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At what height should shelves be hung

Shelves height

Shelves are an extremely functional and striking piece of furniture. In fact, they allow you to organise space in a rational way by taking advantage of wall surface and they can be placed in any context.

However, when we decide to mount shelves on the wall, we must carefully consider the height at which to place the shelves we have chosen. This can change depending on the room and the different use we are going to make of them, as well as on the height of the people who will use them.
Below we will see the right height at which to place the shelves in the different rooms of your home and, above all, we will better understand how to mount the shelves correctly!

Living room shelves height

One of the first places that comes to mind when considering where to place our wall shelves is the living room.
Here shelves can be used not only as storage furniture, but also as real decorative elements.

But at what height should the shelves be arranged in the living room? First of all you will have to figure out where and how you want to place them. If you have a free wall available, you could create different shelf combinations where you can place books, knick knacks, plants or photographs.
In this case the height of the shelves is really relative, but if you arrange them one above the other, the height of the first shelf must be at least 60 cm from the ground. The distance between one shelf and another will be about 40 cm.

By placing the first shelf 60 cm from the ground, you will also be able to place a TV stand under the shelves, as in the case of the Rachele TV stand, 48 cm high from the ground, creating a sort of equipped TV wall unit.

The Angelica shelf features a modern design that with its one of a king crossed shape and the numerous available finishes, allows you to create personalised combinations to make your living room unique.

shelves height livingroom
Rachele TV Stand, Rustic Oak and Ashwood White (43metroscuadrados) & Angelica Shelves # Dark Walnut

At what height should the shelves be hung above the sofa

If you are planning to mount shelves above the sofa in your living room to display your photographs or paintings, they should be placed at about 40-50 cm from the back of the sofa. Remember that to create a harmonious visual effect, the shelves must be centred and cover about two-thirds of the total length of the sofa.

The First photo shelves are available in two different sizes and are ideal for placing above your sofa to display your photographs!

Set of 2 First picture shelves, 80 cm, Oak (rebeccafaith_home)

At what height should shelves be hung in the bedroom

Shelves are perfect allies against small spaces even in the bedroom, offering a support surface for books, scented candles, photographs or even for toys in children’s bedrooms.

In the bedroom, shelves can be placed in different spots and used in several ways. For example, they could be used as floating bedside tables and in this case the height at which they are hung will depend a lot on the height of the bed.

In the case of a bed without a headboard, shelves can be the right solution for filling the empty space on the wall, creating a support surface for your objects.
When you have to choose the height of the shelves above the bed, you will have to consider what kind of result you want to achieve. If you are looking for a bed headboard made up of shelves, you can place them 40 cm from the bed; otherwise, if you want to insert support surfaces above the headboard of the bed, you can mount them at a height of about 60 cm from the latter.

The bedroom is a totally personal space and must be furnished in such a way as to be functional, allowing you to relax and get a peaceful sleep. The bedroom must therefore be custom built on your needs. Therefore, you should take into consideration what has just been said when choosing the type of shelves to mount. For example, a very popular design is that of a shelf closed on one side or on both sides.
In fact, the L-shaped Luxury shelves allow you to stop the books on the shelf without having to use other accessories.

shelves height in the bedroom
Set of 2 Luxury Shelves, Rustic Oak (cioccolatoalpeperoncino)

At what height should shelves be hung in the office

Even in the office, shelves can play an important role as they can be used to arrange folders, plants or furnishings while giving a touch of design to the whole environment.

Shelves height above the desk

Whether it’s a shared office or our home office, shelves are usually placed above the desk.

Considering that the shelves must be easily accessible and that the depth of the worktop is also an obstacle, the height of the shelves above the desk must not exceed 120 cm from the ground and must not be less than 40 cm from the desk top.

Furthermore, in order not to overwhelm the desktop, we suggest you choose shelves that are less than 25 cm deep. Rachele shelves, available in two different sizes and with a depth of 17 cm, are perfect for furnishing a workstation and keeping the documents you need always within reach.

shelves height over the desk
Set of 2 Rachele shelves, 60 cm, Matt White (penny rogers) & Set of 2 Rachele shelves, 60 cm, Rustic Oak (angelique.decor)

Shelves height in the kitchen

Shelves are becoming increasingly popular in kitchens too, especially in those featuring a minimalist design. Wall units with doors are eliminated, making the space lighter and airy.

If you have a quite large wall available, you can opt for a single shelf to run along the entire wall.
If, on the other hand, the wall you have is not very large or you prefer to have more support surfaces, you can opt for more shelves placed one above the other.

As for the height of the shelves in the kitchen, remember that the higher they are positioned, the less accessible they will be. The first shelf must be positioned about 50 cm from the kitchen top and a possible second one about 30 cm from the other.

are a fantastic space-saving solution to keep everything you need close at hand while preparing your lunches and dinners with family and friends. They can be placed in the kitchen corner, above the worktop, allowing you to create new space to keep spices, plants, plates or containers for ladles and cutlery!

shelves height in the kitchen
Set of 2 Rachele shelves, 60 cm, Rustic Oak (Eugenia_jm)

How to hang shelves

Before installing a wall shelf there are a few things to consider. You will have to take into account the material of the wall as well as its load-bearing capacity, that is the weight that can be supported by the shelf anchored to that specific wall.

Now let’s see the steps you’ll have to take to fix shelves to your wall:

  • The first thing to do is to check that there are no cables inside the wall where you have decided to hang the shelves. Since you will have to drill holes in the wall, the presence of cables could be an obstacle as you would risk cutting them. The power supply cables are usually positioned vertically above the sockets and switches. We suggest the use of a wall scanner device that will allow you to pinpoint the location of gas and water pipes as well as power lines;

  • Once you have chosen where to place your wall shelf and identified the height at which to fix it, place the shelf surface in the position where you want to mount it.
    Use a spirit level to make sure the shelf is parallel to the floor and perfectly perpendicular to the wall.
    At this point, use a pencil to mark the point where you will need to install the wall brackets;
  • Now place the shelf brackets on the points marked in pencil. Use the spirit level again to verify that the supports are perpendicular to the shelf level. With a pencil, mark the points where the wall will be drilled to fix the brackets and start drilling. Then insert the dowels in the holes and screw the supports;
  • Now that the supports have been fixed to the wall, place the shelf on top of them. Make sure the shelf is flush with the wall and screw it to the supports.

  • Once you have followed these steps, your shelf will be firmly mounted to the wall and all you have to do is place your objects on it.

What to place on shelves

In reality, there are no precise rules regarding what to place on shelves. They are usually used to display knick-knacks, photographs, paintings, plants and books.

However, there are some tricks regarding how to arrange objects on a shelf the proper way. First of all, don’t overlook the predominant colour in the room. To highlight the objects you are going to display, you should create a chromatic contrast between them and the rest of the environment. For example, if the room is very dark, light coloured ornaments will certainly stand out.

Another trick to highlight the objects on display is to place tall objects side by side with other shorter ones. The difference in proportions will catch the eye and will certainly give a tone to the environment.

cosa mettere sulle mensole
Set of 2 Shelves, Ashwood Black, with black aluminium support (yas.wyatt.home)

If you would like more ideas on how to decorate your rooms making the most of wall surface, read our article on how to optimise space with wall decorations.