Getting Creative with Freestanding Shelving Systems

Freestanding shelving systems are simple yet functional room design elements. They provide a means of neatly storing and displaying all sorts of collections. They can be purchased from a local hardware store, recycled from a yard sale or created at home. Freestanding shelving systems typically have several shelves within 1 unit. They can stand freely or be attached to a wall for stability, depending on your needs and the items being stored or displayed.

Room Divider Shelves

Freestanding shelving systems can make wonderful room dividers. Sturdy units with a wide base work the best. Separate units can be connected with metal bolts. They can be placed in any room where you would like to divide the space.

Recycled Shelves

Inexpensive freestanding shelf units can become upgraded and more creative by adding plywood to the backs. The new plywood backs and the shelves can be painted in coordinating colors. The inside backs of the shelves can be painted with a different complementary or contrasting color, or lined with wallpaper or shelf liner paper.

Ladder Shelves

Ladders can be used as freestanding shelving units. The shelves can be created from plywood boards. The size of the shelves will depend on the width of each of the ladder steps and the distance between the steps when the ladder is fully opened. The wood shelves can be stained or painted in one color, a variety of colors or a variety of color designs. If you would rather build your own ladder for the shelves, simply connect 1 by 4 inch lumber to create the pillars that will hold the shelves. Secure the shelves to the pillars with the necessary bolts.

Corner Shelves

Corner shelves take up less room than typical shelving units. The triangular shaped shelves can add a geometrical dimension to the room. A freestanding corner shelf can be made by connecting 2 plywood boards. Add a triangular top and bottom to the sides and the freestanding unit is complete. Add support rails inside the unit to hold each of the triangular shelves. Stain or paint the unit in a color that works well with the room.

Jigsaw Shelves

Interchangeable book shelves can be easily made using prefabricated or homemade wooden boxes. The boxes may have backing or not, depending on your design style. Without a backing the wall behind the shelving unit will be the backdrop for the books. With a backing, you can keep all of the shelf backs the same color and design or use something different in each of them. Once all of the boxes have been finished, stack them together in a design that works with the room. Secure the boxes together within the shelving system with the necessary bolts or clamps.

Cube Shelves

Much like the jigsaw shelves, these cubes are stacked together. However, by using cubes with all the same dimensions, the shelves can be extended both in height and width. Two towers can be connected, one taller and one shorter. These shelves can also be stained or painted in one color or a variety of colors and designs. Paper can also be added to the backing to add more visual elements to the system.