8 Clever DIY Shelves That’ll Maximize Your Storage Space

published Oct 15, 2019
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Credit: Samara Vise

One of our favorite pieces of storage advice? Take it to the walls. And when it comes to storing plants, books, mementos, and more, any little piece of wall will do—think: above doors, over toilets, or even tucked into a tiny corner. There’s almost always a solution for stowing the things you love… you just might have to roll up your sleeves, throw on your DIY cap, and get a little creative. Here, a few clever shelving ideas to inspire you.

A doorway-turned-plant shelf

Katie Shelton‘s living room had a literal door to nowhere—a non-functioning door in the corner of the room that Katie struggled to work around when it came to the space’s design. One good thing, though, was the amount of light its large window let in. To make it pretty and functional, Katie had acrylic sheets cut to fit the width of the glass, painted some brackets gold, and installed this group of chic shelves that make for a perfect plant perch.

Custom shelving in an extra-slim size

Mandi knew she wanted to add seating around her island when she started planning her kitchen renovation, featured on A Beautiful Mess. But with the original cabinets on this wall, there was no room to do that and be able to walk through the kitchen. But scrapping the cabinets altogether would have seriously cut down on storage. Her solution? A completely DIY shelving wall made with construction grade lumber for a space- and cost-efficient way to display pretty dishes and bulk goods. 

Floating shelves in an often-forgotten spot

There’s plenty of storage space to be had above the toilet! While true floating shelves can be on the chunky size, Manda at The Merrythought has instructions for those who are looking for something a with a smaller profile. Her fix is perfect for bathroom nooks and smaller spaces.

Credit: Fall for DIY

A spot to show off display-worthy reads

Free up your desk or coffee table, and keep pretty covers out to see, with a magazine rack. This one, by Fran of Fall for DIY, comes together with just eight simple drill holes for a clean and modern way to turn your everyday objects into art.

Credit: Fall for DIY

Pegboard shelves with adjustable storage

Another one of Fran’s clever shelving DIYs: pegboard shelving. This project’s simple enough for an afternoon, but you can also buy your own off-the-shelf pegboard. Either way, you’ll have plenty of flexibility to update and adapt your shelving as your needs change. Try one in your kitchen to display mugs or hang pans, one as in the bathroom to stash skincare, or one in your office for notebooks, pens, and other supplies.

A two-in-one shelf with hooks

For spaces that need hanging storage and room for displays, try a shelf with a peg rail. Kimberly of Turning It Home made a long one for her entryway to keep her purse and baby bag within easy reach and to give her plants a place to stretch out, too.

Swingy hanging shelves

Hanging shelves help create charming little vignettes and keep wall holes to a minimum, too. Amanda of A Crafted Passion made these using pale wood and black cording. They’re equal parts storage and wall art.

A totally apartment-friendly pick

Want a no-hole option? Carrie of Dream Green DIY, has instructions for this freestanding plywood rack. It’s an easy beginner’s project that gives you extra storage without needing to hang anything on the wall—though you can add a French cleat for security if you have small kids or pets.