Tips for Decorating with Glass Shelves

In this article, we'll show you some of the different types of glass shelves that you can use to display your ornaments, and really make your home shine.
Tips for Decorating with Glass Shelves

Last update: 21 January, 2019

Glass shelves will bring a touch of sophistication to your interior decor. And while glass is a delicate material, glass shelves can have a considerable impact on your home aesthetics. They’re a great choice if you want to create a modern and stylish environment.

This type of shelving looks great if you want to display decorative objects such as glass ornaments. So, how do they differ from other shelves? The main differences lie in the techniques used in their manufacturing and in their physical characteristics: the colors, shapes, size, and finish.

However, what you use your glass shelf for will depend on your own personal preferences. Some people use them as bookshelves, while others use them to display ferns and other plants.

Glass shelves: types

In the next section, we’ll tell you about the different types of glass shelves you can find on the market today and the different characteristics of each one. Remember, regardless of the type of shelf, there is a wide range of finishes to choose from: a colorless glossy finish, an opaque finish, a tinted finish...

1. Fixed shelves

As the name suggests, this type of shelf is fixed to the wall and, in general, is “open” (ie. without doors) and made up of rectangular sheets of glass. Depending on the design, it might stand on the floor, or be attached to the wall.

Use your glass shelves to display ornaments, plants and books.

For safety reasons, we recommend choosing models which have polished edges, and thick glass. It is also essential to make sure they are securely attached to the wall at both ends. As for where to put them, you can place them in the living room or the dining room (as long as there is plenty of room).

2. Free-standing

Obviously, as well as fixed glass shelves, you can also find completely free-standing shelves. Within this category, you can also find various sub-types: rectangular, rounded, corner shelves…

The thickness of the glass used in free-standing shelves varies depending on the material used for the base. For example, if the structure is made of metal, in general, there is a standard glass thickness to make sure that the structure can bear the weight of the glass, as well as all the additional elements to be displayed on it.

Glass shelves can have iron, aluminum or wooden bases.

Both fixed and free-standing glass shelves can be open, or have doors, and can be made of various different materials, such as: aluminum/iron/wood + glass).

The best options

1. With doors and feet

Glass shelves with a wooden structure, feet, and doors are some of the most popular models on the market. And while they do leave some of the contents visible, the doors form a clear protective barrier between the objects and the ground, and curious little hands…

The doors can have the same finish as the shelves, or they might be opaque or decorated with relief images. The type you choose will depend on your personal taste and how visible you want the contents to be.

Wood and glass shelves with doors will ensure the contents are safe from harm.

2. Metallic structures

Nowadays, metal is a very popular material. So, if you want your home to be on trend, you might want to buy an object which incorporates both metal and glass elements. This will help you achieve a modern and stylish environment.

While these pieces of furniture can sometimes seem “cold”, no one can deny that models that combine both metal and glass are really eye-catching. There are industrial style models which imitate old-style pharmacy shelves and will give your home a retro feel.

One way to combat the “cold” look of these models is to use them to display plants and books. This will give your shelves a much more “homely” look.


If you want to add glass shelves to your home, don’t just choose the first ones you see. Think carefully about the model you want, and don’t forget about the decoration you have, and want to achieve. There is a huge variety to choose from.

Obviously, this type of furniture isn’t ideal if you have small children. However, nowadays, most designs are pretty safe, so you can still consider them.