I'm planning built-in shelves with a design similar to the pictures belwo. Building the shelves is straightforward to me but I'm not sure how to do the installation and/or what kinds of "invisible" brackets could be used to secure it to the wall/floor. Any thoughts on the best approach to achieve a similar look to the photos?

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  • Fixed or moveable shelves? – Ecnerwal Apr 30 at 20:45
  • Fixed. Thanks for clarifying. – mikeLdub Apr 30 at 20:52
  • Not your question but I would not leave those end shelves to hang in the breeze like that on the far side. Heavy books will produce a lot of leverage. I think there should be a final vertical support unless they are somehow invisibly attached to the wall. – Willk Apr 30 at 22:13
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    I'm guessing they are invisibly attaced to the wall – Jasen May 1 at 4:02

That's an odd set, really.

The ends have to be "floating" to hold any weight, at which point the usual approach is to dispense with the uprights and make the shelves fully "floating."

There are a few ways of floating shelves, all simple in concept but finicky in practice. One is long rods set into the studs (deeper than is safe if you don't know what's in the studs so you can miss wires and pipes) with matching holes in the back of the shelves. Conceptually simple, but if anything is the least bit at the wrong angle, very difficult in practice as the rods and holes won't line up and the shelves won't slide on.

Another approach uses a bracket that screws to the wall surface, and a shelf that's essentially a hollow box that slips over the bracket to hide it.

  • I suppose it's possible that the uprights are notched, and the shelves are also notched, so the ends are supported by the un-notched portion of the shelf being held up by the uprights, but even with 2x material that seems a bit of a reach for being loaded with books on the ends and not visibly sagging. And in today's lumber market, I dread to think of the cost of that much framing lumber... (oddly, hardwood does not seem to have shot up as much, so look around for other sources of wood.) – Ecnerwal Apr 30 at 21:07
  • The uprights could be notched 95% and the shelves 5% ( or uprights consiting of vertical blocking and a front strip) – Jasen May 1 at 4:01

Make sure there is a wood piece at the divider panel to receive the L bracket and nailing/screwing at locations shown in the sketch below.

Also, suggest having a panel at the end, the cantilever seemly too long. Instead of a full-width board, you may consider a stud to make it looks better.

enter image description here

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    Your sketch is incorrect on two issues: 1) the vertical dividers extend to the floor, which obviously gives the shelving end support, and 2) there are no “L” brackets. Concealed fasteners give its unique design. The unique design relies on making the vertical supports about twice the distance apart as normal for books , which “cries out” for thicker than normal shelves, which would allow for concealed pegs or in ends and back of shelves. – Lee Sam May 1 at 5:05

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