10 Best Living Room Shelving Ideas

Updated: May 02, 2024

Not sure what to do with that blank wall? Living room shelves add storage and style. Read on for 10 options for you to consider.

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Shelves Courtesy of @tinyterrace25

Modern Living Room Shelving Unit

A large modern shelving unit like this from @tinyterrace25 makes a big statement in any living room. (Check out this similar piece and this one you can build.) When it comes to filling the shelves, anything goes, but you can never go wrong with plants. The organic shapes pop against the hard lines of the geometric shelves.

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Shelves Courtesy of @katherinecharltondesign

Streamlined Built-In Living Room Shelves

Built-in shelves add a custom look to your living room, elevating the whole space. These sleek built-in shelves by @katherinecharltondesign put a fresh spin on traditional, ornate built-ins next to the fireplace.

By using white floating shelves against white vertical shiplap, the decorative accessories take center stage. Built-ins not in your budget? Substitute a white bookcase next to your fireplace for a similar effect.

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Shelves via wayfair.com

Budget-Friendly Etagere

An etagere-style bookcase has open shelving that doesn’t add a lot of visual bulk, which makes it a good choice for a small living room. Plus, because of its minimal design, you can find an etagere at an affordable price. You can snag this elegant version for less than $200!

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Shelves Courtesy of @pionierehome

Simple Floating Living Room Shelves

These simple floating shelves by Pioniere Home provide wall decor and book storage while balancing the visual weight of the TV. To achieve a similar look, stack three floating shelves (like these, or build your own) and keep your styling understated. Try varying the heights of your accessories using stacks of books. Looking for more styles? Here’s our list of different types of shelves to organize your home.

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Shelves Courtesy of @hass_khalfan

DIY Ladder Living Room Shelves

This DIY ladder shelving unit by @hass_khalfan was made with lumber and a few pieces of hardware! A piece like this is a work of art on its own. Adding plants, personal décor and books makes it a true showpiece. (This store-bought version is also beautiful but will cost you a lot more.)

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Shelves Courtesy of @jackie.hoyte

Picture Ledge Living Room Shelf

Don’t overthink your living room wall shelves. Sometimes all you need is a single, long picture ledge, as proven here by @jackie.hoyte.

The ledge displays photos and art in the same way a gallery wall can, but makes it much easier to rearrange and swap out frames when needed. This picture ledge is a generous 60 inches wide, giving you plenty of display room. Or you can make a picture ledge shelf any size you want.

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Shelves Courtesy of @jointhebandd

Navy Living Room Shelf Built-Ins

Get a moody, sophisticated vibe with dark living room shelves like these navy built-ins by @jointhebandd. (Here’s a navy bookcase for a similar look, especially if set against a navy-painted wall.) When styling dark shelves, be sure to use light-colored books, decorative accessories and baskets so they pop against that dark backdrop.

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Shelves via wayfair.com

Wall-Mounted Ladder Shelf

We love how this ladder shelving unit combines the look of a free-standing bookcase and wall-mounted shelves. It frees up floor space underneath, but still has the visual impact of a bookcase. The simple sleek design fits well with any style living room decor. Happy Wayfair reviewers love the sturdy construction and easy assembly.