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7 Main Types of Corner Shelves Used for Decor and Storage

A collage of different types of Corner Shelves.

How to use corner shelves to make your rooms attractive 

Space is at a premium these days and stylish storage is often one of the first things to be abandoned. In a desperate bid to clear clutter, homeowners sacrifice design in favour of pure functionality.

However, there is an alternative. Corner shelving can be both highly useful in terms of storage facilities and made to your specifications of the design. You can, in short, have both form and function in this one piece of furniture.

When well-styled, a corner shelf can act as a gorgeous decorative piece while simultaneously storing items that don’t have anywhere else to go.

Source for above corner shelf: Amazon

Related: Bedrooms with Built-In Shelves | Etsy Floating Shelves | Small Bookcase and Bookshelf | Types of Cube Shelves

The Two Types of Corner Shelves 

1. Floating Wall Corner Shelves

These shelves screw directly into the wall behind them, appearing to spring forwards out of the plasterwork with no supporting bracket or floor-standing frame.

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These shelves screw directly into the wall behind them, appearing to spring forwards out of the plasterwork with no supporting bracket or floor-standing frame. 

They work just as well in triangular or scalloped shapes in a corner as they do in square or rounded shapes mounted on a flat wall.

For a modern touch, they are usually a few inches thick and made of a hollow manufactured wood, finished in a smooth wood effect veneer or primary paint colour, making them ideal for any room from a sophisticated living room to a child’s playroom.

2. Floating Corner Shelves (Standing) 

For a contemporary look with an architectural design quality, standing corner shelves can add a premium look to your space.

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For a contemporary look with an architectural design quality, standing corner shelves can add a premium look to your space. The shelves don’t require anything so mundane as nails or wall brackets, instead standing as a unit from the floor and blending into the wall. 

This style of shelf looks particularly good in an alternate colour to the wall, serving to accent the room. You can always add stuffs like books, antiques, trophies, certificates, medals in your standing corner shelf. And to make it more useful, you can also stock up your daily utilities like  accessories, keys etc. 

Ways to Style Corner Shelves 

There are many ways to style up corner shelves for an impact in your decor.

  • Try using colour, by either making the shelves stand out in graphic, multi-hued shades or keeping the shelves neutral and adding coloured accessories that pop. 
  • You can make a feature out of one thing you need to store, like books. Try stacking your books in different directions, or organise them by colour or size. Corner shelves are widely used as bookcases, have a read about the best corner bookshelf collection. 
  • Start your styling from the foundation onwards by choosing interesting shelves to begin with. Maybe choose an element of your overall design scheme to highlight, like industrial pipes, shabby-chic prints or vintage paint effects. 
  • Create an effective gallery wall by layering framed prints, postcards and photographs on your shelves. Juxtapose interesting combinations, or choose similar colours to keep it exciting. 

How Much Does One Corner Shelf Cost? 

The cost of corner shelving can vary greatly depending on the material, the brand, the amount of shelves, the type of construction, the amount of weight the shelf can handle and the innovation of the design.

The price range of corner shelves fall between 13 $ -1000 $(approximately, depending on the brand). When looking to purchase your own set of corner shelves, you should shop around to discover styles that you like and then focus your search on finding that style to fit your budget.

Once you know exactly what it is that you are looking for, you can easily browse through similar designs by different companies and await sales, end-of-the-line design discounts or even spring to have your own custom shelves made for you.

How to Build a Floating Corner Shelf 

In your quest for the perfect corner shelving system, you may decide you would prefer to design and make your own set.  


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Follow the steps below to craft your own floating corner shelf: 

  1. First, you must prepare the individual wooden elements of your shelves. Choose a medium-density fibreboard or plywood, at a minimum thickness of 0.5 inches. Remember the old saying; ‘Measure twice, cut once’ and check the dimensions of the room corner you are building shelves for. Make two triangular pieces that fit into the corner dimensions and then cut a further piece to the appropriate shelf width to make a wooden strip. 
  2. Next, you can begin the assembly of your shelves by nailing the strip square-on to the triangular pieces outward-facing edge, joining them together. Once nailed in place, fill in any gaps using a wood putty, then allow the putty to dry before sanding away any excess. From the front, it should now look like a single piece of solid wood. 
  3. Now is the time to add decorative finishes, helping your homemade shelving to fit in with other items in your home. Using a wood veneer or maybe a splash of bright paint, carefully cover the entirety of the shelf. Make sure to allow each layer to dry completely before adding the next and to do any painting in a well-ventilated area. 
  4. Once painted and dry, it’s time to attach the wall mounts. To ensure you make the shelf strong enough to support your items, choose a thicker wood such as 2×4. You’ll require two pieces, cut slightly narrower than the shelf width. Start by drilling two holes, one at either end, through the side of each piece of wood that comes up alongside a wall. Sketch a faint line on your wall as a guide for placing the mounts and check your guide is level, otherwise your ornaments might take a tumble! 
  5. Using wood screws of a suitable length for your wall thickness, attach the mounts to the wall and then check they are still evenly placed. You can then glide your floating shelf atop of the mounts until it rests against the corner. Use decorative trim or more putty to seal any gaps between your shelf and the wall and then, ta-da! You’ve created your own floating wall shelf. 

The Seven Most Popular Types of Corner Shelves 

Following are examples of the varieties and flexibilities available in corner shelf designs today.

1. Geometric Corner Shelves

Wood corner shelf

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This is the ultimate modern space saver. The sleek manufactured wood adds a striking feel to any room, but would work particularly well in a living room, occasional study or guest bedroom for displaying knick-knacks.

Try styling the dark cherry wood effect shelving with bright colours for a mid-century modern aesthetic, or assemble neutral-toned ornaments and framed pictures to create a small gallery area.  

2. Franklin Shelf 

Franklin Floating Corner Shelf

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This attractive wood finish shelf has been nominated for a design award thanks to the intriguing 90-degree angle box-shape. It is available in three different colourways. Stable and compact, these shelves would make a great addition to a bathroom or as a display unit in a kitchen.

3. Set of Two Corner Radial Shelves 

Radial Corner Floating Shelf

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These delightful radial shelves are offered in four separate colours, to match any style of decor. Made from MDF and laminated, they are the perfect solution for toiletries in small washrooms, or as a pretty display piece for jewellery, flowers or perfume in a bedroom. 

4. Standing Ladder Corner Shelf

Ladder corner shelf

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A graduated standing shelf unit with five open shelves, specially designed to utilise empty corners and turn them into useful storage and display areas.

The shelves come in three different finishes and are easily put together at home. They would work beautifully in a guest bathroom, living room or small study to maximise space. 

5. Mid-Century Vintage Book Display Cabinet

Mid-Century Floating Corner Shelf

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This contemporary Danish shelving unit hits on the trend for Scandinavian minimalism. It can be set into a corner, or wrapped around a corner, adding a touch of architectural design to any room.

Made of plywood with a range of attractive wood veneers to choose from, the shelf would display a range of candles, bud vases, one or two books and an ornament to beautiful effect. 

6. Floating L-Shape Corner Shelf

Floating L-Shape Corner Shelf

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Open shelving in kitchens is fast becoming the number one trend in home design. Adding the effect of more space and allowing more light to circulate is a popular choice among home bloggers.

The trick to making this style of shelf work is to tightly curate your kitchen belongings and maintain order instead of chaos with complementary colours and a tidy ethic. 

7. Glass Corner Shelf

Glass Radial Floating Shelf

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A modern glass shelf with smooth nickel hardware makes this a design classic, especially for modern bathrooms.

Ideal for storing toiletries, or a scented candle to perfume your space, try mounting an odd number of these to a corner that requires a little extra in the design department. You’ll gain storage and visual interest in one fell swoop.

How Can You Make Corner Shelving Work For You? 

Corner shelving is one of the most under-utilised forms of storage and display in modern interior design. The sheer variety of styles, shapes and colours available make the aesthetic value of corner shelving fit into all decor schemes.

They aren’t just visually appealing, though; the practical nature of the corner shelf makes it eminently flexible for any size room and anywhere you could use a little extra storage. 

Corner shelves are a fixture that can add colour or texture to your room, as well as maximising your storage capabilities. 

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