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Storage challenges can arise in any room whether it’s books and magazines covering the coffee table, clothes cluttering the laundry room, or kitchen counters so full you have nowhere to cut up vegetables! Glass shelves represent one of the most attractive solutions in terms of both convenience and visual appeal. Understanding your options is the first step in successfully conquering clutter with glass shelving.

  1. Custom shelving versus stock shelves: what are the pros and cons?
  2. How can I choose a glass style that complements the rest of my décor?
  3. Why is it important to be intentional when choosing the metal components?
  4. How should I use glass wall shelves in the living room?
  5. Do shelves make sense in a dining room?
  6. What should I know about the benefits and drawbacks of open shelving in the kitchen?
  7. Could glass shelves be the answer to my cluttered bathroom?
  8. Where else can glass shelves help?
  9. How can glass shelves help me reimagine an old installation or piece of furniture?
  10. What is the process of ordering custom glass shelves?

Custom shelving versus stock shelves: what are the pros and cons?

You can either purchase and install standard size glass shelves, or you can order custom shelves from a glass shop and have them professionally installed. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these options.

Custom Glass Shelves

Pro: The shelves can be ordered in non-standard sizes.

Pro: The thickness of the shelves can be customized within industry-accepted options.

Pro: You can choose the glass style and even mix and match shelves of different styles.

Pro: There is a wide variety of brackets, supports, and hanging systems. These can also be mixed and matched on different sets of shelving within one home.

Pro: Glass shops such as ABC Glass & Mirror also offer professional installation, so you can be confident the shelves are safely and securely installed.

Con: The price point is higher for customized, professionally installed glass shelves.

Standard Glass Shelves

Pro: This is a less expensive option.

Pro: You’ll be able to choose from a set range of styles available online or in a store.

Con: You’ll have to work within the stock sizes and pre-determined styles. You might not be able to find shelves to fit perfectly on a specific section of wall.

Con: Putting the shelves in place is up to you, and this could be difficult and/or stressful.

How can I choose a glass style that complements my existing décor?

Possible glass styles for shelves include:

  • Clear: Transparent glass remains a timeless choice.
  • Patterned: This glass has a textured pattern on its surface. Many options are available.
  • Acid-Etched: The glass is either uniformly frosted or decorated with a frosted design.

Benefits of clear glass shelves-

  1. Since they’re see-through, clear shelves are perfect for adding storage options to a small space without making it look cluttered.
  2. Clear glass matches all color schemes and styles.
  3. The smooth surface of clear glass makes for easy dusting and sanitizing.

Benefits of patterned glass shelves –

  1. Choosing patterned glass can make the shelves more decorative.
  2. You can pick a pattern that matches the specific style of your room or of other glass installations already in place.
  3. Neutral patterns that match just about everything are also available.

Benefits of acid-etched glass shelves –

  1. Frosted glass adapts to many home decorating styles.
  2. Paired with the right brackets, it can have a vintage look that’s perfect for a period home.
  3. Frosted glass will stand out and provide a nice contrast to a backdrop of dark walls.

Clear, patterned, and acid-etched shelves all have a beautiful and versatile appearance. Choosing the perfect glass along with the perfect hardware gives you shelves that not only solve your storage problems but enhance the room’s theme and style.

Why is it important to be intentional when choosing the metal components?

Choosing the right type of support system for your glass shelves is crucial. When using clear glass, frosted glass, or glass with a neutral pattern, it’s the metal components that give the shelves their style and personality. Brackets or other wall mounted supports are frequently used. The style you choose can determine whether your shelving looks traditional, transitional, or modern; whether it’s casual or fancy; and whether it evokes industrial, classic, Old World, or minimalist vibes. There are also options that go beyond typical brackets, such as:

  • Using wire to suspend the shelves between upper and lower surfaces.
  • A combination of wall mounted supports and wires extending from the wall to the outer edges of the shelves.
  • U-channel for installing glass shelves between two walls or structures.

Since many methods for hanging and supporting shelves are available, be sure to explore all your options before making your final selection.

How should I use glass wall shelves in the living room?

There are so many ways a living room can get cluttered – toys, books, blankets, magazines, and the like often end up strewn across the floor, sofa, and coffee table. There’s also the problem of over decorating. Too many cute knick knacks and accent items make the room look busy and leave you with nowhere to set your coffee mug or book. Glass wall shelves are useful for solving both problems. Some examples:

  • If books and magazines are a major source of messiness, you don’t have to take up floor space with a book case. Have glass shelves installed on unused wall space, such as above a piano or desk, and keep your reading materials here.
  • Many families keep blankets and throws in the living room. These are perfect for staying warm and cozy while watching a movie or reading, but if you’re always tripping over them, that’s a problem. A glass shelf provides a handy storage surface where you can stash folded blankets when not in use.
  • What about other types of clutter like Legos or stuffed animals? Pair shelves with canvas bins to make clean-up a breeze.
  • When you have too many decorative items for the existing living room surfaces, glass shelves will instantly solve your problem. Since these items just need to be visible, not accessible, you can use just about any wall space (as long as it’s not where you’ll bump your head.) Arrange the sculptures, art, collectibles, etc. on the shelves to create a beautiful display and free up coffee tables and end tables for other uses.

Whether used on their own or paired with baskets, bins, and caddies, glass shelves make it possible to attractively store just about anything in your living room.

Do shelves make sense in a dining room?

Glass wall shelves might not be the first things that come to mind when trying to organize your dining room. Let’s consider a few FAQs:

Aren’t dining rooms for eating in? What would I store on shelves?

Dining room shelves actually offer you a number of wonderful storage options.

  • Free up kitchen storage space by moving less frequently used items to the dining room. For example, you could line the shelves with fashionable baskets and fill these with table cloths, cloth napkins, and so on.
  • If your kids do homework at the dining table, a glass shelf helps keep the table clutter-free. With a pencil jar, paper tray, and room for books, the shelf lets the kids have everything they need at hand but off the table.
  • Does your family play lots of board games in the dining room? These can also be attractively stored in bins on a glass shelf.

I rarely use china dishware, but I have a beautiful set. What should I do with it?

Whether it’s a wedding gift or an heirloom, your china doesn’t need to collect dust in a kitchen cupboard, even if you only use it on holidays. For a modern twist on the traditional china hutch, have a set of glass shelves installed on your dining room wall. Store and display your china here. This will give the room a lovely focal point and free up cupboard space in your kitchen. Worried that Grandma’s china isn’t in style? Have no fear – the trending Grandmillenial style celebrates all things Grandma-esque!

Can I add a mini-bar to a small dining room?

Glass shelves do open up some possibilities for mini-bars even in smaller dining rooms.

  • Does your dining room have a window with the bottom about midway between the ceiling and floor? You can create a cozy bar for two by having a glass shelf installed below this window. (Depending on the width of the window, you might need the shelf to extend beyond the window to make space for bottles and glasses.) Add two bar stools and you can enjoy a date night at home, enjoying the view, your favorite beverage, and the company of your favorite person!
  • You could do something similar without a window, but who wants to stare at a wall? Here’s a nice alternative. Install a glass shelf with a mirror behind it and keep your bar equipment, glasses, and spirits here. Get a small pub table with stools and place it close by.

What should I know about the benefits and drawbacks of open shelving in the kitchen?

Open shelves are a popular choice for kitchens today. In some homes, they take the place of cabinets, while in others they supplement them. That being said, glass shelves have something to offer just about every kitchen. The trick is knowing how many open shelves and in what location are best suited to the way you use your kitchen, your organization style, and your tastes in home decorating.

As you can see, open shelving success in your kitchen is largely about where you place your shelves and what you put on them. Consider, for example, whether you want to add shelves to bare wall space or take out some cabinets and replace them with shelving. Remember that you want to fill the shelves with kitchen items that are both visually attractive and frequently used. Figuring out what you’re going to put on the shelves will help you decide where in the kitchen you want them. Balance this with the fact that it’s best to place the shelves where they won’t fall prey to grease and water splatters.

Could glass shelves be the answer to my cluttered bathroom?

Bathrooms are one of the best places for glass shelves because they complement the other glass installations often used in these settings:

Glass shelving can be installed inside a shower stall, above the toilet, below the vanity mirror, in a bathroom corner, or on other bare wall space. Many bathroom items can simply be placed directly on the shelves – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, stacks of washcloths, rolls of towels, towers of toilet paper, and so on. For other smaller items like bars of soap, hair ties, bobby pins, and the like, you can line the shelf with your choice of bowls, caddies, and baskets to fill.

In a bathroom, your choice of glass style for the shelves will likely be informed by the room’s existing glass. For example, if your shower door is made of patterned glass, you might want to choose shelves made of the same or similar glass. Likewise, if other installations consist of clear glass, clear glass shelves will coordinate perfectly. At the same time, don’t be afraid to introduce a new or contrasting look by choosing a different glass style for the shelving.

Where else can glass shelves help?

Thinking beyond the main living area, there are still more ways to put glass shelves to work solving storage dilemmas while making the space more attractive. A bedroom, office, laundry room, or mud room can also benefit from them.

Bedroom: Floating wall shelves are the simple solution to bedroom clutter. Line them with shoes, use them for clothes that won’t fit in the closet or dresser, or make space to show off your favorite décor accessories. In a child’s bedroom, a glass shelf provides the perfect surface to display trophies, store stuffed animals, keep books handy, or even stash school supplies. If your child is homeschooling or doing virtual school days, having a place to keep textbooks, notebooks, pencil boxes, and so on is especially nice. Not sure where you can add shelves in a bedroom? Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Above a dresser or desk.
  • High on the wall around the room’s perimeter.
  • In a corner.

Office: Whether you have your home office in a large room or tucked in a closet, shelves are a wonderful alternative to a cluttered desk top. Keep everything you need in sight and in reach but off your work surface. Glass shelves not only help you stay organized, but they also give your home office a nice professional feel.

Laundry Room:  There are a few ways to use glass wall shelves in a laundry room depending on your family’s needs:

  • A shelf above the washer and dryer makes it easy to store detergent, stain removers, and dryer sheets safely out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Does your laundry room end up cluttered with clean laundry? Have a set of wall shelves installed and then add bins – one for each family member – to make sorting and storing clean clothes easier.
  • A laundry room shelf is also a good place to store cleaning supplies, pet care items, hobby materials, and the like.

Mudroom: A mudroom is basically meant to be a kind of “catch-all” space, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a mess. Glass shelves can house shoes, out of season clothing, winter hats and gloves, school projects, and more.

How can glass shelves help me reimagine an old installation or piece of furniture?

Saggy, broken, or ugly wood shelves can be the demise of a book case, hutch, cabinet, closet, or cupboard, but glass shelves will give it new life.

  • Glass is custom-cut to the appropriate dimensions.
  • The old shelves are removed.
  • The new glass shelves can be placed on the existing pegs, or you can choose to have new supports installed.
  • Voila! Your storage area or cabinet is updated and functional again.

You can use more glass to further transform something like a china hutch, vanity, or kitchen cupboard. Here are some examples:

  • In addition to replacing shelves with glass, wooden door fronts can be swapped out for cabinet glass. Choose from clear, acid-etched, patterned, and tinted options. Using clear glass, you can display items like china, wine glasses, vintage books, collections, and so on.
  • If you are creating a display, consider having mirror glass custom fabricated and installed behind the shelves to reflect and highlight your beautiful items.

Glass is one of the best materials for beautifying and transforming an old vanity, book shelf, cabinet, or kitchen cupboard.

What is the process of ordering custom glass shelves?

Having glass shelves of the perfect size and style delivered and installed can be a simple and easy experience. For example, if you work with ABC Glass & Mirror of Manassas Park, VA, the procedure will look something like this.

  1. Contact us at (703)257-7150 or using our online form.
  2. We’ll schedule a free consultation at your home so our estimator can record the needed measurements and observations.
  3.  A price quote will be emailed to you in about 24-48 hours.
  4. Once you’ve placed your order, we will fabricate and gather all that’s needed for the project.
  5. An installation appointment will be made.
  6. Your shelves will be put in place by a trained crew.

Working with ABC Glass & Mirror means partnering with a veteran owned family business. We’ve been completing glass projects for Northern Virginia residents for nearly two decades and would love to help you beautify your home while adding glass storage shelves!

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