top of page

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

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure.

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

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:

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



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:

10 Little Ducks Book by Eric Carle

Duck and  Goose Book

A to Z Book by Sandra Boynton

A to Z ($5.99).

Middle Shelf:

Bear Weather by Lillie Chaffin Book

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See Book

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton

Bottom Shelf:

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

Pop Clock by Kvell ($25). Monochromatic with clean lines, this would look great in a modern kids' room.

Umbra Ribbon Wall Clock ($39.99). This would be so chic in a nursery or a little girl's room!

This little guy (middle shelf) has sentimental value as one of my son’s first baby gifts. He adds softness and warmth to the vignette.

Jelly Cat Woodland Bunny

My son enjoys playing with dominos, so it’s handy having them where he can reach them (on the bottom shelf). They also add some variety.

Dominoes in a wooden box

Dominoes Set ($14.94). These aren't the exact ones we have (they were a gift), but they're very similar.

And, of course, you can't go wrong with artwork! A framed print can either be hung above or placed directly on the ledge:

Floating shelves displaying an assortment of framed prints (photo from:

I've had a long-time addiction to for almost every room in our house. (See this post for how I used Minted prints in our living room gallery wall). They have a large selection of quality prints at such low prices. They make some particularly stylish prints for a nursery or kid's room:

You can even order personalized art:

Anemone Monogram ( This print is customizable with your child's name and initials.


So, that’s how I styled the floating bookshelves in my son’s room! Not much to it! They probably won’t stay that way for long. But, the ability to change things up is just another advantage of display ledges in your kids' room--they can grow and change with them!


You may also be interested in:

How to Build A Gallery Wall

Most Stylish High Chairs

mother's day gift guide

gb pockit strer review

How do you store your kids’ books? What do you have on display in their rooms? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when new posts, like this one, are available!

If you found this useful, I’d love a share/pin/retweet by clicking on the icons right below!


bottom of page