Your home is a bit like a blank canvas, isn’t it? Each room has tons of decor possibilities that might turn it into something completely different each time you rearrange. Everything from your furniture – like sectionals, sofas, and accent tables – to the lighting you pick out tells its own story and says something about you. Do you want to maximize your space’s personality? One thing that has a huge impact is decorating your walls. And that’s where shelves come in. west elm has a wonderful collection of different styles of shelves to put the finishing touches on your space – your work of art. Here are some design ideas to help you make the most of them.


In the living room, shelving opens up a world of possibilities. Do you ever feel like your room is almost perfect, but just has an empty spot that needs a little something? Well, you’ve just found a great place for a shelf. Use the surface to add a piece of decor that complements the rest of your furniture, like a tasteful vase or bowl. Or, if you have a spectacular piece of artwork you’re excited to show off, a large shelf on an accent wall draws attention to it even more.


When picking out shelving, it’s a big help to decide what its main purpose is – although beautiful shelves can easily handle multiple tasks in style. Some shelves are suited for holding a lot of objects, like books, planters and a collection of small sculptures. Others are works of art in themselves. They look gorgeous holding nothing more than a single vase. In places of your home like the office or study area, something practical might be just what you need. Or if you’re looking for extra inspiration instead, focus on tasteful art that suits you.


Wood is the ultimate traditional material for decorative and functional shelving. An earthy or elegant reclaimed wood shelf is beautiful in just about any room. Natural wood tones create a relaxing vibe that works wonders with warm decor like candles and photographs. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Metallic shelving, mirrored surfaces and even sculptured pieces take things beyond limits. Feel free to let your inner rock star go wild, or use something with intricate contours to add a touch of elegance. Oh, and remember to think outside the box. Circular shelves are definitely chic.


Shelves are a smart way to decorate small spaces. If your home or apartment is especially cozy, take advantage of vertical wall space to add your signature look. There’s nothing wrong with placing two or more shelves above each other – or staggered out to the sides – so you have plenty of room for your favorite decor. And narrow shelves look amazing no matter how much space you have to play around with.