Wall shelves provide storage, holding everything from favorite books to mystery items. This leads to the problem of shelves making a statement about the household's storage habits rather than adding to the home's harmony and spaciousness. There's a simple and inexpensive solution: To restore visual peace, screen the open shelves so that they remain accessible yet present a covered face to the room.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Shoji or other room screens
Measure the area of the wall shelves to hide. For example: to hide a floor to ceiling wall shelf unit measure from the floor to the top of the highest book shelf. Extend the tape to the top of the area you want to cover. Measure the width. Measure twice. Make a note of the measurements.
Make a budget for the project. Screens come in a wide price range, and it may be possible to find a previously-owned screen that will fit.
Shop for a room screen to suit your room and cover the wall shelves. Find a screen tall enough and wide enough to cover the area you need covered. A privacy screen needs to be slightly folded to stand securely, so get one longer than the wall shelves. For example: use an 8-foot wide screen to cover a 6-foot wall shelf. A room screen has the advantage of being portable, so you can hide the shelves when you wish and fold the screen out of the way to restore full access. Look into shoji screens. Traditional Japanese room screens made of rice paper in wooden frames keep a sense of light in the room. Screens with photo frames, fabric, bamboo or louvers also work well. Check the weight of the screen before buying.
Examine the screens to make sure they're in good condition. Most stores and online retailers will exchange damaged merchandise.
Set up the room screen. Place it so it covers the wall shelves. Angle the panels so it stands solid.
Tips & Warnings
- If you want to leave the top shelf exposed, or one section of shelves exposed, measure only the area that you want to hide.
- Choose a flat room divider on a stand if you prefer a flat surface instead of a room screen.
- A privacy screen works well to cover a craft station when not in use.
- Heavy wood or metal screens present more risk of injury or damage: Avoid these if there are pets or children in the household.
- Keep enough of an angle in the room screen's hinged panels when you put it in the standing position so it doesn't tip over.
- If there are cats, dogs or small children in the home, a stationary room divider will be a more stable choice. These rest on stands, and there is less risk of knocking them over.
- Photo Credit James Quigley/Photodisc/Getty Images
How to Hide Shelf Brackets
Shelf brackets that provide support to a wall shelf can at times take the attention away from the shelf content itself. Hiding...
How to Cover Shelves With Curtains
Not everything that is placed on a shelf is meant for public viewing. If attaching doors to shelves is not an option,...
How to Cover Shelves Without Doors
An open-fronted shelf or cabinet is a great way to display books, artworks, pictures, knickknacks or other objects in your home. Sometimes,...
How to Line Shelves
Shelf liner inside cupboards perform two functions -- the lining protects the wood beneath and it makes shelves easy to clean. Lining...
How to Hide Book Shelves
Without a bookcase, our books would simply live on the floor, cluttering up the room. Unfortunately, the very item that saves us...
How to Cover Storage Shelves With Fabric
Lining storage shelves with fabric can add a personalized touch to your shelving without having to paint. Although you have to deal...
How to Cover Shelves With Fabric
Add a personal touch to the shelves in your home without breaking out the paint by covering the shelves with fabric. Covering...
Ideas for Covering a Wood Bookcase
Bookcases do not always have to be painted or stained. Decorate a plain bookcase to coordinate with the design of the room....