I often get asked “How do you style shelves?” The real answer is I just say that I play around with the shelves and the decor until I’m happy. Honestly that’s how it goes for all my How To’s and it is no different for How To Style Shelves… I LOVE playing around & changing our decor around & you all know that… so that is the simple truth. When you break it down, there are some simple rules that I follow & I wanted to demonstrate that today. I went & styled a cabinet in our living room, so that I could share what goes on in my mind.
1- Gather your items you want to styled –
Gather up your collections you want displayed, books, art, candles, plants, blankets, heirloom items & more. As you are gathering items start thinking about balancing all your shelves out. Whether it’s one shelf or 10, think about how each shelf will be balanced with all of your items. The example today is a good representation of the tip, keep your items cohesive in one way. Here I used mercury glass & different neutral textures that all work nicely together to create cohesive balance on the shelves.
2- Start from the bottom-
Put the “heaviest” items at the bottom of your shelves. Not just heavy physically, but visually. The shelves can feel grounded & make the room feel more balanced & not top heavy. For this bookshelf, I put the blankets and pillows at the bottom. The weight of the blankets together visually is a lot and really grounds the piece. As you move up from shelf to shelf, each has similar weight balanced on both sides. This lets your eye move rhythmically and easily around the cabinet.
3- Have fun arranging –
This is the fun part! Let’s start playing with those items you curated in step one.
-Hang art or set art on the shelves [Here I hung the silhouette portrait to balance out the large pot on the other side of the top shelf] & I set the clock face on the middle shelf on one side to balance out the medium pot on the other side of the middle shelf.
-Typically on shelves I will use books, but oddly in this case I didn’t. If you do use books, style them different ways like sitting up straight, lying horrizontally stacked, & layered on each shelf in different arrangements to balance each shelf. It adds a lot more interest, that way & books are an easy way to add texture, height, and weight to your shelves while also being practical at the same time.
-Work in layers start with your books & art. Begin with your larger pieces, then start add in all of your extras. Extras are your, picture frames, candles, and other items you want to display.
-Add some life to your shelves! Finish them off by adding in your greenery. This is the time when you can complete the balance of you shelves with house plants whether real or faux. Plants add that finishing touch wether it’s a simple succulent or a crawling pathos. In my opinion plants on a shelf is the secret sauce to make them pop!
-Keep playing, keep stepping back, keep checking balance on all the shelves. Check that each shelf has the same weight even if it has a lot of different items. Most importantly… make sure you like it.
That’s it for today in shelf styling 101, but since this has been one of my most asked questions… I will be back with many many many more examples and tips. Honestly a good shelf style is all in the eyes of the beholder. I truly enjoy styling, but shelf styling to me is especially fun. And it only took 10 minutes. I hope these shelf styling tips, help you become even more passionate about it as well. THANK YOU all for stopping by the blog today & every single day to see what we are up to. xx