The most common question I get from clients is, “How do I style my shelves?”. Most people throw up a couple family photo’s and maybe a few knick knacks and call it good. But what they really want are shelves that create a beautiful backdrop for their space. I put together these 4 steps on how to style shelves so that you can finally tackle yours like a pro.
Step one: Clear & Choose a Color Palette
Go ahead and empty your shelves and start to make organized piles on the floor. Put all like items together, I usually start with frames/family photos, candles, vases, greenery/plants, and books. Now you can decide on a color palette. This will help you stay on track and help narrow your choices when out shopping. I like to find an item in the room that inspires me and use that as my jumping off point. This could be a rug, throw pillow, or a piece of art. I used this rug as my jumping off point for my color palette. It has pretty rust tones and dark navy/black running throughout. So my color palette was creams/ivories, rust, gold and black for my shelves.
Step Two: Gather what you already have
Next you’re going to “shop your home”, go around and gather items to add to your piles. Make sure they fit into your color palette! If you have any items that have sentimental value grab those as well, they will make your shelves that much more special.
Step Three: Measure & Shop
Now that you know what you have, you also know what you need. Make sure you measure your shelves so you can ensure your new items will fit. (I carry around a mini tape measure at all times when shopping because you never know when you’ll see that perfect piece.) My rule when shopping is over buy and return what you don’t use. I like to have lots of options when styling my shelves. Here are some items I like to buy when I’m out shopping for clients homes.
BOWLS & DISHES
Step Four: Style Those Shelves
I like to work in layers when styling shelves. Start with a large framed photo or art piece and place it in the back of your shelf. I will usually do this in at least 2 places when working with several shelves.
Next, I grab my books and stack them making different levels. This helps with adding dimension to your shelves. You can also lean books vertically against heavy objects like boxes or larger plants. If you don’t like the spine of the book just flip it, I actually like a mix of the two.
For the final touches I like to use the triangle rule. Basically, you want to create a triangle with the objects on your shelves by using similar colors or like items. Once your items are in place step back and check for your triangles. I adjust at least 3-4 times till I’m happy. And then I’ll even catch myself walking by days later and tweaking it some more.
Remember practice makes perfect. This isn’t something you’ll get right away probably but it’s a lot of fun playing with your decor and learning these little tips and tricks. Enjoy and please let me know your thoughts or even share your styled shelves with me in the comments below!