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Three Ways to Decorate Metal Shelving

While our shelving units come in a range of bright colours, it’s definitely fair to say that most metal shelving solutions are built for solidity rather than style. That’s fine if they’re to be tucked away in a gloomy garage – but if your metal shelves are on full display in the house, office or showroom, you might want them to look a little more pleasing to the eye.

You could opt for decorative shelving units, often crafted from wood or wire, but they simply don’t offer the strength that metal shelves do. So instead, we say “stick with steel” - then set about making your shelves look pretty.

Here’s three sure-fire ways to decorate metal shelving units:

Plant an idea
Regardless of what you’re storing on your shelving unit, a tumbling pot plant on an upper shelf can make a drastic difference to the unit’s visual appeal. Given plenty of bright light and the occasional watering, the plant will eventually wind its way down the shelves’ vertical sides, framing the unit with gorgeous greenery. Something like a climbing ivy plant will have a similar effect - though these grow upwards so would need to be placed right at the bottom of your shelving unit.

Of course, such shrubbery would make life a little more difficult if you want to alter the positions of your shelves, so be sure you’re happy with the arrangement before letting your greenery run wild. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep a pair of secateurs to hand…

Brush stroke of genius
Growing an ivy plant the full length of your metal shelving unit could take years - so what do you do if you’re looking for a more instant impact? You could paint the shelves, but by the time they are filled, you won’t see all that much of a difference. Your handiwork would be in vain. Instead, why not paint the wall behind your shelves? The greater surface area makes a much brighter impact, draws the eye and helps turn your shelving into a real statement piece.

Steel shelving, by its nature, can look a little clinical and cold - so choose warm, rich colours for the back wall to make the biggest difference.

Co-ordinate colours

Even if you decide against getting the paintbrushes out, there’s still a great way to bring your steel shelving to life in glorious technicolour. Better still, this particular method has practical benefits that can help you find items on your shelves. Group your belongings not by type, size or weight, but by colour.

It might seem like a hassle at first, but you can create some amazing effects. Either make blocks of colour by grouping items that share a similar hue, or, if you’re feeling particularly creative, you can attempt a gradient effect that sweeps across your shelving unit.

To do it, you’d place your items on each shelf so as to create several vertical strips of colour - perhaps reds on the left, then oranges, gradually fading out to neutral colours in the middle. Tricky? Perhaps. But when it comes to finding those orange drawing pins, at least you’ll know where to look.

However you plan on decorating your steel shelving unit, the first step is to find the right shelving unit. Give us a call on 0845 194 7370 or email