10 Uncommon Places To Add Shelves For Extra Home Storage

If you live in a small house, finding places to store items may be difficult. Perhaps you're not sure where to keep your collection of books, or maybe you need more storage space for dishes in the kitchen. If so, adding shelves around your home may help you store these items in a functional and organized manner. There are a few common places to install shelves, including in closets, around a fireplace, in corners of the room, and above the sink or the toilet in the bathroom. However, maybe these areas don't work in your specific home. If so, there are many other less conventional places to install shelves, and you'll find 10 unique ideas below.

Once you've decided which places work best for you, you'll then need to consider what shelves to hang and how to do so. If you choose an area that's high in the air, it's best to nail your shelves into wall studs so that there's no risk of them falling and hurting you or damaging your home. Further, shelves could either be DIY'd from wooden planks or bought from retailers. There are also plenty of shelving units that you could buy, which will sit right on the ground and may be a safer option. 

1. Behind the couch

While shelving in the living room is typically placed on either side of the fireplace or the television, a more unexpected place to install it is behind your sofa. The wall behind the sofa is usually either kept blank or used to display artwork, so placing shelves in this area could use some of your wasted wall space. These shelves could either be built into the wall or hung above the sofa, as long as there's enough space for people to sit comfortably underneath without hitting their heads on the bottom of a shelf. 

2. Around a doorway

The space above and around a doorway is also typically kept empty, and building shelves around this area will give you more storage space. It will also transform your door into a portal to another room, which will give your home a unique and custom look. This could be added to any doorway in your home, no matter what room it is. 

3. Under a staircase

Empty space below a staircase could be transformed into storage by adding shelves. A huge benefit of adding shelves in this area is that they can be deep since stairs are typically pretty wide, so you can store multiple items on each shelf. Further, because the space below the staircase is usually cramped, this is one of the best ways to make the most out of this sometimes unused area of the home. 

4. On the kitchen island

While cabinets are sometimes used underneath the kitchen island, you could also add open shelves around it to include more space for storing things like dishes, books, decorations, and other miscellaneous items. To make these shelves appear integrated into your space, place them underneath a countertop lip that extends out further than the base of the island. You could also include seating underneath the lip wherever you don't include shelves. 

5. Next to kitchen cabinets

Typically, either kitchen cabinets or open shelving are utilized in the kitchen. If both of these elements are used, the cabinets are usually placed below, and the shelves are installed above the countertops. However, to give your kitchen a unique appearance and add more shelving than usual, include small shelves on either side of your cabinets. Reaching these all the way to the ceiling will maximize your storage space and give you an area to display decorative items. 

6. Between two areas

If you live in an open floor plan, you may want to separate two areas of your home from one another. For instance, perhaps your office is open to your living room, but you want them to feel like separate spaces. To do this while also providing your home with more storage space, place open shelves between the two areas. These will act as walls while also making your spaces feel more closed off. 

7. In a narrow hallway

Perhaps you have a narrow hallway that leads to another section of your home or to an exterior door. If so, you could fill one or even both of the walls with shelves. This is a great option for those who have very limited storage space in their home but don't want their storage to be on display in a commonly used area like the living room, as the hallway isn't typically where many spend a lot of time. 

8. Above the bed

Floating shelves could be installed above the bed or above the nightstands next to the bed, but only for those who don't live in areas that experience earthquakes. This could be ideal for storing things like books, decorations, and other small items. If you're worried about your possessions falling off in the night, secure them to the shelf with command strips or other adhesive products. Also make sure the shelves are deep enough to securely hold your items. 

9. Above the television

It's common to see shelves built around the television to create an entertainment center. What's less common is to see a single shelf hung high above the television, close to the ceiling. This will make use of this often unused space and could easily be accessed with a step ladder. Those who want their items to be on display may enjoy this idea, as it draws attention to the shelf and whatever is stored on it. 

10. Above the bathtub

The area above the bathtub in a bathroom is often left empty. To remedy this problem, add a shelf in this area, which could either be installed on the wall or built into the surface to create a niche. Towels, bath products, toiletries, and decorations could all be displayed here to make your bathroom more useful. Further, the shelves could also be a great place to put your phone, reading materials, or drink while bathing.