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Shelving: The answer to every space dilemma

When it comes to making the most of space in your new home, shelves are the way to go. Try out one of these options.

There are many reasons why people chose to move into a new home, but one of the most common is the desire for more space. As families grow and children age, it can be advantageous for everyone to have their own room, particularly if the previous abode was more economical in its layout.

If you're planning to move into a larger home, you still want to be sure that you're using space effectively. One of the most practical ways to maximize the area of any room is to utilize shelving. Because they come in various designs that are optimized for various surfaces, shelves are a truly versatile space-saving option that can fit into any home décor.

Feeling uninspired about your shelving choices? Here are a few design ideas that incorporate the fixture in a way that's both functional and stylish.

Standing shelves

If you're looking for the fastest way to make the most of space, standing shelves are the quick-installation option for you. The two- or four-legged items are simple to set into place or assemble, and can easily be moved around the room - particularly handy if you're not sure which location is going to be best.

Depending on the tone of your home's décor, you can look for pieces that come in a variety of materials. Don't feel like you have to be limited to traditional items in natural or painted wood, although these are attractive in their own right, and seamlessly complement almost any space. If you're going for a boho-chic feel, however, your room might best be served by a wrought-iron frame with glass shelves. Does your home have more of a modern appearance? Perhaps you should look into a stainless steel unit.

One thing to note: If you have wood floors that you'd like to protect from scratches, it's a good idea to apply padding to any hard wood or metal legs on shelves. This prevents the formation of any unsightly marks on the flooring as you shift the unit into the desired location.

Cubed shelving units

Like standing shelves, cubes work with both floor and wall space, and are an easy option to arrange into your desired shape or pattern. If you want a uniform feel, pick out cubes of the same material or color and equal size. Stack them on top of one another, ensuring they won't slip by applying an adhesive between the cubes. Keep in mind that - similar to standing shelves - cubes come in a wide variety of materials, including acrylic, glass and wood. Acrylic or plastic pieces can be a fun way to accentuate a child's room, and glass pieces give a sleek finish to any modern space.

Wall-hanging shelves

Although most time-intensive in terms of installation, wall-hanging shelves are also the only item that utilize vertical surfaces without taking up any floor space. Before you start pounding in the nails, however, you'll want to be sure that you have identified the most stable sections of the wall. Use a stud finder or knock lightly along the wall to locate the vertical beams into which you'll want to attach the shelves for maximal support.

Most shelves are supported by brackets - the support that attach directly to the wall and branch out to hold up the flat, horizontal surface. It's important to screw or nail the brackets into a wall stud and to make note of any weight restrictions listed by the manufacturer, to ensure that you don't overload the shelf and cause damage to the unit, the wall or any of the belongings you'd set on the surface.

As you'll see, shelves help reduce clutter and makes use of every space in your new house. Try out different designs to see what best matches your preference and home décor.

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