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Open shelving above sofa?

Posted by maureeninmd (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 19, 09 at 13:11

I have a small upstairs den that is mainly used by my sons and their friends. One son would like to display his model airplanes and tanks on shelves above the sofa. Sofa is 5 feet long. The room is painted blue with tan couch (otherwise very plain). This is an old house with pine floors, dark wood interior doors, much of trim is painted white.

What type of shelf would you recommend? I was thinking about two, but do not know how long they should be. I don't think I like the modern "floating" shelves but am not sure what would look best.

Does anyone have and pictures to share? Thanks so much


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

Having a shelf loaded down with objects situated behind a couch is bad Feng Shui. It gives an uncomfortable feeling having stuff looming balanced above one's head.

Does he have a desk in the room where the shelving could be put on the wall above it? How about a floor standing shelf unit? Is there floorspace room for ladder shelving unit? Is there an empty wall for a hanging wall unit shelving?

Maybe something like this but with more masculine touches of course:

quotes and sayings Pictures, Images and Photos

Just a wall unit on a blank wall not over couch:

quotes and sayings Pictures, Images and Photosquotes and sayings Pictures, Images and Photos

Verticle shelving would highlight each airplane model:

quotes and sayings Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

We lived in a 1956 ranch for over 20 years while raising the children. The den was pine paneled with built-in shelves above the sofa. They could not be removed without damaging the walls. We did not paint the paneling for many many years. I really enjoyed displaying family photos and antique finds on the shelves.

Not a great picture, but it's all I have uploaded to Photobucket.


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Per Dilly Dally's Post

Having a shelf loaded down with objects situated behind a couch is bad Feng Shui. It gives an uncomfortable feeling having stuff looming balanced above one's head.

Not that we practice Feng Shui, but we all survived. No one ever complained about an "uncomfortable feeling" either.


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

Hmm, now I'm curious -- would it still be bad Feng Shui if the shelves were recessed as opposed to sticking out on the wall?


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

If you do decide to place them over the couch, be sure to allow plenty of headroom for growing boys. I once hung a 3D artwork above a chair. It projected out about 3 inches from the wall. I thought it looked great until I bumped my head sitting down!


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

"Hmm, now I'm curious -- would it still be bad Feng Shui if the shelves were recessed as opposed to sticking out on the wall?"

No. Recessed shelving would not give that same feeling as heavy shelving over one's head.

There is still a little bit more to the Feng Shui aspect of it though. For instance, recessed shelving with some books in it behind a couch = good feelings. Recessed shelving holding a sword collection behind couch = bad feelings.

It is subjective like any form of art, and I do understand that there are many skeptics.


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

It's not the ideal place, I know. We can't recess (although that would be cool). He does want these in a prominent place, as he is very proud of them. There is a large desk in the bedroom that they share, but the older boy doesn't want to lose the corkboard that is already in that spot.

Any other pictures of attractive display shelving?


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

If bad Feng Shui would get me a kitchen like Allison's, where do I sign up? :)


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

all I can see is a head injury waiting to happen, if your kids are anything like mine. :-D

I cannot even have picture frames hanging over the sofa because once, the kids were jumping up and down and the frame went crashing on another kid (who's laying down & laughing at the jumping kids).

How about suspending the airplane models from the ceiling with fishing line & hooks? That would look cool if you have them at different height.


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

If bad Feng Shui would get me a kitchen like Allison's, where do I sign up? :)

lol Yeah, the secret is out. Bad living pays!

fwiw, we moved in the house with a 2yo and a baby. Had another baby 2 yrs later. No one ever hit their head, but they also knew better than to jump on the sofa. As an adult, sitting on the sofa wasn't bad either. The shelves were not a foot deep and up high enough that there was never a near miss.

Dilly Dally, just for the record I wasn't making fun of Feng Shui. I'm not a skeptic, but like many practices or religions, I enjoy reading about it, I just don't practice.


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

I have no pictures but when I was growing up my mom always had a wooden shelf above the couch. It was probably about 4 ft long and maybe 10" deep. She put it maybe a couple of feet above the back of the sofa and hung artwork under it. It looked nice and never felt too close that way. Maybe you could tie in some airplane art or photos with the display shelf above them.


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RE: Open shelving above sofa?

if you are doing a floating shelf, choose the one w/ a small lip so that things won't fall off.

Like this one from PB.

Here is a link that might be useful: holman ledge - PB


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