Tired of staring at a blank wall above your bed? Consider installing built-in shelving to add visual interest and extra storage. Built-in shelving looks meticulously crafted and gives bedroom decor a high-end, custom appearance. This elegant shelving solution makes use of wasted space and transforms it into a functional design feature.
Measure and Assess the Space Above Your Bed
Before deciding on a shelf design, take precise measurements of the wall area above your bed. Note the width of the wall from edge to edge. Also measure any awkward gaps or alcoves that you may want to utilize for shelving. Pay attention to the height of the wall from bed to ceiling and identify any constraints like ceiling lights or ventilation. Take photos of the space from multiple angles for easy reference.
Consider what you want to store or display on the shelves. This will help determine what shelf depth you need. Shallow shelves around 8-10 inches deep are great for books and decorative items, while deeper shelves around 12-16 inches can handle larger objects like folded blankets. Maximize your space by selecting a shelf depth that fits properly within the dimensions of your wall.
Choose a Shelf Design
Now comes the fun part – picking a shelf design! Here are some popular built-in shelving ideas for above the bed:
- Floating shelves – These sleek, minimalist shelves mount directly to the wall with no visible brackets. Great for displaying photos and artwork.
- Full bookcases – Floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases flanking the bed provide ample storage and a polished look.
- Headboard with storage – Replace a traditional headboard with one that has shelves or cabinet storage built right in.
- Side tables with lower shelves – Bedside tables with shelves above create one continuous storage solution.
- Mix of open and closed storage – Combine open display shelves with concealed storage cabinets.
Picking a mix of open and closed storage means you can show off decor while hiding clutter. Built-in drawers are great for stashing extra linens, pajamas and bedside necessities. Glass-front cabinet doors enable you to display special pieces inside protected enclosures.
Choosing materials that complement your existing decor is key to creating a cohesive look. Here are some popular options:
- Wood – Select a stain that matches other wood tones in the room. Oak and maple are good choices.
- Metal and wire – Industrial feel with an airy, open appearance.
- Glass – Transparent shelves create an illusion of space.
- Combinations – Wood frames with glass shelves pair form and function.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials like wood frames with metal railings and glass shelves. This can create visual interest and depth.
Add Special Features
Take your built-in shelves from basic to beautiful by incorporating special features:
- Lighting – Install sconces or under shelf lighting to illuminate decor.
- Charging station – Add outlets or USB ports for easy device charging.
- Mirror backing – Strategically placed mirrors create the illusion of depth.
- Drawers – Hidden storage for a clutter-free look.
- Doors – Conceal special items or everyday clutter.
When brainstorming shelf features, think about your needs and how you plan to utilize the space. Customized built-ins should suit your lifestyle and preferences.
Work With Contractors for Custom Build
Proper installation is crucial when dealing with built-in shelves. Unless you have carpentry experience, hire professional contractors or woodworkers to bring your design vision to life.
Provide the contractors with detailed measurements, photos of the space, and any inspiration images. Specify your material, finish, and design preferences. Make sure to get a clear timeline and cost estimate before work begins.
Quality craftsmanship doesn’t come cheap, so set a realistic budget. Built-in shelving ranges from $70-$200 per linear foot installed depending on materials and intricacy of design. The investment pays off when you end up with stunning, highly-functional shelves tailored to your exact space.
Style Built-In Shelves
Once your shelves are installed, it’s time for the fun part – styling them! Aim for an aesthetically pleasing display that expresses your personality.
Group books by color, alternating with meaningful photos and objects. Incorporate any existing bedroom colors into your shelf decor. Avoid clutter by leaving some negative space between groupings. Strategically place lights, vases or trays to define zones.
Manage cords from lamps and devices by running them neatly behind the shelves. Use coiled cables or clips to control dangling wires. A little effort makes everything look crisp and intentional.
Take Advantage of Hidden Storage
One of the best parts of built-in shelving is the ample hidden storage it provides over the bed. Here are some ideas of items to stash:
- Extra bedding like blankets, duvets and shams
- Pajamas, robes and slippers
- Books, e-readers, tablets
- Lamps, travel clocks, phone chargers
- Medications, eyeglasses, lip balm
- Water bottle, tissues, reading material
Placing these bedside essentials right above your bed means they are easily accessible when needed. No more rummaging through distant dressers or closets when everything you need is within arm’s reach.
Enjoy a Designer, Custom Look
Built-in shelving instantly elevates your bedroom’s appearance. It looks like you hired an architect and interior designer to create an integrated, upscale space.
Compared to standalone furniture, built-in shelves appear meticulously planned and crafted for that specific location. The seamless look screams luxury, even if your budget was limited.
Built-ins prevent the awkward gaps that inevitably show up between wall-mounted and freestanding pieces. The result is a space that looks professionally designed – something straight out of Dwell or Architectural Digest.
Make the most of awkward, often overlooked spaces like alcoves or walls bisecting windows. Custom built-ins tailored to these unique dimensions result in a clean, integrated appearance.
To take full advantage of the space above your bed, here are some additional built-in shelving ideas:
- Recessed shelving tucked into alcoves or gaps
- Headboard with shelves or cabinet storage
- Matching side tables that extend outward with lower shelves
- Concealed cabinets for clutter behind cabinet doors
Get creative with the exact placement and finish of your built-in shelves. Horizontal shelving reaching the entire width of the wall makes a dramatic statement. A polished look results from cohesive materials and symmetrical placement. The design options are truly endless.
Transform the forgotten space above your bed into a functional design feature. Built-in shelving provides artistic flair along with abundant storage. And you’ll enjoy a custom, upscale look worthy of a luxury designer.