I often get asked “How do you style shelves?” The answer could be simple & I could just say that I play around with the shelves and the decor until I’m happy. Honestly that’s how it goes… I LOVE playing around & changing our decor around & you all know that… so that is the simple truth. But when you dig a little deeper & you break it down more there are some simple rules that I follow & I wanted to quickly demonstrate that for you today to hopefully help you in your shelf style adventures. I went & styled a cabinet in our living room this afternoon to share with you guys so that I could share what goes on in my mind when styling shelves. This is one of many posts I’ll be doing on this subject because it really is one of the most frequently asked questions so stay tuned for more…
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 them up start thinking about balancing all your shelves out whether you are styling bookcases, kitchen shelves, or media shelves & beyond. Whether it’s one shelf or 10 really start thinking about how each shelf will be balanced with all of your items as you are gathering your items together. This example I’m giving today is a good representation of this important tip: Keep your items you are gathering 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-
Technically I don’t always do this because… well, I’m kind of scattered when I decorate, but this is a friendly reminder to put the “heaviest” items at the bottom of your shelves. Not just heavy physically, but also items that are visually heavy so that 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 not because they are physically heavy and I don’t want the piece to tip over from being heavy at the top, but because the weight of the blankets together visually is a lot and really balances the piece out by adding a lot of weight to the bottom. As you move up from shelf to shelf you can see that each has similar weight balanced on both sides & your eye can 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 After you have those arranged on the shelves start adding in all of your extras like picture frames, candles, and other items you want to display.
-Add some life to your shelves! Finish them off by adding in your greenery. If you are like me, you want to add more plants than you need, but 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. As you keep playing around with the decor & you keep stepping back you will get in the groove of styling your 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, but since this has been a huge topic and 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 and you all know that, but shelf styling to me is especially fun like this one I whipped up in 10 minutes to demonstrate so I hope through me sharing my shelf styling and my tips that it helps 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
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