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Have you ever looked at wooden wall shelves and been a little…unsure what kind you liked?

Maybe it was a question of finish, maybe it was a question of material, or maybe you just weren’t sure where you wanted to hang them. All of these are good questions to ask before embarking on any home redecoration project, but with wood shelves the options can get a little…overwhelming.

If you’re considering getting some wooden wall shelves but need a little inspiration (or just clarification), here’s a few of the most common materials and when to use them:


Beech: Beech has long been a good all-purpose shelf material for a lot of uses, such as living room decoration, laundry room storage, or even creating a lightweight entertainment center. As beechwood wall shelves have a good degree of weight support (up to 77lbs in many cases) they’re a flexible storage solution for everything from home electronics to books to treasured vacation photographs. Beech shelves are also typically made with a more environmentally-friendly design and finish (melamine in many cases) that’s more sustainable and greener than usual.


MDF: An acronym for “medium density fiberboard”, MDF is used in a lot of decorative floating shelves due to its lightness and ease of use. MDF allows for mounting equipment to be built right into the wood to help shelves keep a lower profile, and while it can’t typically support as much weight as heavier materials such as beechwood (up to 35lbs generally) it works very well for decorative purposes. Keep these in places like the living room, the guest room, or even the bathroom (so long as you’re not storing anything too heavy on it) and use them to hold more decorative pieces like photographs, mementos, or small flowers and succulents.


Bamboo: Far more than just a panda’s favorite snack, bamboo wall shelves are a great way to get a natural decoration in a room while still supporting whatever you need to organize. Bamboo is a good choice for more functional shelving due to its ease of construction and durability, while still adding a decorative touch without requiring a lot of coating or modifications. For example, bamboo towel racks are a common sight in many bathrooms due to their versatility.


Cherry: One of the ‘classier’ options, cherry is a hardwood that still provides lighter weight and a unique coloring that matches a more rustic decor, such as wood paneling. Frequently used in larger cherry wall shelves as well as mantels, cherry wood is a vintage-looking option for rooms like dens and dining rooms that frequently serves more decorative purposes to help add an aesthetic centerpiece to whatever space you hang it in.

These are but a few of the many woods available as wall shelves—do you have a favorite? Leave a comment below!

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