As far as interior design trends go, open shelves are the most modern option you can go for in your home. They make every room seem more open and spacious, and they are also less expensive than closed models.
However, not everyone likes having all of their belongings out in the open. In addition, open shelves have to be meticulously cleaned at least once a week, which can be a hassle for those with jobs and other commitments.
Luckily, there are easy ways to cover shelves without doors. We’ll go over each option below, and yours is just to pick the one that suits you the most.
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1. Shelf Curtains
We’ll start with the most affordable option first. Although most people think that curtains are only reserved for doors and windows, they can also serve as shelf covers!
The greatest thing about this solution is its versatility. For one, you can get one big curtain and cover your entire shelf. Alternatively, you can buy or make a small curtain for each individual shelf.
Both solutions have their advantages. The former is a lot easier to put up, and it won’t take too much of your time. On the other hand, the latter will make your shelves look prettier and tidier.
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As for how you can hang the curtains, you also have two choices. You can either buy a curtain rod or use a spring tension model instead. This decision depends entirely on our taste and which type of rod you prefer.
Finally, you also get to play around with the design of your curtains. Since most shelving units are in neutral colors, you can add some brightness to yours by using vibrant curtains like these from Lokigo. And if you’re more into minimalism and subdued hues, you can pick something darker or more neutral as well.
2. Shelf Baskets
Most people want to cover their shelves to hide their contents. That’s usually the case in smaller homes or apartments, as people usually use shelves to store all types of personal belongings due to a lack of space.
If that is your case, this solution is ideal for you. All you need to do is to buy some baskets that fit into your shelf. Luckily, these baskets come in virtually any shape and size, so you’ll definitely be able to find one that suits your shelf.
Shelving baskets are a fantastic choice for various reasons. For one, they are inexpensive. Even if you need five or six for your entire shelf, you’ll still be able to purchase them without draining your budget too much.
Moreover, the baskets come in a wide range of colors and designs. Thus, you’ll be able to fit them into your shelves perfectly. If you choose them carefully, the baskets can be an aesthetic addition that can make your room truly pop.
Finally, baskets are so beloved because of their storage capabilities. Namely, most models can fit quite a bit of stuff, be it clothes, books, or random items you simply don’t know where to put. Whatever you go for, you can rest assured that your shelves will still look pristine and that no one will be able to tell what’s inside!
3. Frosted Glass
In case you can splurge a little, you can also cover your open shelves with frosted glass screens. The easiest solution is to install them with a sliding mechanism so that you can easily access your shelves at all times.
You should note that frosted glass won’t hide the contents of your shelves completely. Rather, silhouettes will still be visible, especially with the lights on. Still, no one will be able to tell if the shelves are a bit dusty or not as tidy as you’d like them to be.
This solution works well both for regular rooms and for bathrooms. In fact, it’s a bit more popular for bathrooms, as glass is easy to clean and can take the humidity that is usually present in this room.
4. Creeper Plants
Are you looking for something that will cover your shelves without actually closing them off fully? In that case, you can try putting up a few pots of creeper plants.
You can either buy the plants yourself or find some outside and plant them in a pot. Even if you have to purchase them, this solution is quite cost-effective and won’t take too much of your time.
Besides providing coverage for your shelves, creeper plants will bring some greenery into your home. This fact is important both because of increased oxygen levels and the aesthetic appeal. In addition, it is said that looking at the color green makes one more peaceful and content, which is always a plus.
Another great fact about creeper plants is that you can cut and style them in any way you want. They can frame your shelf, cover it entirely, or just creep around the corners, taking the attention away from what’s actually on the shelf.
5. Pull-Down Pictures
In certain cases, hiding your shelves and making your home livelier can go hand in hand. If that is your goal, you can install a pull-down picture over some shelves you don’t want to display.
This hack works equally well for cluttered bookshelves and ordinary TV shelf models. You simply attach a canvas picture to your top shelf and connect it to a window shade. Then, you can pull the picture up and down as you wish, all depending on what you need at a particular moment.
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The picture can be pretty much anything you want, from a scenic image to a family photo. You can also take an artsy approach and print some posters or popular pictures. As long as you like it and it fits your overall interior design, you can choose any design.
In case you’d rather install the picture as a door, simply omit the window shade and attach it via small hinges on the side instead. You’ll get the same final result, but opening the picture will work differently.
Besides shelves, you can also use this method to hide the TV or any other type of screen you want to protect when it isn’t in use.
6. Sliding Doors
For everyone that doesn’t have enough floor space to have shelves with doors, you can install a slider model instead. As their name suggests, these doors slide to the side instead of opening like regular ones, making them a great choice for small spaces.
The easiest way to install sliding doors is to buy a hanging rod (similar to the one you’d get for a curtain) and hang some screens on it. And if you’d rather buy everything in one place and install it quickly, you can also opt for store-bought kits like this one. Just choose the size and design that suits your needs, and you’ll be good to go!
Besides shelves in your rooms, you can also install sliding doors on your pantry or an open closet. Either way, it is a great option for covering cluttered spaces that can last for years and neatly fit into any interior design.
7. Canvas Squares
Sometimes, you don’t really need your entire shelf to be covered. Instead, you might just need to hide a shelf here and there, especially if they’re overflowing with books or random miscellaneous items you don’t want to show off.
If so, you can buy or paint canvas squares that are slightly smaller than your shelf opening. Hang them on the shelf using tiny metal hooks, and your job is done!
The advantage of these types of covers is that you can fully personalize them to your home and shelf. If you are an artsy person, you can paint them yourself on smaller pieces of canvas. And if you aren’t, you can just print virtually any image you want and call it a day.
Due to the nature of hooks, you will be able to lift or completely remove the canvas screens whenever you want. Thus, your items will still be readily accessible, although any guests that come over won’t be able to see them.
8. Storage Boxes
This solution is similar to the one with baskets. But instead of boxes made through wickerwork, you can use models from any other material you want. Heavy cardboard is a good option if you paint it and make it appealing. Fabric boxes are another great choice, and they’re also inexpensive.
Of course, you can always go for plastic models as well. They come in various designs, so you’ll surely be able to find something you like. Thus, this solution is a good choice if you can’t be bothered to paint the boxes yourself and you just want something pre-made.
Boxes can help you hide pretty much anything, from clothes and books to electronics and any other items you have nowhere else to store. Plus, they are easy to clean and can last for years, which is great for your budget.
9. Removable Shelf Panels
If you want to turn covering your shelves into a real DIY project, this option is perfect for you. You will need foam boards, some wallpaper, scissors, and a lot of patience.
First off, you’ll need to measure your shelves and cut your foam boards so they can fit in the openings snuggly. The goal is for the cutouts to fit well and cover everything while still being easily removable.
Next, you should cut your wallpaper (or any other adhesive paper with a nice design) slightly larger than your foam boards. You’ll use this paper to cover the boards and transform them into pretty panels for your shelves.
Finally, all that’s left to do is to cover your shelves and enjoy the new view! Again, you can cover your entire shelf with these panels, or just use them to hide a few openings.
If all these steps seem like too much work, you can also buy the panels instead of making them. Doing so will indeed save you a lot of time and trouble, while the result will be the same.
The only potential problem is finding panels that will fit your shelves. But the selection is pretty varied, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find something that fits your needs.
10. Fabric Draperies
Last but not least, you can also cover your shelves with some fancy fabric. You just need a hammer, some nails, scissors, and, of course, the fabric of your choice. Together, these tools will help you create a unique drapery that you can use to cover any shelf or cabinet you want.
The fabric you go for can be sheer, solid, opaque, patterned, or in any other style that you fancy. Naturally, it should match the rest of your room and home, but that is the only condition you should pay attention to.
When cutting the fabric, you should make it 1 inch longer and wider than your shelf or cabinet. You can either have a single drapery or one that consists of two panels of fabric and opens down the middle. In the latter case, you will have to sew the two parts together.
Then, just attach the drapery to the top of your shelf using nails and a hammer, and you’ll be all done! Whenever you want to replace or wash the drapery, simply carefully remove it from the nails.
Granted, this solution works best for large shelving units, especially in kitchens and pantries. If you want to cover smaller ones, any of the suggestions above will work nicely instead.
Covering Shelves Without Doors: Final Thoughts
And there you have it! It is actually quite easy to cover open shelves in your home. You can opt for removable panels, creeper plants, DIY curtains, canvas pieces, and even some sliding doors.
Hopefully, these ideas help you figure out what the best solution is for you. Remember to be creative and think outside the box, as that is the key to solving even the most difficult interior design problems.