If your home doesn’t have much storage space, or if you like to add touches of style throughout your home, consider hanging various types of shelving. Fortunately, adding shelves to your home is a fairly simple process that is relatively inexpensive. This ultimate guide to DIY shelving will get you started on making a space more functional or decorative.

  1. Open Kitchen Shelving

Open kitchen shelving is on trend and is a fantastic way for you to add more storage while adding some decorative touches at the same time. You may have dishes or drinkware that you love and want to display, or you may want to add pops of color with funky bottles or mugs. No matter what you choose to display on your shelves, be sure you are ready for the visual impact open kitchen shelving makes and that you are ready to do a little more dusting and organizing.

One of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to create open kitchen shelving is removing a pair of cabinet doors from your existing cabinets. Give open shelving a test run this way before putting holes in your walls. This Old House design editor Tisha Leung points out that it’s simple to put the doors back on if you feel too cluttered.

For a quick and easy solution, install a couple brackets and place planks on top for a rustic open shelf. Be sure to measure and use a level when installing your shelves, and use a stud finder and then screw the brackets into wall studs to make them sturdy. To make your shelving functional in addition to decorative, put frequently used items on bottom shelves and decorative or less-used items on higher shelves. Mix decorative and functional pieces or add antique or vintage items to your open kitchen shelves.

  1. Floating Shelving

Similar to open shelving, floating shelving gives you an opportunity to add style and function to nearly any room. People like floating shelving because it features clean lines and is fairly simple to add to a bathroom, dining room, or other space. The Home Depot recommends building a frame inside your floating shelves to make them sturdier. Again, use a stud finder and screw your floating shelves into at least one stud for stability.

  1. Garage Shelving

If you are tired of having a cluttered garage, DIY garage shelving is the answer. There are tons of options, so consider your needs before choosing a type for your open space. To store large items, create shelves using 2x4s, self-tapping screws, and wood glue. Make your shelving unit as large as your square footage allows, but be sure to secure the project to the wall to make it sturdy and prevent it from tipping over.

To organize bottles of oil, spray paint, caulking, and other items of a similar shape, construct garage shelves using rain gutters that allow them to stand in an organized fashion. These wall units can go from floor to ceiling if you wish, but you may need to move a wall outlet in order to secure them to the studs.


Keep in mind that you should leave removing or moving electrical outlets to a professional. To ensure your family’s safety, hire a licensed electrician to tackle these more complex electrical projects.

  1. Built-In Shelving

Built-in shelving dresses up a room and gives your home a classic touch. But, don’t discount this type of shelving because you think you’ll need to hire a contractor to move a wall to accommodate it. If you have an unused corner, you have the perfect spot for built-in shelving. Keep in mind that built-in shelving requires you to build a cabinet, so you will need accurate measurements and tools to make it. This type of DIY shelving also requires more planning and expertise than open or floating shelving.

DIY shelving is an ideal project for adding function or style to a space in your home or garage. Consider open kitchen shelving, floating shelving, garage shelving, or built-in shelving for your next DIY task.

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