Historical Housekeeping, In The Craft Room, In The Kitchen
Comment 1

A Love for “What-Not” Shelves


I had never heard of the term “what-not” to explain a shelf until I was in my teen years shopping around an antique store.  The shelves that earned this name were usually made of wood and often were painted white.  A few had graduated shelving sizes while others were uniform and made to mount on a wall.  Similar to this style…


While shelves from the 1880’s-1950’s varied in size, style, and location, their purpose never changed: to display one’s most treasured items!

While the term “what-not” isn’t used as often, the technique is still very much alive, and with even more creative shelving styles!  I have collected several of my favorite examples of shelves featured in a variety of places in the home.

Here we go!

These open shelves in a kitchen, are perfect to display dishes and treasured pottery!


Image from Adorn Inc.

Suitcases are a great option for an office or above a small desk in a bedroom.


Available for purchase from PB Teen.

This display is ideal for those true Victorian lovers…look at all those lovely floral patterns!


Image from Elfnpulver

Fabric can be displayed in this unique arrangement of wooden crates!


Image from Apartment Therapy

This is perfect for a bathroom, nursery, or sewing room!


Image from Woman’s Day – link not available.

So get creative and display your treasures on a shelf equally as special and unique!

All the best, 


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