Where Should Floating Shelves Be Placed?

Where Should Floating Shelves Be Placed

Floating shelves are one of the best ways to decorate a room and provide utility to otherwise empty spaces. And if you’re looking for some ideas, let’s look at where you should place floating shelves.

It would be best if you placed floating shelves at eye level above pieces of furniture, as with chairs, desks, and cabinets, or in empty spaces on narrow walls. Floating shelves can be placed in any part of a room that is underused and can offer more utility by adorning frequently used items or simply adding to the room’s visual aesthetic.

The great thing about floating shelves is that they are straightforward to install, and there are countless ideas that you can find online to use as inspiration to add an extra element to your home that will invariably make a massive difference. 

This guide will help you determine where to place your floating shelves, how to install them, and, most importantly, some design tips.

Where Should You Place A Floating Shelf?

Where Should You Place A Floating Shelf?

While where to place your floating shelf may seem fairly straightforward, it can be tricky, and you don’t want to choose the wrong spot before you mount it.

Rather than simply finding a wall and hanging a shelf on it willy-nilly. You don’t want your floating shelf to look lonely on the wall and should find a piece of furniture you can use for references, such as a desk or an armchair. 

Although, there is some flexibility, and some people will use floating shelves to fill up empty spaces, like an unused corner in the room that’s looking a little bare.

Use a desk in an office, for example, or a narrow wall never used for a shelf that can provide great utility and a new visual element. While you can opt for various heights to place the shelves, four or five feet from the floor or eye level is a good rule of thumb. Hang your shelves at the same height you would hang an artwork. Or measure about 10 inches above the couch or desk that the shelf is hanging above.

Trust your instincts. For example, if you’re hanging floating shelves in a child’s room, you may want to hang them lower. But always remember that the shelves are meant to serve a purpose, and you should hang them where they would best serve their purpose.

How To Mount Floating Shelves

Now that you know where to place floating shelves, it’s time to work on putting them up. The process is fairly simple, and we’ve broken it down into five easy steps:

How To Mount Floating Shelves

1. Select Your Floating Shelves

Floating shelves come in wide varieties, made from different materials, mechanisms, and colors. However, what they all have in common is to have a wall-mounted bracket that will be hidden once the shelf has been installed.

Before you start, find the right features for the room where you’ll place the shelves. For example, a simple white shelf perfectly complements a faux concrete wall.

2. Determine Shelf Placement

As discussed, you must determine where to place the floating shelves. Do you want to center them above a piece of furniture? Would you like to spread them across a wall? 

Once you’ve decided, use a level to ensure that the shelves are straight, place them against the wall where you’d like them to go, and mark the placement with a pencil or a piece of tape.

3. Trace and Attach Brackets

Use the line marked on the wall for where your floating shelf will go as a guide while holding the shelf brackets against the wall. Trace out where the holes for the screws need to be for perfect placement.

If you’re installing the shelves onto a wall with wallpaper, take an extra step and score the marks with a boxcutter to prevent the wallpaper from being ruined in the drilling process.

Please double-check that your tracings are level and use them as a guide to place the bracket flush against the wall. Then drill screws through the holes in the brace, starting from the middle. Before drilling each hole, continue using your level to ensure the shelves are straight.

4. Attach Shelves

Once the bracket is in place, you can place the floating shelf onto the wall. This step is simple; you only need to slide the shelf over the brackets. And, if included in the parts that came with your floating shelf, attach any supporting screws to ensure that it never falls out of place.

Once complete, check to make sure, once again, that your shelf is level, and there you have it!

5. Style!

Now comes the fun part. Fill the shelves with everything from books to plants to artworks to antiques and let them become a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, space-saving feature for the room.

How To Style Floating Shelves

How To Style Floating Shelves

The most important rule for styling your shelf is to enjoy yourself while you do it. Your shelf is a blank canvas for you to express creativity that will live in your home for years. 

Browse images online for inspiration, check out home decor magazines, and figure out exactly what look you’re going for that would suit the room. You have an unlimited creative license.

Experiment with leaning framed artworks against the wall and adding accessories. Also, use objects with different heights. Play with symmetrical and asymmetrical looks, step back with each new arrangement, and ask yourself if you like it.

Once the hard part of installing the shelf is over, going through a trial-and-error process with styling your floating shelves doesn’t take much effort and can be lots of fun!


Now that you’ve learned where you should place floating shelves, how to install them, and how to style them, you’re well on your way to getting started with the process and adding a beautiful feature to your home that you’ll never regret.


Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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