Shelf Styling Tips and Tricks
Wood Candle Holders Small $39.99 Medium $49.99 Large $69.99
A friend recently asked for my help in styling her shelves. And it occurred to me that although I have always dreamed of gorgeous built in shelves, for a lot of people it can be a source of stress. That’s a lot of real estate on a focal wall to tackle. And if you’ve never designed shelves before, the task can be quite daunting.
I’m obviously taking this opportunity to showcase some beautiful decor items from Anna’s, but I am also utilizing things they have around the house. When styling shelves, shopping your home is key. It’s amazing how something old in a new location can be totally transformative! Some key decorative pieces usually include, hardcover books, framed photos/artwork, bowls & vases, boxes & baskets and a variety of greenery.
Picture taken from courtneymbrowning.com
- First figure out your theme/colour scheme. Think of the entire shelf unit as a whole when choosing your theme, and it will look much more cohesive and less cluttered - even if there is actually more on display. My friend chose a nautical theme. So we are sticking to shades of blue, natural wood & cream.
Framed call of the sea print $49.99 | Coastal wood bird sculptures $24.99 & $49.99 | Live trends air plants $12.99
Navy blue matte metal vases $14.99, $24.99 & $49.99 | 26” Eucalyptus stem $4.99
- Completely empty the shelves. Believe it or not, it is easier to work with a blank slate than to rearrange the existing decor. So take everything off and place it on a surface nearby. For us, it was the couch/coffee table. Add any additional items you may want to display to the lot so everything you’re considering putting on the shelf is visible and in one spot.
- Set shelf heights. I like to keep the lowest shelf a little bigger to display some larger items & artwork, this also helps to avoid the look of clutter. In this case, that meant removing a shelf - and that’s fine. If you are working on built-ins on either side of a mantle or tv unit, make sure your shelves are symmetrical on either side.
Willow & glass lantern $29.99 | 39” String of pearl hang spray $19.99
- Divide each shelf into thirds and stagger vertically to maintain balance. So, for example, if you cluster items more central on one shelf, on the shelves above and below it try to keep more to the sides. As your eye looks up and down the shelf, there should be sort of a zig-zag pattern.
- Layer, layer, layer! To start, it’s best to anchor items on a tray or books or in front of a picture. This gives them more of a sense of purpose, so it doesn’t look like they were simply dropped there thoughtlessly. Once you have your leaners (artwork & photos) & anchors (trays/books) up, add decorative items and greenery. When decorating, it’s usually visually more appealing to group things in odd numbers. Cluster similar vases/candles in groups of 3 if you can. Lastly, add some plants or pots with streaming greenery.