How to Add Recessed Shelving for Any Room in Your House

brown wooden book shelf

Recessed shelving can provide a convenient storage alternative for otherwise cluttered rooms in your home. Where traditional shelving solutions provide useful surface space for general storage, they usually do so at the expense of some of the very space they’re meant to save.

By installing shelving in recesses cut into your drywall you can have your cake and store it too. Yet recessed shelving can be beneficial to various rooms in your house besides simply providing convenient storage. Here is a list of creative recessed-shelving ideas for some of the most popular rooms in your home.

Living Room

Just as surely as recessed shelving can free up plenty of space in your room, so can it reinforce the overall thematic design. Where regular shelving units offer little more than extra storage space, recessed shelves — because they are incorporated into the wall — can been painted and finished to match the room’s general aesthetic.

Consider installing recessed shelving on the walls in your living room, and painting them to match the style and color of your dominant couches and/or love seats. Populate the shelves with various objects that approximately match the room’s secondary colors, such as those used with the room’s pillows and coffee table. This decision will reinforce the room’s décor and color scheme


Recessed shelving can provide multiple storage benefits in the bathroom. Besides helping to reduce general clutter around the sink by offering handy storage alternatives (recessed shelving installed next to your bathroom mirror can be a great place to store extra towels and toiletries), recessed shelving can be particularly useful in the shower.

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Try installing one or more recessed cavities in your shower wall. These can be finished with the same tiles used for the rest of the wall or with tiles of a pleasing, contrasting color. Not only will your elbows thank you for the extra space to operate, but the recessed nature of the shelves will help to shield your stored soaps and shampoos from constant water bombardment.


white ceramic bottles on shelf

When it comes to the kitchen, you can never have enough room to operate. With dishes, cooking pots/supplies, foodstuffs, and various shapes and sizes of Tupperware being such a important parts of your kitchen inventory, any extra storage space you can squeeze from your walls will be most helpful.

To free up some valuable space in your cupboards, try installing shallow recessed shelving in any available wall close to your sink.

Finish the interior of the recess with your kitchen’s secondary color to reinforce the room’s décor.

Then partition the recessed wall with four or five glass shelves. This recessed shelf is the perfect place to store and display your awkwardly large space-clogging wine glasses.


In the bedroom, recessed shelving can obviously save you some extra space to navigate the sometimes-clogged pathways around your bed. But they can also provide another, less-obvious advantage in the bedroom.

clothes lot on shelf

Shelves installed in the wall directly above and behind the headboard of your bed can serve as extra-convenient bookshelves; when you’re ready to settle in for some nighttime reading, your favorite novel will never be more than an arm’s reach away. You won’t need to leave the comfort of your bed.

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This list of ideas for recessed shelving is meant to spark your imagination and summon your inner interior decorator.

If you’re willing to get creative, there’s no shortage of ways in which recessed shelving can make various rooms in your house more beautiful and practical at the same time. With recessed shelving, you can open up your house to countless possibilities.

Carla Crawford
I love to cook and, in my free time, play in our half-finished tree house with my son and husband. I have three dogs, all of which like my cooking more than my entire family combined.