I figured, I'm a big girl now and I can hang a floating shelf...properly. I think I did it correctly! Pre-drill holes in wall, push anchor in and eventually hammer it in tightly, put the screws in and hang the shelf. Well, its up and level!
This is a closeup of the shelf, which I covered in a wood-printed contact paper. I am pretty proud of how the shelves turned out, though I'm not sure if I should have made the grain horizontal.
So here is the final result for the night. Although my original idea featured both shelves alongside each other, now I have so many more ideas! Possibly the second shelf hung above the current shelf and a vertical wooden art piece on the open right side?