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One of the best ways to utilize a corner is with something that’s functional and stylish. That’s where a rustic corner shelf design comes in. 

One of the most awkward areas of a room to decorate are the corners. What do you even put in a corner? 

You could put in a chair or sofa, but you may already have one elsewhere in the room. Plus, what if you need the space, or want more storage? 

You could add a large potted plant, but that’s a single design element in an otherwise empty corner. And again, what about storage?

Stylish, natural, and an attractive storage option, a rustic shelf can accentuate and beautify any corner.

Looking for some inspiration? Here are 10 ideas for rustic corner shelves.

What Is Rustic Style Anyway?

First, let’s define what exactly a rustic style is. It’s inspired by the call back to earlier days of U.S. history. 

In general, rustic style and decor consist of:

  • Natural materials like wood and stone
  • Sturdy furniture
  • Warm and natural color tones
  • Rugged textures and textiles

Like many home design and architectural designs, there are different variations on rustic design. Some, like modern rustic, combine elements of rustic design with more contemporary design philosophies. 

Regardless of how modern or traditional a rustic design is, rustic shelves will incorporate elements of this philosophy in their design. They will often be made of wood (sometimes reclaimed wood), use metal, natural colors and textures, and be sturdy.

1. Corner Floating Wall Shelf

rustic corner shelf

Pier1 Corner Floating Shelf

A floating wall shelf is a shelf that is attached to the wall. Unlike a traditional shelf, a floating shelf has no visible support. The support is simply hidden from view.

Don’t let their look fool you. Floating shelves can be strong and sturdy. The support may not be visible in the form of brackets, but it still exists.

Floating shelves can come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. They can be thick, thin, triangle-shaped, rounded, or really any shape. 

2. 5-Tier Rustic Ladder Shelf

rustic corner shelf

Overstock 5-tier Rustic Corner Shelf

If you’ve got a little more room in your corner, a tiered ladder shelf can be a great visual piece. Like the name implies, a ladder shelf is a shelf that looks like a small ladder. 

Sometimes ladder shelves look like a small step ladder, with shelves on both halves. Or you can have a ladder shelf that’s sloped and “leans” towards the wall. Ladder shelves can be pretty spacious, so they’re great for books or other large objects. 

If you have the space, your ladder shelf can be long and wide. Or you can go with a tall and narrow model. 

3. Vintage Rustic Rope Hanging Corner Shelf

Like a lot of other corner shelf options, a hanging shelf can have rounded shelves, triangular shelves, or rectangular shelves. 

Rope can add a natural and organic look to the room, especially if you use rope made from straw, cotton, jute, or hemp.

One popular option is a wooden crate corner shelf. This option repurposes a wooden crate for a shelf. 

You can have your holes for the rope drilled into the sides of the crate to create horizontal shelf space, or you can drill holes in one side of the crate and hang it on the wall as a display shelf. This second option is great for drawing attention to the contents of the crate – such as your family photos. 

4. Rustic Industrial Style Corner Metal Pipe Standing Shelf

rustic corner shelf

Overstock Industrial Rustic Corner Shelf

Piping framework and wooden shelves can make for a rustic, industrial-inspired corner shelf. This look is great for garages and kitchens. They also make for wonderful compact storage in the bathroom, where they can be used as over the toilet storage.

You can even add some extra storage to your shelf by framing some pipework underneath, allowing for additional hanging storage that’s perfect for towels. 

Or you could add lighting to industrial shelves and turn them into an art piece that matches the rest of your industrial-style home.

You don’t have to wall mount industrial-style shelves. For an even greater commitment to the industrial look, add some wheels and turn your shelves into a rolling cart. You can have an industrial, vintage rolling cart – perfect for drinks.

5. Rustic Wood Hanging Rectangle Wall Shelves

rustic corner shelf

Overstock Wood Hanging Corner Shelf

You can always buy or make your own simple rustic wood hanging shelves. There are dozens and dozens of varieties of them.

For example, you could do minimal shelves. This type of design is especially popular in Scandinavian style design, which favors nature and lighter wood tones.

Or you could interlock or intersect your rectangular shelves in a puzzle-like design. It’s still fairly minimal but is a little more decorative. 

Box shelves are a popular, practical option too.

6. Rustic Wood and Metal Corner Shelf

rustic corner shelf

Wood and Iron Rustic Corner Shelf

A rustic wood and metal shelf doesn’t have to have an industrial look. You can have a wrought iron shelf for a more elaborate, stylish design that’s far from an industrial style. Many use them for displaying houseplants or in kitchens.

Or you can use another type of metal like steel or aluminum, and integrate it into the design. X braces on the rear of the shelves can prevent items from slipping off while adding an extra accent to the shelves. 

7. Rustic Style X-Design Corner Bookcase

Sure you can have shelves with X braces on the rear or sides, or you could have a shelf that’s an actual X shape. 

It’s a pretty unique and eye-catching design. The X shape is actually five different compartments – four corners and a center, for five smaller cube-shaped shelves. 

Of course, the X shape means your goods will be displayed at an angle, so it’s definitely a quirky, strange design that’s bound to catch someone’s eye. 

8. Zig-Zag Shelf

rustic corner shelf

Overstock Zigzag Rustic Shelf

A zig-zag shelf can be a fun, quirky addition to corner space. There’s a couple of different options.

You can have the shelf installed vertically with the alternating zig-zag pattern running left and right. This is probably the most common way of installing zig-zag shelves, especially for a corner space.  

Or you could install horizontal zig-zag shelves, with the sharp angles of the zig-zag jutting up and down.

Either way, the small size of zig-zag shelves is perfect for small plants or family photos, and the shape implies a certain sense of whimsy.

9. L-Shaped Shelf

rustic corner shelf

Overstock Oak 5-shelf Corner Bookcase

L-shaped corner shelves are great ways to maximize corner storage since they can span both walls. That makes them great at maximizing storage in small spaces.

Open L-shaped corner shelves are especially popular in kitchens, where they are often used to display spices or kitchenware. They tend to draw the eye to these locations, as opposed to potentially uglier areas of the kitchen like the sink. Hooks can be installed underneath the shelves, allowing for additional hanging storage for pots and pans.

Since smaller kitchens are often L-shaped for efficiency, L-shaped shelves can be installed as a natural extension of the space.

10. Rustic Triangle Corner Shelves

Triangle corner shelves are perfect tiny shelves. They’re unintrusive and have just enough space for displaying small items like a framed photo, small houseplants, or a singular art piece.

If you’re a big believer in the motto “less is more,” or enjoy a more minimal look, small corner shelves like these are the perfect look. 

You can either install them with brackets or install them as floating shelves for an even sleeker, slimmer look. The latter option may even give the appearance that they are built-in design elements instead of something added later.

For a little variety, you can use graduated triangle shelves, with the smallest shelves at the top and the larger ones at the bottom. This is a good compromise between a more minimal look and the need to display larger family photos or books.

Rustic Corner Shelf Design Ideas

If you love the outdoors, want to bring some nature into your home, or want to decorate your cottage, a rustic corner shelf design is perfect. You can bring a sense of ruggedness and resilience to your home.

These rustic corner shelf ideas are only a few examples of what you can do with a little creativity. You can either go the DIY route or opt to buy premade pieces. Either way, you’ll be upgrading your home and giving yourself plenty of ways to display important pieces.

For more inspiration, check out more design ideas in our decor section

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10 Best Ideas for Rustic Corner Shelf Design