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When choosing decorative shelves, you should first determine how much money you can afford to spend. Carefully consider how you plan to use the shelves and where you plan to put them. Consider upkeep as well, as some types of decorative shelves will require more cleaning and dusting than others, for instance, glass shelving is much more difficult to clean than wood or vinyl. Once you have a general idea of the type of decorative shelves you want and a budget in place, set about getting the best value for your money. Decorative shelves can be found at most home furnishing centers, through walk-in retailers or online stores.
Some decorative shelves are made as individual units that have to be mounted on the wall, and though these units are usually less expensive, they can be difficult to install. You will have to mount each unit separately, and that can be tedious and time consuming. You will have to use a leveling tool to mark the wall where you plan to mount the shelves; failure to do this could result in slanted shelving. Holes will have to be drilled into the wall to attach the hardware that holds the shelves in place, and making a mistake can take some time to correct. In addition, you will also be limited as to where you can place your decorative shelves, because they should only be attached to an area of wall that has supporting wood behind it.
Decorative shelves that come as complete units are usually more costly than individual wall mounted shelving, but even including assembly time, they typically take much less work than wall mounted shelves. Sometimes complete units can be purchased pre-assembled, but keep in mind that you will need a way to transport the shelves from the store. If you have to rent a truck or van, that may end up costing more than the shelves. Some retailers offer free or low cost home delivery, so find out if that is an option.
Another option for decorative shelving is to build it yourself. This can often be a relaxing and rewarding experience, and the end result may be better quality shelving than what you could have purchased from a retailer. For decorative wood shelving, you will likely need to purchase some special tools, especially if you want to include scroll work in the design. Carpentry tools can run into a lot of money, so unless you plan to take it up as a hobby, the cost are probably too prohibitive for a single project.
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