Charming Rustic Shelves And How To Add Them To Modern Spaces

There are many ways to give a space the warmth and charm it needs in order to feel like a home. You can do it with color, a special selection of materials and finishes, personalized decorations, textiles or pleasant lighting.

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

The list is a lot longer than that and these elements can be mixed and matched in endless ways. Right now we’re keep things simple and we’ll only focus on one thing: rustic shelves. They’re more versatile and powerful than you think and we’re ready to prove it.

How to Hang Floating Shelves – Available for Rustic Style

How to Hang Floating ShelvesView in gallery

Hanging floating shelves might sound intimidating because they are different from other types of shelves, but the process is actually very simple if you follow these easy steps.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 long wooden board
  • 3 smaller wooden board, identical dimensions
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • 2 plywood pieces of identical size
  • Clamp
  • Wood glue
  • Paint/stain
  • Plywood piece for the front
  • Sander 
  • Wood filler

Step One: Constructing E Frame

To begin, you’ll want three short boards with identical measurements, plus a long board. To create the E shape, you’ll need to drill three holes in the biggest board and connect the three smaller boards to it. make sure one of them is centered and the other two are drilled flush with the larger board.

Step Two: Identifying studs

This can be done either before or after constructing the “E,” although it is most simply accomplished after. Making use of  a stud finder is the simplest method of locating studs. 

If you don’t have one and would rather use the traditional knocking method, simply exercise caution if you are inexperienced, as it is entirely possible to confuse a hollow area for a stud. When this occurs, you risk creating unsightly holes in the wall, which must be repaired with a drywall repair kit.

Step Three: Attaching the E

After locating and marking the studs, you may hang the E simply. Begin by identifying the location of the shelf. Mark the wall and the locations of the screws on the E. Utilize a minimum of four screws.

After marking the locations, pre-drill the holes to simplify and level the process. After that, you can screw the E into the wall and check for levelness. If it is not, make appropriate adjustments while avoiding creating further holes.

Step Four: Attaching Bottom Plywood

Adding the bottom of the shelves is a thrilling stage as the shelves begin to take shape. Therefore, begin by cutting the plywood to the dimensions of the shelves. Then, make a mark on the bottom where the boards will collide.

Once you’ve determined where they’ll collide, you may glue the region and then clamp the plywood on the two sides of the established E-shape. Allow it to sit for the duration specified on the glue bottle.

Step Five: Attaching the Top and Bottom

This is a rather straightforward procedure. It’s your choice whether you want to use a nail gun or screws here. However, avoid using a hammer and nails, since the pressure may compromise the stability of the partially constructed shelves. Begin with the top board you’ve selected.

Attach it using screws or a nail gun, followed by the two side pieces. Take care not to allow the nails or screws to collide, slightly modifying the locations of the screws as you move to the sides.

Step Six: Attaching the Front

Attach the fronts in the same manner as you did the sides. This is rather simple to accomplish with both a nail gun and a drill. Nail guns will typically leave a smoother finish for the subsequent phase.

However, screws can be used in the same manner. If you do, consider smoothing out the ends using wood filler and sanding them after the wood filler dries. This is an excellent approach to achieve an even higher quality polish than nails leave.

Step Seven: Optional Finishing Touches

This step is optional and only applicable if you want to stain or paint the shelves. Simply sand gently before finishing to ensure that the finish adheres properly to the wooden surface and appears smoother.

Alternatively, you might use a whitewash or limewash technique. You could even go all out and add wallpaper or tile. Simply follow the same precautions as you would when installing these on the wall or floor.

Ingenious rustic shelves ideas

Live edge rustic shelves in the kitchen

Live edge rustic shelves in the kitchenView in gallery

Before you dismiss rustic shelves as being outdated and not suited for modern interiors, keep in mind that live-edge wood is essentially timeless. Picture a modern kitchen, with clean and simple colors, minimalist furniture and smooth surfaces. It looks cool but that it longs for the warmth of natural wood and its beautiful color and texture. Perhaps you could solve that with a few rustic floating shelves like the ones featured on Diyinpdx.

Open storage for the office

Open storage rustic shelves  for the officeView in gallery

A nice thing about rustic shelves is that they embrace the imperfections in the wood and in their design and that means you can definitely attempt to build them yourself without fear of messing up. To get that rustic look, you could use reclaimed wood. It has a unique patina and sit really brings out the beauty in the shelves, even though they’re essentially very simple. Check out Thewoodgraincottage to find the list of supplies you’ll need as well as instructions.

Floating rustic bathroom shelves

Floating rustic bathroom shelvesView in gallery

Shelves in general are very versatile and useful in every simple room or type of space. In the bathroom, a few wall-mounted shelves can add valuable storage and surfaces on which to display and organize extra towels, toiletries, maybe even some moisture-loving plants. The rustic nature of the shelves would offer another advantage: a soothing and comfortable ambiance and a warm and welcoming decor which is not often what bathrooms are associated with. If you like these rustic wood shelves, head over to Craftsmandrive to see how they were built.

Shallow shelves for display

Shallow shelves for displayView in gallery

The dining room is another space where some floating shelves could really be useful. While cabinets offer lots of storage for dishes, napkins, bottles and other things, floating shelves are better at displaying things so you could use them to showcase some nice decorations or to keep glasses nice and organized as well as close at hand. You can built the shelves yourself and Heyletsmakestuff can be your source of inspiration.

A single accent shelf for toiletries

A single accent shelf for toiletriesView in gallery

Rustic wood shelves can look very beautiful, bohemian even, especially when attached to crisp white walls which are very common in modern and contemporary interiors. Shelves made of live-edge wood are even more charming so consider adding one or two to the bedroom or bathroom and to keep your collection of perfumes on them or to somehow emphasize their delicate nature in other ways. {found on diyinpdx}.

Over the kitchen counter

Over the kitchen counterView in gallery

Kitchen shelving is very practical and some even say it’s a must-have. Floating shelves can be used to keep spice jars accessible or to hold often used items close at hand and at the same time out of the way, thus freeing up the counter and maintaining a clutter-free kitchen. On Biggerthanthethreeofus you can find a few details about these particular shelves.

Bookshelves for any type of space

Bookshelves for any type of spaceView in gallery

Of course, we can’t forget about the bookshelves. They make spaces feel like home and they complete decors in ways no other furniture piece or accessory can. So go ahead and dig through your things and maybe you’ll find some old pieces of wood which you could repurpose. Sand them down if you want to get rid of the dirt and stains or leave the wood as it is if you want to preserve its history and charm. {found on nestofposies-blog}.

Slender floating shelves with L brackets

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Sometimes when you’re hanging floating shelves the anchors seem to ruin the whole design. You can be clever and solve this problem by using L brackets and hiding the exposed part (above the shelve) with decorations. You can mask them with vases, planters and other items and it would really help if the brackets were the same color as the wall they’re attached to. According to the info we found on Amykrist, it shouldn’t take more than half an hour to hang the shelves.

An unusual display of geometric shelves

An unusual display of geometric shelvesView in gallery

Don’t only think of shelves as simple, rectangular boards. Those are definitely more common but there’s in fact a multitude of forms and designs to choose from. For instance, check out these triangle-shaped shelves. They can be displayed in groups and they can form modular units and they’re excellent for displaying planters, vases and collectibles. You can follow the tutorial offered by Poppytalk to learn how to make your own.

Rustic Shelf and hanger combo for the kitchen

Rustic Shelf and hanger combo for the kitchenView in gallery

While wall-mounted shelves are definitely very practical in the kitchen, be they rustic or not, so are hooks which are great for hanging kitchen utensils, cutting boards and mugs. You can combine the two in a hybrid piece, part shelf and part hook rack. It can even include a beautiful board sign which you can customize with your chosen template. The design you see here was featured on Funkyjunkinteriors and if you want to make something similar you’ll need reclaimed wood, pipe fittings, some hooks, a stencil and paint.

Wood slice shelves with bark

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Tree trunks and wood slices are timeless. In fact, they’ve recently made a great comeback and they started to pop in lots of modern and contemporary homes. Curious how you can make wood slice shelves? Have a look at the tutorial shown onGirllovesglam. These rustic shelves are actually the perfect accent pieces for a modern decor. They’re simple enough to suit the style but at the same time they’re always unique.

Odd-shaped live edge shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

These live-edge shelves are made of walnut wood and they’re shown here in a coastal-themed decor. They’re decorated with shells and corals and they really capture the essence of the concept.

Wood shelves in a modern dresser

Wood shelves in a modern dresserView in gallery

This is an interesting twist on the whole modern dresser/ cabinet idea. The live-edge wood shelves inside the cabinet are a beautiful and unexpected surprise.

Decorative live-edge wood accents

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

This olive live-edge accent shelf and the previous two designs come from Lumberlust designs. This shelf is particularly beautiful because of its uneven shape and the fact that it looks so authentic.

Floating shelves of different shapes and sizes

Floating shelves of different shapes and sizesView in gallery

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

On Etsy you can find a wide array of rustic shelves and other similar accent pieces made from reclaimed wood or debris. Browse through the collection to find the size, shape, thickness and type of wood that best suits the space and style that you have in mind.

Small and robust shelf made of reclaimed wood

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

This rustic floating shelf also comes from Etsy. It’s small and robust and it’s an interesting sight on its own. It’s made of reclaimed wood with visible nail holes showing on its surface and a dark and weathered finish.

Pallet shelves for tools

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

It’s no secret that wooden pallets can be repurposed into lots of different things, including shelves. If the rough look of the reclaimed wood doesn’t really fit the vibe in your living area or bedroom, a space like the garage shouldn’t really be a problem. Check out this organizer for tools from funkyjunkinteriors for more details and ideas.

Wooden crates turned into shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Although you’re technically repurposing them, the crates in this case are still used for storage. The difference they’re placed vertically and up on a wall. You can combine several rustic crates to create a unique and sort of modular unit. Use them to store as well as display items. You can find more details on this project on funkyjunkinteriors.

Driftwood shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Driftwood is fascinating and in some ways irresistible. It tells stories, it has history and every piece is unique. That’s why we often try to find ways in which to incorporate pieces of driftwood into various home projects. One of the easiest options is to make driftwood shelves. Head over to sustainmycrafthabit to learn more about this.

Simple barn wood coat rack

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Another cool way to bring rustic wood shelves and other accessories into your home is by finding a use for them in transitional areas like the entryway or a hallway. One idea is to make a coat rack out of reclaimed wood. It would add texture and charm to this area and it would make a powerful and lasting impression. You can find a tutorial for one on hawthorneandmain.

Multipurpose freestanding shelf

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

When it comes to shelves the first thing that comes to mind are the wall-mounted ones. But that’s not all there is. There’s all sorts of variations and alternative models and designs that you can take into consideration if you’re thinking about crafting something for your own home. How about a freestanding shelf, a sort of attachment that you can place on your desk to raise your monitor or on the counter to add some extra storage space? It could even be used as a phone station. Check out funkyjunkinteriors for more details.

Floating shelf with a distressed finish

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

To either emphasize a rustic shelf or make it look more rustic in the first place, try applying a distressed finish. One method that works here involves using vinegar and fine steel wool to string the paint off the wood without getting rid of it completely or make it look too intentional. You can find more tips on thewhimsicalwife.

Simple stained shelves and brackets

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Open shelves are very versatile and wood is a very versatile material so putting the two together makes a lot of sense. A simple design like the one featured on 11magnolialane can help fill a blank wall, add more storage to a kitchen, living room, dining area or even to a bathroom and can also fit in a closet or a pantry.

Wooden shelves with decorative corbels

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

It’s not just the shelves themselves that contribute to the overall look and feel of the space around them. The mounting hardware and any accessories can actually help a lot to give them a certain aesthetic or to emphasize a particular style. The wooden corbels used here give these shelves a farmhouse-inspired look. Check them out on lollyjane.

Honeycomb shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Honeycomb shelves can super easily fit in a modern or a contemporary interior design because of the shape. At the same time, if they’re made of wood they can add a subtle rustic vibe to the décor without looking out of place. You can find a great tutorial on abeautifulmess which explains how honeycomb shelves are made.

Tiered ladder shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

The ladder shelf design featured on makingitinthemountains is quite atypical but at the same time it plays on an iconic rustic design which makes this project quite interesting. The tray-like shelves are larger at the bottom and gradually get smaller and you can use each one to store and display different things like books, planters and so on.

Built-in bathroom shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Sometimes bathrooms and hallways have these awkward layouts with nooks that make it difficult to furnish and to decorate them. But that’s actually a perfect opportunity to fill that nook with some built-in shelves and to give it a purpose. If you’re looking for an idea for the design, check out the project on notjustahousewife.

Open kitchen shelving

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

It’s nice have some variety when it comes to storage especially in a room like the kitchen. Cabinets are nice for storing and organizing lots of things like dishes, pots and pans and so on while open shelves are great for things that you want to keep accessible like your usual spices and what not. The nice thing about shelves is that you can add them at any time and even build some yourself. Check out this super simple rustic shelf design from chatfieldcourt for some inspiration.

Rustic wood and rope shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

If you want to give your shelves a rustic appearance, wood is not the only material that you can rely on. You can also add certain metal accents or, in the case of this project from makinghomebase, rope can be a nice resource as well. The rope is just a nice and simple way to add more interesting to something that would otherwise blend in or be super simple.

Farmhouse kitchen shelves

Rustic ShelvesView in gallery

Finding a good spot to hang the shelf can be just as important as the shelf itself. That can be quite tricky in the case of the kitchen because you usually want to pack this space with efficient storage. Still, having some negative space or some open shelves in there can be beneficial for giving the space a balanced and inviting look. Here’s some inspiration from theturquoisehome that you might like.

FAQ

Are Floating Shelves Strong?

Yes, but this is something based on a variety of factors, from the number of screws used, the material used to make the shelf, and what exactly it is that you have to place on top of it.

Consider the following while shopping for extra-strong floating shelves:

  • In general, the deeper the shelf, the larger the load capacity, but this is only true as long as the shelf is suitably supported by screws and rods. 
  • The greater the number of rods on your shelf, the stronger it will be. Ensure that you select shelves with supportive brackets, and then select a shelf with the appropriate number of rods that can hold the needed weight.
  • In the end, a floating shelf is only as robust as its wall attachments, thus this is an important factor to consider. Take the time to secure each bracket with a sufficient number of screws that are fastened to wall studs.

How Do You Secure Hanging Shelves?

Locate and utilize all available studs. Although installation takes slightly longer, nothing will sag or fall off the wall. Additionally, if the bracket for your floating shelf crosses a stud but does not line up with a screw hole, do the same as professional: drill through the bracket and make use of that stud.

How Much Weight Can a Hanging Shelf Hold?

What is the maximum weight capacity of a floating shelf? The answer is a great deal of weight—if done properly. As in, between 25 and far over 300 pounds. That is a considerable range. 

The problem is that the answer to this question is mostly determined by a sliding scale of circumstances. Certain factors raise your floating shelf’s weight capacity, while others decrease it. 

Are Floating Shelves Hard to Hang?

Floating shelves are usually not harder to hang compared to other types of shelves. There are even multiple ways to hang them. You mostly have to locate the studs, drill the holes needed for the mounting brackets, and mount the shelves based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

How Do You Hang a Shelf Without Nails?

If you live in a dorm, a rental apartment, or another similar location, you’ve almost certainly encountered the dreaded “no modifications” regulation, which prohibits you from nailing anything to your wall. Never fear, since there is a simple way to hang items such as shelves without forfeiting your security deposit: using adhesive strips.

To attach your shelf, you’ll need strong adhesive mounting strips made for heavy objects such as large paintings. Before purchasing a set of strips, ensure that they have the weight capacity necessary to support your shelf and all the items you intend to place on it.

Can You Hang Shelves on Drywall?

Heavy shelves have always been built with the most secure anchor points being wall studs. In other instances, the shelf’s positioning makes this procedure impractical. Not only that, but many homes today are also constructed with metal studs, which do not provide the same level of support for heavy shelving as wood studs do. 

Shelves that are not properly supported may fail. Drywall, particularly the commonly used half-inch-thick variant— is capable of supporting significant weights when put properly. By employing brackets, you may install hefty shelves with assurance that they will remain solid and safe.

Can You Hang Shelves on Drywall Without Studs?

Wall studs, or the wood support beams that run through a wall, are excellent locations for anchoring anything you wish to hang. However, these studs may not match up with the location of the shelf. Fortunately, there are a variety of alternative ways to support a shelf. 

The most popular type is the drywall anchor, which resembles a plastic screw that is inserted into the drywall. If you’re working with plaster or require a heavier object, consider utilizing a molly bolt. 

Toggle bolts are recommended for really heavy shelves. Once the wall has been prepared and pilot holes drilled, secure mounting brackets to whatever anchor you choose for sturdy, stable shelves.