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Decorating Floating Shelves Next To Fireplace

Floating shelves next to fireplace, decorated with plants, vases and other objects that floating shelves fireplace areas need for balanced shelf decorating.

Decorating floating shelves next to the fireplace is actually pretty easy. Building them is pretty easy, too. More about that is below. There are just a few tips to remember to achieve a cohesive feel while keeping the decor clutter-free. I still have some things to update, but all in all, I’m loving this uncluttered look and feel!

What I Buy When Decorating Floating Shelves Around Fireplace

  • Small flower pots – I love this company for small pots. If you use live plants, pick ones with saucers.
  • Faux plants – I mix faux plants with live plants. Make sure to measure for the height you need.
  • Wood signs
  • Decorative objects
  • Floor baskets to fill space between the bottom shelf and the floor – also hides outlets

Colors For Decorating Floating Wall Shelves

Too many colors in one area can make the finished look become chaotic. Keep things simple. If you have a specific color that you love in your home, keep all of the main items neutral and add your color in just a few pops here and there.

I love neutrals, so you can see I was able to incorporate several neutral colors with just a few pops of green with natural plants. Plants can be considered neutral, but since I already have gold, brown, green, beige, white, and black, any more color would make the shelves look overdone.

Let’s say your favorite decor color is blue. You could replace a flower pot or two that you see on my shelves, as an example, with blue, and find books with blue bindings to use as risers.

floating shelves next to fireplace styling with a white couch and a cute black Goldendoodle puppy modeling.
June is such a cute little model. ๐Ÿ™‚

Spacing Items When Decorating Floating Shelves

Choosing items that are the right height and depth is key. When items are too tall, they look shoved in. Leave some space between the tallest item and the shelf above it. Try to leave at least a couple of inches.

Things that are too deep or reach the outer edge of the shelf don’t work either. Open space in front of, and behind, items means the item fits nicely.

If you have a few items that are the same height, consider putting one of the items on a stack of books or a box to vary the heights a bit. Don’t overcrowd the shelves. Just a few things are enough. “Less is more” is the approach I take when I’m teaching others how to decorate floating shelves.

Floating Shelves Fireplace Right Side only. Fireplaces with floating shelves decorated.
Floating Shelves Fireplace – Right Side – Version 2

Balance Items When Decorating Shelves Next To Fireplace

Place your larger items first remembering to distribute the larger items out. Don’t put too many large items on one shelf. Also, avoid aligning the large items. You can see my largest items are not aligned right on top of each other. I’ve spread them out.

Add the medium items and then add in the smaller ones. As a pro tip, consider pictures or framed prints to fill in the space in the back. You can see the Farm Fresh Flower print filled in a large space and I only needed a couple of things on the sides to finish that particular shelf.

Later I moved that sign to the other side of the fireplace. I ordered the black sign below to help make the lighter vases on the shelves show up better. I really like this black sign because it has texture but not a lot of distraction.

Decorated floating wall shelf with a black sign, vases and trinkets.
Decorating open floating wood shelves next to fireplace, wood shelves around fireplace, floating shelves on left side of fireplace.  Modern upholstered arm chairs in gray fabric.
Here’s a look at the other decorated floating shelf.

Pro Tips

I have a pro shopping tip for you. Measure the width, height, and depth of the shelves, and write the measurements down. Put those measurements in your purse along with a small measuring tape. I carry this measuring tape everywhere I go. It’s so frustrating to get things home and find out they’re too tall or too deep. Just measure while you’re at the store and save yourself from making too many returns.

Check yard sales and thrift stores for books with pretty bindings. Pull back the paper covers to see the colors. I get mine so cheap this way. You might even already have books around the house with the perfect color bindings.

Plants are great fillers. They are light and airy and can be real or faux. I use a mixture of both. Sometimes one clipping off of a faux stem is all you need in small or slender vases. An entire arrangement may be too much depending on the space.

Decorate your floating shelves with simple decor, stand back and enjoy!

Building Floating Shelves Around Fireplace

I didn’t do a DIY post while building these wood shelves and we actually made a mistake on the sides so I’ll give you a brief explanation of how to build them. We used 2 x 4’s to create “E”s. That’s how I’ll describe them since they look like a sideways E. We built all of the E’s first and then screwed them to the wall into the studs.

how to build floating shelves fireplace rough drawing plans

Once all of the E’s are attached to the wall in the studs, add the outer side pieces of 1 x 6 from the wall to the end of the E.

We used a 1/4″ door panel for the top and bottom of the shelves, sanded smooth. You may want to use higher-quality plywood. Your cost will be higher but will save a little work sanding.

The last step is to add the front piece of 1 x 6. Make sure you stain all of the wood pieces that will show BEFORE putting them on the wall and letting them dry. Trying to stain the wood while attached to the wall would be a pain! You don’t need to stain the 2 x 4’s. I hope that the brief description helps.

We thought the thicker style gave a modern floating shelf next to the fireplace look and that’s what we were aiming for. I don’t have a mantel to decorate much because of the TV, so the shelves give me a place to put home decor that distracts from the TV.

We’ve completed some other DIY projects around the house. If you haven’t seen my DIY Board and Batten Bedroom Wall yet, please go take a look before you go! This project was so fun and we love the way it turned out. See you next time!

Space Between Floating Shelves

The ideal recommended space between floating shelves in the living room is no less than 13″. The space between shelves in my living room is 13 1/2 inches. I could possibly have made the space a little larger to accommodate taller vases or flower arrangements, but I would have eliminated the fourth shelf in that case.

My floating shelves measure 41″ wide x 12 1/2″ deep. The front of the shelves was made using 1 x 6 but the actual measurement of the front is about 5 3/4″. Again, there are 13 1/2 inches from the bottom of one shelf to the top of the next. Do you have additional questions, I’m happy to answer them! Just leave a comment for me. I moderate spam so if you don’t see it right away, I’ll answer soon.



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  1. Jessica S says:

    How deep is the fireplace wall ?

    1. Hi Jessica! The wall itself is 16″ deep. From the wall all the way to the outer edge of the mantel is 25″ deep. I hope that helps!