DIY Or DI-WHY?: Over The Door Shelving

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Given the fact that my last investigative post entitled “Under Shelf Jar Storage: Neat-O Or Veto?” garnered such fervent replies (by the way, majority rules that idea is a big fat stupid), I thought I’d go ahead and poll the audience once again. This time, however, the topic is less under-shelf than it is over. Over the door, that is.

Being that we Westerners are obsessed with amassing stuff, despite spacial constraints not growing in tandem with our possessions, we are also obsessed with any sneaky ways to store said stuff. Squeezing the toothpaste tube of space if you will.

In line with such thinking: over the door shelving.

I find myself, once again, perplexed, unable to decide whether this idea seems a clever endeavor or a blatant waste of time in one’s life.


– You get more storage space.


– There’s no way you’re reaching anything placed on that shelf without the help of a stepladder or some teeter-totteringly high tranny heels. Either way, much effort expended in order to access whatever’s way the hell up there

– Also the time it takes to install a shelf above the door

Please do chime in with your two cents on the matter. Is it storage gluttony? Or Fantastically space-savvy? If the latter is your answer: what items, specifically, do you believe would mesh well with the system in question, and why? 

And furthermore, do we think it’s aesthetically pleasing? Or an unnatural act in the world of interior decor?

Just tell me all your hopes and dreams while you’re at it.

Image credits: House and HomeMartha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Hus & Hem, Neuvo Estilo via Desire to InspireSabrina Linn via Escapade, Art & Decoration via Desire to Inspire 

22 thoughts on “DIY Or DI-WHY?: Over The Door Shelving

  1. Katharine

    I feel like this is one of those things that can go really good or really bad… Take the two book pictures you posted – the first where the whole wall is shelving, the OTD is functional while still looking nice. In the second photo it seems to cut the room in a weird way and almost makes the ceiling feel lower.

    OTD storage would be a great in a place where you’re really hurting for space (bathroom, closet, etc.) or somewhere where you’re trying to invoke that surrounding, cozy vibe (library, etc.). Other than that I’m not really a fan of the aesthetics, and like you said it would need to be items that are rarely used because getting them down would be a pain in the you-know-what.


    1. livesimplybyannie Post author

      I agree– after reading your comment and looking at it again I think you’re absolutely right– where there is already shelving, and the OTD is just a continuation it seems to work better. The second book photo, with no other shelves besides the OTD definitely does make the ceiling appear lower! Hadn’t even noticed that!

  2. ashley

    i’m feeling the same as you – no way you could access it without a stool or ladderand in that case, it becomes storage, and in my humble opinion, storage should be out of sight. it’s also a bit of an eye sore. i’m a fan of shelving on the walls for things like small vases and frames, but not for storage.

  3. Melissa

    I don’t mind an over the door shelf in a small, practical space like a laundry and only if used for stuff that that is used sparingly – like your next bottle of detergent. The shelves in the kitchen and living rooms look a bit odd to me.

  4. Jen at the Social Home (@thepapersociety)

    I don’t mind the 4th photo or the closet, but a massive NAY to the rest! Unless I lived in a 50 square foot apartment in NYC, I would never, ever want a storage shelf above a door. It’s not aesthetically pleasing, and even though we aren’t in a big earthquake zone, I’d still be nervous about things falling on peoples heads when the walk through/shut the door. Love your investigative posts!

    1. livesimplybyannie Post author

      Haha love this comment Jen. Love a girl whose not afraid to speak her mind, especially on such important matters as this geez. I honestly hadn’t thought about the things-falling-on-people’s-heads factor, and it definitely sways my mind further..

  5. Alicia Parsons | Atypical Type A

    Like everything, it can be done badly. But as someone who lives in a small space and needs all the storage she can get, count me in the ‘Yes, please!’ camp. I’m planning to do this in my own bathroom, purely for things we don’t need very often such as travel toiletries. Oh, and nothing breakable or heavy, so spare toilet paper and towels are a-okay.

  6. Pingback: Apartment Ideas | yeg-apartment-ideas

  7. Pingback: Do You Make These Common Bathroom Design Mistakes?

  8. Cat

    I’m tall, have a small apartment, and high ceilings. I’m considering it, for places it wouldn’t add visual clutter.

  9. Vicki Hodges

    I’ve been looking hard at a shelf above my bedroom door for some more display space, stuff I don’t need to get to. I think it’s a wonderful idea for people in small spaces. I just moved from 1800 with a garage to an 800 square foot house. I’ve gotten rid of tons of stuff and may get rid of more as time goes on, but for now, I need some extra space to put stuff. I can’t just throw everything all out at once, but I’m hoping to get to where I don’t have too much stuff. That little storage area where I could have some extra supplies or just decor would be very helpful for me right now.

  10. Pingback: Coping with clutter and storage in a small living space - less stuff - the antidote to minimalism

  11. Stephanie

    I have beloved books I want to keep and see. Not just for nostalgia but for the esthetics as well. Mine will be display shelves requiring very little use of foot stools. It will open up room on my existing over crowed shelves.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *