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Think Inside the Box: Creating Purposeful Wall Art with Box Shelving

M.C. Escher is one of my favorite artists for the visual and mental stimulation his renowned work evokes. His challenging pieces are sensational and cause a weird butterfly rupturing response in the pit of ones stomach as you try to figure out where his pieces are coming from and where they are going. Full of corners, edges and boxes he has made a name for him that for most of us is out of our budget but we can reinvent his work on our walls and make it pop in 3D by using box shelving.



Box shelving is affordable, easy and light to hang up, and can take that drab endless wall and give it dimension and refinement. These hardy pieces can be hung in interesting patterns that will draw the eye to an art completely in its own element.


Step One: I Think Therefore I Am

Planning is the key. While much of appreciated canvas art takes a sensitively keen eye to depict the true emotions behind both the picture and the artist through its eclectic style, impressionist ties and the intellectually perplexing abstract art, nailing your boxes up on the wall in a fashion that mimics these modern techniques won’t translate so organically.


So from a basic word document or a sketchpad draw your boxes in a pattern that makes sense to you and could speak well to others who view it. From dramatic to calming you can establish your basic design on paper so breathe flows from the wall through your box shelving when it’s fastened. Believe it or not paint isn’t just arbitrarily splattered on a blank page. Neither should box shelves follow suit.

Step Two: Google It. Literally.

Make a Google experience on your wall. This monarch of search engines and countless other online and mobile successes has made their otherwise streamline homepage quirky in that they allow their iconic Google brand image to be reconstructed to the times of its day. Earth day will find recycled products graphically contorted to the six letters that make up this empire. They are just as much of a representation of the primary colors in the supposed Catull Pro Regular font that spell out a household name and activity, Google.

Why not do the same in your home? Contort your boxes to become a special part of who you are. Be it a word, an image or a thing, from your planning on paper you can bring it to life on your wall with hundreds of purpose as each box can hold momentous objects.

Step Three: The Purpose Driven Box


Boxed in above the desk. Who said cubbyholes are only for kids? A line of these evenly spaced above your desk will not only keep your organization goals at eye level, you are leaving your desk free of metal mesh containers that haphazardly collect our junk while taking up much needed space. These boxes can be bought or painted in fun accent colors that will inspire your workspace into a real space where work gets done.


Boxed in below your window. Everyone loves deep window seats that encourage you to curl up against the rain spattered window pains come monsoon season, but in our contemporary homes these cozy built in features are gone with the wind. Fear not, we can create a semblance of that ol’ house. Perhaps I should mention that they may not be the most substantial weight bearing seating arrangements, but a couple of potted plants will sit here quite beautifully. The box shelving can give you some extra magazine slots while offering your plant a location that has the direct sunlight it wasn’t getting on your ordinary book shelf.


Boxed in your entranceway. Storage space is a concept we all covet and coat racks may have some old school charm but its time for some variation. Joined side by side fasten these box shelves to create a hat or purse rack with some stylish clothing hooks below for our raincoats and umbrellas to proudly hang. Have a collection of muddy shoes? Run a line and stack or two of these several inches off the floor as well for a classy holding for our everyday Nike’s that maybe we will get out once more this week as we walk the dog or run our legs.

Step Four: The RePurposed Driven Box


I recently was walking through a small historic town and inside one of the cute, authentic mom and pop stores saw inventive ways of repurposing old furniture. One way the owner did this was by taking old antique dresser or desk drawers and hanging them on the wall as, you guessed it, box shelving! These will not only give the wall something to celebrate about as it partakes in green virtuousness but there is a story behind that particular piece more than a “set of three” bought at the store around the corner. An old crate, shoeboxes, anything that is squared away to antiquated perfection is waiting for its role call to being reused!

Step Five: Fill in the Blanks

Your wall is already a piece of art thanks to boxes nailed artistically to it. But this DIY project is multifunctional when it comes to appeal and design. Your literal off the wall art can now hold some pretty artsy pieces as well. Vases, photographs, books, medals, clothing, cereal boxes, bills you wish to forget, the arrangements and probabilities are infinite.


While closets hide away our dirt, clutter and the particles that make up our personalities, it’s a new generation. Let’s embrace what makes us, us by thinking inside the box and plaster our décor right up on the wall.























modern living room with white walls and box shelves

Momina Khan
From a very early age Momina Khan discovered her passion and talent for rearranging furniture and indulging herself with interior design. Over the years this passion has only intensified as well as her education and calling in creative writing. As a writer Momina finds Decoist a perfect environment to creating art with words on the art of DIY d[...]

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