Bow-front Wall Shelf

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My wife and I enjoy collecting small treasures—carvings, figurines, and tiny potted succulents to name a few. But they tend to get lost on large shelves or atop furniture. So I decided to design a wall shelf to display these items that included a good amount of shallow shelf space. And, while I didn’t want the shelf to overwhelm the items upon it, I wanted to include some subtle detailing to give the piece a touch of personality of its own. 

Stacking three long but narrow open shelves on a pair of wall-mounted uprights accomplished the first goal. The shelves aren’t so deep that small items get lost on them, and the entire piece is shallow enough that it doesn’t intrude into the room. This grid-like arrangement also creates “framed” spaces for showcasing our collection.

The front bows, pierced by decorative brass rods, add depth and decoration. They also contribute to the sense of enclosure and the feeling that your displayed items are protected against the errant bumps from passers-by. The thin strips make a design statement, but are narrow enough not to obscure treasures on display. I made my shelf from gray elm, but feel free to use your favored wood species.

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