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Display shelves in my son's room: decorative and utilitarian!

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When it comes to decorating kids' rooms, it's hard to strike just the right balance between form and function. Kids have so much stuff, it's a challenge to find a place for it all without the end result looking cluttered.

One clever solution is to use floating shelves that both store and display books, toys, and decorative items. Not only are these space saving, but they keep things off the floor and, if done right, they can elevate the room.

You can create a curated 'gallery wall'-like display in your kiddo's space!

Here are a few key elements to creating a fun, functional and aesthetically pleasing display:

1. Choose the Right Floating Shelves

These should ideally be deep and sturdy enough to hold several books. But, the goal isn't to fill them to capacity: you can overlap some books to maximize storage potential, but leaving some space results in a tidier, more aesthetically pleasing look.

In my son's room (pictured above), I chose to space out the books, allowing for lots of negative space. This gives the eye a place to rest and creates a more placid vibe.

Of course, this isn't the most practical way to use display ledges. But, we keep the bulk of his books in drawers (see this post on how we store toys and books in my son's room). If you want to eke out more storage, you can stagger the books.

Here's an example of how to overlap books and maximize storage while retaining visual appeal:

WALLNITURE Nursery Shelf Floating Bookshelf

WALLNITURE Nursery Shelf - Floating Bookshelf - Set of 4 ($41.99).

I absolutely love these clear acrylic shelves! They give you the freedom to play around with positioning and the ability to display books where a full-length shelf may not fit. Were we to do it all over again, I'd go with these:

WALLNITURE Invisible Acrylic Wall Mount Book Ledges - Set of 12.

These streamlined, metal ledges have a sleek, modern look and are long and versatile enough to grow with your babe. You can start decking them with baby books and stuffies then transition to your kids’ framed artwork and photos as they grow.

Wallniture Floating Shelves Metal Ledges

WALLNITURE Floating Shelves Metal Ledges - Set of 3 ($69.99).



2. Select Kids' Books with Beautiful, Graphic Covers

This is one of the few times it’s okay to judge a book by its cover! We visually anchored our display with a few large books bearing big, bold (but not busy) graphics. We also went with a bit of an animal theme for cohesiveness, though grouping by other commonalities, like color, works equally well. In addition, we threw in a couple of vintage books from our childhoods for a personal touch. If you do this, you'll feel a little pang of nostalgia each time you pass by!

Top Shelf:

Mr.Mocker (vintage)

10 Little Ducks Book by Eric Carle

10 Little Ducks ($4.86).

Duck and  Goose Book

Duck & Goose 1,2,3 ($5.82).

A to Z Book by Sandra Boynton

A to Z ($5.99).

Middle Shelf:

Bear Weather by Lillie Chaffin Book

Bear Weather

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See Book

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See ($6.08).

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton

Little Owl Lost ($7.99).

Bottom Shelf:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar ($6.81).

Press Here ($10.99).



3. Accessorize Your Shelves

For some added character and visual appeal, throw in some decorative items. Look for objects that contrast with the hard lines of the shelves and books. We chose a round clock and a stuffie to vary shape and texture.

We inherited the vintage school clock hung above the top shelf. But, if we didn’t already have it, I might go with something more modern like these:

Pop Clock Kvell