High shelves


I recently did a post about shallow shelves that showed shelves don’t have to be merely practical but can be a design statement in themselves. However, the reality is we often surround ourselves with ‘stuff’ and have nowhere to put it so design has to come second. Ceiling height shelves offer the practical storage we need but can also look really good.  Another advantage is that the foot of space that traditional shelves use, which is often too much of a sacrifice, is not needed for high shelves;  they are positioned in space that will never be used, and don’t leave you feeling hemmed in.

We have recently put a high shelf above our bed for books (recognise the book ends from my previous post?); not only does this give us extra storage space but it also softens the room as only books can (when I say we, I mean Jules, although I painted). We also put a shelf above the door of our work-room. By positioning it above the door, when you enter the room, you can not even see the shelf and therefore do not feel the loss of space. We painted the shelves white and used white brackets because we didn’t want to draw attention to the shelf itself but you could make it a real feature if you wanted to.

High shelves

I love this shelf above the door in our work-room. You can not see it when you enter the room and uses totally wasted space.

Have a look at other ways people have used high shelves to interesting effect…

This high shelf is used for storing crockery that is not often used, which one rarely has enough space in kitchen cupboards for. It is painted in the same colour as the walls so it is barely noticeable but its underside is cleverly used for hooks to add yet more storage.

High shelves in bedroom

Even though this shelf is covered in objects it doesn’t feel cluttered because of its height.

High shelves on stair well

This high shelf is used to display art work.

High shelves

An ‘above the door shelf’ is used here to display treasures and a plant.

High shelves

This shelf is not quite as high as the others but still high enough so that it does not use too much space or in danger of clumsy kinders. A lovely place to show off plants and kitchen wares.

High shelves

Love this so much. All I want is a ‘garden room’ with a shelf of cloches!!

High shelves

Another ‘above the door’ shelf used here to display porcelain and pottery.

Ceiling height high book shelves

This ceiling height shelf wraps around the whole room and becomes a feature of this bathroom.

High shelves

What about a shelf above the bathroom door to store extra towels? You are very lucky if you have a bathroom big enough not to need to do this.

High shelves

If this bank of shelves were lower, they would eat into precious living space and make this room seem much smaller. As they are, they provide a huge amount of storage, freeing up lots of wall and floor space.

In the mean time my aim is to learn how to put up shelves myself instead of always relying on my dad or my boyfriend.  I don’t have much confidence of this happening…just being honest. It’s so much more  fun filling the shelves, rather than putting them up!





  1. Gigi
    23rd March 2013 / 3:40 pm

    So useful and looks great!

  2. hannah
    27th March 2013 / 6:11 pm

    I like the monkey in the first picture!

    • katy
      27th March 2013 / 7:19 pm

      That monkey loves you, as you well know x

  3. Claire
    28th March 2013 / 7:30 pm

    Always needing storage space . Another coup Katy!

  4. Amy
    28th March 2013 / 11:55 pm

    When I get my own flat/house I’m going to get all these ideas going. Storage solutions are a joy to me these days.

  5. Will Massa
    29th March 2013 / 8:39 pm

    Dear Katy,

    In the vein of Gardeners’ Question Time on Radio 4, I have a storage solution challenge for you. I’d like to open this strand out and thought we could call it Apothocares:

    Every night I come home and, lazy foul boy that I am, drop my clothes in a crumpled heap which I then trample over at least once a night on my way to the loo in the dark. I would pop the clothes in the laundry basket – and I do this with my boxers and socks, of course – but jeans and jumpers can be worn for several days. There is very little space between the end of my bed and my walls – what should I do Katy?



    • katy
      8th April 2013 / 1:48 pm

      Dear Will,
      The answer lies in my post about hooks. Check it out!
      Otherwise, the answer lies in not being such a mucky pup!
      Love Katy x

Leave a Reply to Gigi Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *