Punch Up Your Shelving

A great way to bring a touch of color or pattern to a space is by lining the trunk of bookshelves and built-ins with paint, fabric or wallpaper. Adding this contrasting element draws the eye on the area and at the same time highlights the objects displayed on the shelves.

Dufner Heighes Inc

The green adds the distance and dimension, contrasting beautifully with the wood tone. I feel that is a background with a modern striae effect, but perhaps it is a painted treatment. Either way, this element makes the space!

Mosaik Remodeling & Design

A sophisticated pattern in richly muted colors is stunning behind glass shelving. I am not sure if the substance is fabric or background, but a great way to accomplish this look will be to pay for sheets of poster board cut down to the essential dimensions with fabric. And best, should you tire of the appearance it would be easy to remove or replace with another color or pattern.

Brooklyn Limestone

Mrs. Limestone highlights her collection of vintage cameras by lining the back of her dining area built-ins with background. The bold pattern works because the cream seen in the print blends into the shelving painted a similar tone.

Eisner Design LLC

With this expansive wall a mix of paint and background adds interest and significant drama. This treatment breaks up the wall unit that is extended. If left all white, it wouldn’t have this effect.

Birdseye Design

The wall behind the ledge shelving within this modern rustic mudroom brings into a subtle touch of layout, after the muted tones of the design.

Simple cabinetry at a mudroom looks great once the storage device receives a bright dose of green.

My Sweet Savannah

An enlarged recipe outlines the back of this shelving, which is put up as a hot chocolate station. What a improvement!


Creating a small workstation from a closet is a popular fad in homes where space is tight. Lining the wall behind the desktop and shelving with a female background helps this space-saving solution become an inviting spot to catch up on a little job.

Joel Kelly Design

Painting the deeply recessed walls of this wet bar a rich chocolate brown adds visual weight and interest, making this section of the space a focus.

Monica Ewing

Boxes piled at the top of one another turned into a charming substitute for a bookcase when painted a fairly turquoise and lined with a floral paper.

K2 Design Group, Inc..

A rich coral paint lining the back of a large wall unit highlights the decorative things set on the ledges, and manages to take the emphasis away from your TV.

Scheer & Co..

With ingenuity a workspace for two is made within a main living room behind drapery panels. The station feels unique through the addition of a yellow and white striped background, where the black elements and set of white pottery popup.

Next: Read photos of home shelving layout

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