I've been following your page and articles since quite long. We are alloted fauji houses and I'm sure you must be aware that there are houses we make homes and part in a span of two years. So we try to make the best in least time and the least budget!!! ha ha ha!! I've been trying to search in all your posts if i could find an idea to hide an open shelf. and at the same time be able to use it. As making a cupboard is an expensive deal for us.
Open shelves are very handy. If you give good back support then you can get these made without any bracket support underneath. It looks good too. These costed me 3000 to make about 6 years back. Here is the link https://dressyourhome.in/1536/diy-project-floating-shelf-goes-live it is about 3 feet long each. When we moved homes, i dismantled it to use it in my new home too.
You can fit a curtain rod above the shelf. And hang curtains. Even sheer will look pretty here or you can go for a thicker one. Easier to use too.