Orthodoxy began to return to the homes of ordinary inhabitants of the former Soviet Union from the very beginning of perestroika. It helped many survive through difficult and even hopeless times. But upon entering our home, it largely left open questions that either had no time to ask, or had no place to find an answer in due time.
First of all, according to the Orthodox rules, the icons should have their own corner, called red, in which the shelf for the icons is placed. Just like a church altar, such an angle is oriented east. By the way, the “corner” is just the name, the icons can also be placed on the eastern wall.
Of course, the corner shelf for icons would be ideal. It is more striking and at the same time more secluded, more comfortable for prayers and more harmonious for the general appearance of the apartment (although this is already vain motives). But in modern apartment conditions, it is almost impossible to achieve an ideal. Modern Orthodoxy admits - if the size of the housing and the accompanying arrangement of furniture does not provide another opportunity - to use a sideboard or wardrobe as a deity. A prerequisite - and in this case, the shelf for the icons should be separate, no other objects should be placed on it. In the worst case, you can use a bedside table, piano, chest of drawers or a bookshelf as such.
In no case can a place that is used as a shelf for icons be used to store secular (or even sinful) things - cosmetics, trinkets, fiction, family photographs; hanging posters nearby are inadmissible, pictures (even with biblical subjects) and photographs of monks, priests and the righteous are undesirable (the photo still captures momentary moments).
As for how the shelves should look like icons, it all depends on who lovingly equips himself with a home red corner. It would be a good idea to make such shelves yourself - this will be an additional incentive for pious thoughts. In this case, fantasy can tell you the most unexpected options for icon shelves. Jig sawing, burning, wood carving - everything can be applied in this case. The ultra-modern design of the icon-holders is also possible: let it be glass, metal or stone. Just do not forget that the created shelf is for icons, so you should equip it with Orthodox motifs: domes, floral ornaments, crosses. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting not nice shelves for icons, but something more suitable for a biker or fan of hard rock.
By the way, the shelves for the icons can be multi-tiered, but then it’s worth talking to the priest in the church about the proper placement of images - there are rules for that.
We repeat: shelves for icons, angular in particular, are still preferable to other ways to keep holy images in the room. It seems that even in the smallest apartment, a true believer will be able to allocate a small place for the home iconostasis. And even if it is not on the canonical eastern wall (the orientation of our houses to the cardinal points can be rather bizarre) - the church allows this. If only faith was sincere.