It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… A Very Vintage Christmas. If you have been visiting the blog and staying up with us on our social channels you may have noticed we have taken our doors back off and are displaying them as open shelving again in our library. People have been asking why did we go back, and in all honesty it comes down to the shelves not being fully utilized as I intended. With too many closed doors, I did a lot of stuffing and hiding, rather than the organized shelves I originally intended. With that extra space hiding messes, I am less organized. Doing a quick inventory and some proper organization, I boiled everything in these (formerly closed) upper cabinets down to one lower cabinet. Knowing my household, we would quickly result back into filling those cabinets back up, we took the doors back off.
Why Did I choose to go back to Open Shelves
My goals for this room have changed a lot. We have some big plans for this space that we are dreaming about creating in the future. For now, I want this room to serve a purpose without being too much of a block from the front of the house and the kitchen. We’ve had several conversations about what this room is. It’s a little hard to style and if you know me, you know that I love changing things up all the time in our home to better serve our family and our lifestyle. One thing I love about this room is the library shelves and now that we opened up some of the shelving, It really gives me a blank slate to create vignettes on the shelves whenever I please. Being an interior designer who uses their house to help other design, I though utilizing these shelves would be a great way to showcase different looks and vignettes down the road. For today, we are going to look at How to Style Shelves for Christmas. It can be a little extra space on a kitchen shelf, or a bookcase in sitting room. If you have a flat space you can put decor, these tips will get you that perfect look for your seasonal decor.
How to Style Shelves for Christmas Tips
- Consider Your Five Senses
- Consider Hanging Some Items
- Make it Cohesive
Consider Your Five Senses
Direct & Implied
If you have picked up any of my design books, you know that cozy to me is my five senses being at peace at once. This goes beyond shelves, when I approach any design or vignette large or small, I start here. Thinking about each of my senses, and how I am going to address each of them individually. Some of the senses are addressed directly and others are implied. You may not get to every sense but it is truly the best way to approach every design. An example of what I mean, is the perfect element of smell is your favorite cozy candle. But touch can be implied by displaying various textured items or folded linens. You may not directly enjoy those items but you imagine what they may feel like.
For this space, the sense of touch or feeling, I displayed contrasting textures from the generally cold feeling found in stoneware, glass, and porcelain with the warmer feeling found in the woodland and earth tone textures of the faux seasonal greens. Since this is a larger display, throughout the entire room, I was able to bring in the seating area and table, and brought in a cozy Christmas candle from Antique Candle Co. to add the perfect Christmas smell to the room. This room is right off the kitchen, and we have found ourselves and guest migrating over to this more intimate space to talk and laugh over the coffee night cap, making it the perfect way to address our sense of taste and hearing. In all, it is a beautiful room to look at in passing or sit and enjoy, completing all five of our senses.
Make it Cohesive
Cohesive, not Theme
Designing a space larger or small, look for way to make it cohesive. I like the word cohesive here rather than using the term Theme. Generally I don’t like to use that word because it constrains the design both from the designers stance and from the personal enjoying the room. If I were to address this space as the Stoneware themed Christmas, you simply just focus on the the stoneware… and if I suggest to people to display items using a theme they follow a more direct approach, not allowing their creativity tether around a cohesive idea.
How do you want the eye to move
Again, with my built-in shelves spanning the entire room, I was able to jump into the shelves if you will, and bring in the top of the table as additional element into the design. Maintaining a healthy visual sense of the scale for each shelf unit, I created space where they look together from a afar, but also styled great as they stand alone as individual shelves. If you have open shelves, or a bookcase think about how you want your eye to walk around the space. For me, the person taking in the the design is primarily looking at the space as they pass through from the front to the kitchen. They are going to briefly take in the space as a whole panning from left to right, rather than walking up to each bookshelf unit individually like an art gallery. With that, I made the room cohesive by utilizing the same or similar elements of stoneware, porcelain, and glass, in additional to neutral seasonal decor items faux greens. The main palette is clearly all neutral, allowing for the faux greens and some wood elements to really pop.
My cohesive approach
The cohesiveness of the room is also achieved by integrating majority vintage and antique collections, with a small few holiday and seasonal elements. Many people think in order to create a lovely Christmas scene, you need Christmas decor… not necessarily. Looking at this space I would say its clearly a cozy neutral White Christmas vignette, but really the only true Christmas decor are the two Santa’s I have on the shelves. Once you see those, the rest is perfectly implied. This holiday season I have stress the need for implied Christmas decor, because after Christmas, I can pull those two Santa’s out, and just like the space is perfectly designed with Winter Decor.
Consider Hanging Some Items
Bring the Eyes up
The great thing about decorating shelves is they are a flat area for all the things, but with that… they are a flat area. Consider hanging some items when you can. If you are hesitant with nailing or screwing items up, 3m Strips are a great way to get things off the shelf and up on the wall with no damage to the wall after you are ready to take everything down. We hung the mirror to get it center in the its little space, and lifted the to picture with picture stands. In the past, like last year’s blog post, Cozy Neutral Christmas Built-Ins, I hung a banner across to the front of one shelf to help bring the eye up. There are all kinds of unique ways to help bring the eye up, and I would suggest trying to find a way to make the space that much better.
I gathered some cozy items if you are inspired to purchase some items for your own library shelves. You can shop them by clicking the images below:
See how this room has changed here [HERE].
For more tips on styling your bookshelves, check out my new book Cozy White Cottage Seasons, available now! If you are interested in seeing more of my winter decor, inspiration, and DIY’s, click here [HERE]. What are some of your favorite items to add to your shelves during the Christmas and Winter Season? Collecting decor can be a slow process, but I hope this Cozy Christmas Wonderland look helps inspire you! I would love to see your own bookshelves on Facebook or Instagram. Thanks for stopping by the blog today and stay cozy!