, it should be noted that standing shelves are usually considerably lower (min. 30 cm) than wall shelves (min. 15 cm). They therefore protrude further into the room, which should be taken into account especially when space is limited.

Height of the wall mounting:
Again and again you are confronted with the question at what height the wall shelf should be placed on the wall. As a rule of thumb: The end of the wall shelf should never be higher than 2 m. In addition, you can orientate yourself by your own body size. The top shelf should therefore still be easily accessible with an outstretched arm.

Depth of shelves / wall mounting

Distribution of space and storage space of stand shelves:
The range of space available with floor-standing shelving is many times greater than with wall-mounted shelving. The shape and size of the shelf depends on the size of the room. High, narrow upright shelving units offer plenty of storage space on a vertical level, while long, wide shelving units can be used as sideboards and make noticeable use of the space available in the living area. Nevertheless, the storage space available can be the same for both variants.

Viktoria furnishing expert Tips for advisors

"If possible, decide on an upright shelf with a maximum height of 150 cm. You can use the upper shelf space optimally for table lamps or other high accessories and additionally set the wall above it in scene." - Viktoria, furnishing expert

Shelves - Storage / Decoration

4. Decorate shelves

Shelves can be treated like a blank canvas that can be played on at will. Stand shelves can be used classically as a library (1) and filled with numerous books. For paperbacks the depth of the shelf should be at least 15 cm, for folders, large illustrated books and photo albums at least 30 cm. A combination of books and decoration (2) is also conceivable and provides a calm, harmonious overall appearance in the living room or bedroom. Useful items such as lamps or storage boxes (3) can also be arranged on wall shelves to create a homely atmosphere. In the kitchen, crockery and kitchen utensils (4) on wall shelves are an excellent way of setting the scene. However, the maximum weight load of the shelf should be taken into account for tableware.

Expert tip "Always choose your shelf at least a bit larger than necessary, as this not only allows you to create space for what you need, but also to arrange it in an airy and relaxed manner. A shelf always looks appealing when the eye also finds moments of rest when looking at it." - Viktoria, furnishing expert

You can find further inspiration on the subject of decorating shelves correctly here .

Shelves / Inspiration

5. Conclusion - this is what you need to consider when buying shelves

  • The range of shelving units is diverse: standing shelves, wall shelves, ladder shelves or semi-enclosed sideboards offer space for useful and decorative items.
  • The material determines the look of the shelf. Natural materials create warmth, metal has an industrial effect, glass appears particularly clean and material combinations unite several styles.
  • In the case of untreated natural materials such as wood or rattan, the humidity in the bathroom or kitchen should be taken into account to prevent the material from swelling or warping.
  • Pay attention to the load capacity of shelves: the shorter the rule boards and the closer the cheek elements are to each other, the more loadable the shelf is.
  • Floor shelves (min. 30 cm) are usually lower than wall shelves (min. 15 cm), which should be considered especially when space is limited.
  • Wall mounting height: Wall shelving should only be mounted at a height that allows the top board to be reached with the arm extended (max. 2 m).
  • Shelves can be decorated at will. Books, vases and lamps can be set in scene, semi-enclosed shelves can be used as storage space.
Link shelf system from Studio Hausen in natural oak / white

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