{decorating with style} From Awkward Inset to Floating Photo Shelves

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When we purchased our home, one of my first decorating challenges was figuring out what to do with the 5 inch deep inset in the corner of our living room. I originally tried tucking a console table in the nook, but it just looked awkward.


So I sat and stared at the space for a while until it hit me - floating photo shelves!


Five inches really isn't deep enough for much - but it turns out to be the perfect depth for tabletop picture frames.

A family friend installed the shelves for us while we were occupied with other projects around the house. He stained the shelves to match our alder wood trim, then simply inset key hole hangers into the back of the wood shelves to hang them. 


The shelves are 54 inches wide, each placed about a quarter of the way in from the right and left ends, supports the shelves nicely. They do tilt forward just a bit {which bugs me and I'm working on a fix}, but not enough to pose a problem for the frames.
From awkward inset to floating photo shelves

Once the shelves were installed, we set about filling them up. Over time I have purchased a variety of photo frames in black and silver {more silver than black to keep it from feeling too dark}, ranging from 4x4 to 8x10.

From Awkward Inset to Floating Photo Shelves

We have high ceilings in this room, and I realized that photo frames on the very top shelf didn't work well because the pictures were too hard to see. Instead, I purchased the letters of our last name in paper mache form from Hobby Lobby and painted them silver with acrylic craft paint. Since this photo wall is all about our little family, having our name right at the top gives it a special, personal touch!

From Awkward Inset to Floating Photo Shelves

In addition to the photo frames, I've mixed in a few accessories that provide balance, as well as a couple of pops of pink, which help to draw your eye to the wall.

From Awkward Inset to Floating Photo Shelves





These shelves make me so happy every time I look at them - after all, they are filled with my three favorite people! I have plans for a much larger family photo wall on the stair way leading to our master bedroom, and that photo wall will also include photos of the grandparents and our extended family. But that's a project for another day! 

From Awkward Inset to Floating Photo Shelves

This photo wall even served as the backdrop for one of my favorite family photos - a picture that was taken when Beckett was about 14 months old {the age Cooper is now} and when I was 6 months pregnant with Cooper. We might have to make photos in this spot a tradition as the kids get older!


The shelves really complete the living room, and I think they make a great use of that previously awkward 5 inch inset. But I'm curious to know, how would you have used the space?

Floating Photo Shelves to Fill Wall Nook Inset

Another of my favorite projects in this space is the flat screen television frame {affiliate link} that we mounted around our TV. When the television is on, it looks like a piece of art - especially when we turn our DVD of 50 famous paintings from the Museum of Modern Art {affiliate link}.

from awkward wall nook inset to floating photo shelves

So now that you've seen this little corner of our living room, hopefully you want to see more. I'll be sharing a full living room tour soon!




23 comments :

  1. This is very clever Angela! It is a great way to use up this space. I also love the paint colour of the room. You have given me an idea because I have a similar space. Great family photographs! Take Care Thea

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  2. This is very clever Angela! It is a great way to use up this space. I also love the paint colour of the room. You have given me an idea because I have a similar space. Great family photographs! Take Care Thea

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  3. Looks fantastic -- what a great use of an awkward area!

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  4. Looks great -- like a more useful version of a gallery wall. I like it!

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  5. What a brilliant way to take advantage of an awkward space! LOVE it!!!

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  6. What a great looking make over. Thanks for sharing. Carol

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  7. Looks great! I have some floating shelving that tilts, too and it has always driven me nuts. I'll be interested if you find a workaround. Your display is just gorgeous, well done!

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  8. This really does look so good now! Smart and gorgeous solution to an awkward spot.

    Leigh Anne
    www.Houseologie.com

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  9. It looks great! I love the letters!

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  10. Beautifully done! Best wishes, Linda Crafts a la Mode

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  11. I love what you did here. They fit the space perfectly and make it all make perfect sense!
    Pinned!
    Corey @ TinySidekick.com

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  12. The shelves look so great! I love how they fit the space just perfect, as if they were always there! Visiting from Hit me With Your Best Shot. :)

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  13. What's the name of the blue paint you have on there? It's beautiful!

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    1. Thanks! The color is Ralph Lauren Emperor.

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  14. Hope this doesn't post twice--couldn't get it to post! Anyway, these are just beautiful! I have an arched area that this would be perfect for. Love the way you displayed everything, and the paint color is to die for! The perfect shade. As for the tilt, what about using those little rubber pads that are used on the bottom of stuff to keep them from sliding? They're cheap, self-adhesive, and come in different sizes. You could put one (or even stack two, depending on how much they tilt) on the back lower end of each of the shelves to level them out. Not that I noticed it with yours, but I know it'd bug me, too! Just a thought.

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    1. That's a great idea, Debbie. I'll have to try that!

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  15. Such a great use of what would have otherwise been an awkward space!

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  16. Angela I love what you did with this little niche! The shallow shelves are prefect and the keyhole hangers give them such a custom finished look. Thanks for sharing, I am inspired to try that.

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  17. This is such a beautiful use of that space! Now I wish I had a 5 inch inset in my home!

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  18. Great use of a little space. I wonder if cutting the shelves at a small angle in the back (narrower on the top than the bottom of the shelf) and then replacing the hardware would make them more level.

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    1. That reminds me Marty, I should update this post because I found some clear plastic shims about a year or so ago that fixed the tilting issue!

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