9 Floating Shelf Decor Ideas

Floating shelves are perfect places to showcase decorations and create a theme in your rooms. Are you optimizing the space?

There’s nothing better than the feeling you get when you come home to a clean and clutter-free home. The open spaces, clean countertops, and organized shelves welcome you in as you walk through the front door. 

Floating shelves give you a clean and crisp feeling while displaying your important decor. They don’t leave room for clutter, meaning you won’t have a build-up of items that aren’t meaningful. 

If you’re looking for an elegant way to incorporate shelves and decor into your beautiful home, floating shelves could be the perfect solution. 

Remember the Rule of Three

An important rule to remember while decorating your floating shelves is the rule of three. Grouping items in groups of three will keep your space clutter-free and create contrast. 

Try to use items of various heights or shapes to introduce different sizes or textures to your space. Using a tall glass vase, a short and wide round candle, and a lantern on one side of the floating shelf is a great way to use the rule of three. 

There’s no right or wrong combination, but you’ll want to keep the size of the items relative to the shelf and try not to overload it. 

When deciding on the perfect decor for your space, keep the rule of three in mind to help you group similar or coordinating items. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

9 Decor Ideas for Floating Shelves 

1. Use Candles 

Arguably one of the most under-utilized decor options is candles. There are so many shapes, sizes, colors, and smells to choose from; the possibilities are endless. 

Candles are the perfect addition to your floating shelves because they can add a pop of color to your space. 

You’ll likely have candles in the main rooms of your house anyway, so adding them as a statement piece will prevent you from having to hide them when you’re not using them. 

Not only will candles make a great addition to the rule of three, but you can also choose scents that make your home warm and inviting and leave you wanting more. 

Dried leaves and flowers on a vase sitting on top of a wooden floating shelf

2. Incorporate Lanterns 

Using lanterns as decoration is a great way to add larger elements without overloading your shelves. 

Lanterns are a great addition because you can find styles that match any interior design style and add a personal and historical touch to your space. 

Finding a lantern at an antique shop could save you money and add history to your space by making it feel authentic and unique. 

If you have an industrial, modern, or farmhouse-style home, try to find a metal lantern without glass panes to add to your space. 

Try to find a dated wooden lantern for French-inspired, traditional, or mid-century modern-style homes.

A cute clock decor beside a candle lantern

3. Add Vases of Flowers 

Using a simplistic touch such as floating shelves should be balanced by natural and wild elements. 

Using a vase of flowers or small plants that hang down is the perfect way to add balance and contrast to this space. 

The flowers and plants bring an untamed element to this well-organized space, making it feel realistic and approachable.  

If you keep everything crisp and clean, it can start to feel sterile. Flowers and plants are the perfect cure and will go great in any group of three! 

The best part is you can change out the flowers or plants depending on the season, making this an evolving element. 

Plant vines and other decor pieces sitting on a wooden floating shelf

4. Display Your Favorite Books 

Unless you have a home library or specific storage for your books, it can be difficult to find the perfect spot for them. 

Displaying your books on floating shelves allows you to keep them organized and accessible. 

They’ll look great on display, allowing you to add a pop of color, and using various sizes will create a fun contrasting moment. 

You can stack them vertically to create a clean look or lay them horizontally and place a plant on top of them. 

Either way, they’ll become one of your favorite additions and add to your style and taste while providing you with a functional storage solution. 

A shoe dog black book

5. Lean a Mirror Against the Wall 

A classic and powerful statement that can be added to any space is a mirror. Leaning a mirror against the wall is a great addition to your floating shelves. 

You can use a round mirror to create a contrast with the clean and crisp lines, and it’s a functional decor piece that you can use for years to come. 

Mirrors are great investments because as your style or taste changes, you can use the same mirror by painting or refinishing it through the ages. 

If you have a modern-style home, spray paint the outside of the mirror gold or brass. For an industrial or farmhouse home, use a black mirror to create a simple touch to this space. 

If you want to save room, you can hang the mirror on the wall just above the space you’re decorating to allow more room for smaller items. 

A round mirror framed by wooden sticks against the wall

6. Display a Family Portrait 

Getting the whole family together to take a decent picture can be quite the task. Show off your perfect (or perfectly imperfect) family portrait on your floating shelves. 

Whether you use a canvas print or a framed photo, this is the perfect space for it. You can use two or three smaller ones or choose your favorite one and allow it to be the centerpiece. 

Family portraits add a personal and emotional touch to the space without forcing that feeling. 

It can lift the mood of any room and serve as a constant reminder of the love and memories you share with one another. 

7. Add a Textured Basket 

Adding new textures to a space, especially a clean and crisp area such as floating shelves, is a great way to introduce contrast and interest. 

Using metal wire baskets or woven baskets in this space will provide you with room to store necessary items that you want hidden or out of the way, and they look great. 

You can choose a basket that fits the style of your home to work best in this area. If you have a farmhouse or industrial-style home, you will benefit from using a metal wire basket that feels a bit rustic and industrial. 

If you have a Fench-inspired or mid-century modern-style home, using a woven basket will give you a nice texture for your space. 

White floating shelves containing woven baskets and other decors

8. Incorporate Wood Accents

Using wood accents as decor is a great way to enhance any area of the house. You can use candlesticks, wooden vases, or wooden picture frames. 

Wood accents complement most interior styles and add the perfect touch to your space. 

Industrial and farmhouse-style homes can benefit from wood accents because it brings a rustic and authentic element to the house. 

Modern and French-inspired homes can use wood accents to add an unexpected and natural element that you won’t find in other areas of the house. 

You can even use the wood itself to create additional storage and steal the show. 

A textured wooden triangle frame as a floating shelf

9. Utilize the Power of Lights 

Once you have all of your decorations perfectly in place, it’s time to let it shine! Using pendant lights sconce lighting to shine down on this area is a great way to highlight specific items. 

If you have a family photo that you want to show off or an antique item you brought back from Paris, shining a light on it will bring it to life. 

It can create a beautiful display and add functional light to your room, enhancing the space. 

A utility hanging shelf for storage
Jessica Childres
Jessica Childres is a Georgia native and former teacher. She loves to share her skills, knowledge and passion with others. She has an ongoing interest in real estate, home decorating, and design.
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