Most homes have at least a few shelves, but many don’t complement the home’s design — in fact, industrial-looking shelves often take away from a room’s look.

So, here are four ways to make your home’s shelving look great.

Shelving unit after shot
Just a few simple tricks can transform an ordinary shelving unit into an extraordinary one.

1. Paint the wall and shelves the same color

Painting the wall and shelves the same color instantly enhances their design because it makes the shelves look more like built-ins. Better yet, it minimizes any focus on details such as how the shelves are supported.

Want to add to the design’s impact? Paint the wall and shelves a color that is different from the other walls around them.   

2. Replace bargain-basement shelf brackets

Bargain-basement shelf brackets exist for one reason: to support your shelves. Because cheap shelving brackets are purely functional, they often hurt your room’s design.

So, those bargains won’t make you happy in the long run because they’re hurting your home’s design!

Go ahead and ditch them so your shelves will look less institutional and, depending on the replacement you select, can improve stability.

3. Add cleats to the shelving’s back and sidewalls

A cleat runs the length of the shelf. So, it provides support at every point along the way and it may eliminate, or reduce, the need for shelf brackets.

4. Add facing to the shelves’ front edge

Attaching a vertical one-by-two to the face of a shelf doubles its perceived thickness, making it look more substantial. And this simple addition gives shelving the appearance of cabinetry.

Moreover, this addition helps stiffen the shelves, giving them more strength.

Watch the video above to see the entire process!

Get Inspired!

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Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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