Small Apartment Living: Floating Shelves

There’s nothing quite like having your own little apartment.  Whether you’re out of your parents’ house and on your own for the first time, newly married, or a long-time renter, apartment-living can be exciting, for many great memories can be made in a tiny space.

But this tiny space can also be a challenge.  Apartments tend to be cold, lifeless, and standard.  When David and I found the apartment we were going to live in, I was thrilled.  We loved (and still do) the old character and hardwood floors.  The wedding-nesting bug hit me hard, though, and I was anxious to make that little building feel like a home.

It took some arranging and rearranging, some thrifting and hunting, but coming home to a place that seems to embrace you when you walk through the door after a long day of work is worth every minute and nail hole.  Through the course of our settling in, I’ve discovered some tips for making your small space feel bigger, and most importantly, feel comfortable.  I’m excited to share some with you along the way!

Floating Shelves

I had always been attracted to the idea of floating shelves.  I had seen many a Pinterest board full of the most beautiful wall designs that employ this forced shelving.  So I finally decided to give it a try in our living room area.  We had our big pieces of furniture arranged, but it lacked umph and richness.

I didn't take an actual 'before' picture, but here's an idea of it's previous state.  Excuse the FRIENDS on the TV, I was trying to show Sarah what episode I was watching ;)

I didn’t take an actual ‘before’ picture, but here’s an idea of its previous state from an unrelated picture. Excuse the FRIENDS on the TV, I was trying to show Sarah what episode I was watching 😉

You see our lovely clock?  It was lonely.  I despised that wall for a while until I finally realized the many benefits a floating shelf would bring:

  • They add interest.  Apartment walls air on the side of blah, so hanging a floating shelf adds texture, color, depth, and richness to an otherwise bare and cold structure.
  • They can be used for storage.  You know all those knickknacks you have lying around that you won’t get rid of because of sentimentality or the thought that you just might need them one day?  Yeah, they fill space up pretty quickly.  But I’m right there with you, there are certain items I want displayed proudly in my home.  Finding the space for them is a problem.  A floating shelf allows you to display more decoration without taking up bookshelf or table space.
  • They build height.  In order to make a small space feel larger, it is imperative to build your rooms up.  Since you don’t have much space to build out, drawing the eye up to the ceiling makes the room seem bigger than it actually is.
  • They are universal.  They can be added almost anywhere, they come in all shapes and sizes and colors, and they blend well with any interior design.

Want to see the after?  Ok, I don’t mind.

Hanging Shelves 2

 Hanging Shelves 1

And y’all, I’m in love.  As soon as we finished hanging and decorating the shelf, I turned to Dave and said, “Ok, now I can live here for a few more years.”  Something as simple and as cheap as a hanging shelf, decorated with items that we already possessed, somehow made the entire place feel even more homey.

So, I challenge you: next time you get fed up with your small apartment (hunny, it happens to all of us), try floating shelves and see if that remedies your intolerance.  And let me know how it goes!


I’m here, too!

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  1. I LOVE IT! It’s so classy and most definitely reflects you guys.

    Shoutout to my main man, Ross.

  2. Love it! I love finding fun ways to decorate a small place!

  3. ::::applause:::: Good job!

  4. Love to see the Kartause brau!!

  5. Great tip! I totally have stuff I want to display but limited table top space in which to do that. Plus, I love the Friends episode on the TV. 🙂

  6. This is awesome. I’ve always loved floating shelves, but I’ve never actually bought one or put one up…

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