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Shelving, like flooring, is a key element of a home office

August 13, 2014

hardwood floorsShelves are a major part of a home office, along with a workstation, comfortable seating and high-quality floors. Having a place for documents, publications and office supplies in an attractive shelf unit is as important as having durable flooring like Anderson's Dellamano hickory hardwood floors.

There's a virtually unlimited variety of styles and structural choices in shelving, which can be matched to the wood tones of your floors, painted in bright colors or left in a natural wood finish, according to Houzz. For more decorative purposes, you can store collectibles and decorative accessories on glass shelving, which has an open effect and makes the space look larger than it is.

Whatever style you choose, consider adding under-shelf lighting to make it easy to see what's on your shelves.

Customized shelves
Without a doubt, the classiest looking shelves are those that are built-in and stretch from floor to ceiling. You can have a contractor build customized shelves that are permanent units, or you can trim free-standing bookcases so they have the look of built-ins. By placing pre-made units against a wall and trimming it out with molding bought at a home improvement store, you can create a customized look with a much lower price tag.

One of the arguments against built-in shelves is that their permanent installation commits you to a particular layout in your office. If you think you may want to move your bookcases when you rearrange your furniture, free-standing shelves without the added trim is the way to go. However, because of the weight of such units, they should be anchored to the walls if they're holding heavy loads like books.

Curio cases
Decorative, glass-door cabinets are often thought of as curio cases reserved for collections of your favorite things or collectibles of high value that need protection from dust and direct sunlight. But there are also sturdy, glass-door bookcases that can bear the heft of books and have the same elegant look of a decorative cabinet.

While you may not need glass-enclosed shelving for office supplies, Better Homes and Gardens magazine pointed out how you can store items on even the simplest shelves and make them look neat and attractive. Depending on the furnishing style of your home office, you can use baskets, mesh containers or cloth bins to store your work supplies and documents on your shelves. Some containers, like mesh file holders, can be tacked directly onto walls.