Putting up Shelves

Shelves are not only obviously very useful for storage but can also drastically improve the appearance of your home. You can put them up yourself quite easily, hire someone to do it for you, or you can buy gorgeous free standing bookcases and open cabinets from modern furniture stores. Off the top of my head I can think of Emfurn.com. And there are more options besides.


Whether you have one to two shelves, or more than you can count, you are on to a winner! Having just a few shelves dotted around your home will give off a professional, sleek vibe, whereas having lots of shelves filled up with books and ornaments will lend your home a cozy cottage or apothecary (old fashioned pharmacy) feel that is straight out of Harry Potter or Camelot.


To fit shelves yourself, you can use a variety of materials, although wood is best. Solid wood is obviously the most classic shelving material, although you can use chipboard, plywood or MDF which are usually cheaper. Here are the basic steps involved in fitting your own shelves:

  • Ensure you have everything you need; a hammer drill with a masonry bit, your shelves and screws – 38mm – 50mm for heavier loads, with a 4mm gauge.
  • Check that there are no pipes or cables behind where your shelves will be.
  • Fit brackets. Brackets are usually L-shaped pieces of metal which hold your shelves in place. They are positioned near each end of a shelf, with the longer arm against the wall. Drill holes for the screws into the wall and screw them in.
  • Place your wooden blocks onto the brackets


For stacked shelves (more than one shelf in a column), you need battens, which are strips of wood that you screw the brackets and shelves into.

Hot DIY Tip:

A great, quick, super-easy and stylish DIY idea for the bathroom is using a step ladder! Use the steps as shelves for storing towels, toiletries, candles and bath oils/salts. Paint the ladder whatever colour you like to match your colour scheme. No screwing, drilling or measuring required!

If you are feeling adventurous, convert an old warehouse pallet into shelves; simply sand, varnish, and adapt portions of the wooden slats into shelves and screw onto the wall!



Alcoves, or the part of a wall that is more sunken than the rest, is an ideal place to put shelves. You could even put stacked shelves in the alcove for a fitted-bookcase effect. Just remember to use battens to support your shelves.


Where to buy shelves from


There are many places where you can purchase shelves. You can get them cheap second-hand on eBay, often for just a couple of dollars, or you can buy units and kits from your local home improvement store, brand new.

So, why not get shelving now?

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