How to Arrange Floating Shelves

Natasha Puryear

Arranging floating shelves is a matter of taste and how much space you have available. Floating shelves have no visible hardware keeping them attached to the wall, so you can use them to display anything from photographs to books.

Once you have secured your floating shelves to the wall it will be difficult to move them, so you should decide on your arrangement before drilling any holes.

  1. Arrange your floating shelves in a vertical line. This arrangement works well in small spaces. You can use the shelves to hold books or movies instead of investing in a large entertainment center.

  2. Stagger your floating shelves down an accent wall. This arrangement catches the eye and makes a large wall feel cozier. Use shelves arranged in this fashion for displaying important photographs or diplomas in an office.

  3. Line your floating shelves horizontally along one or more walls. This offers clean lines, and you can use this arrangement to display collections such as plates or teapots.


Draw out your design first if you are unsure of how you want your walls to look.


If floating shelves are not hung correctly, there is a risk of them breaking off a wall under excessive weight. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

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