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How to Style Your Open Shelving

How to Style Your Open Shelving
    When it comes to decorating your shelving, there are definitely some tips and tricks to making it look cohesive and beautiful. We often hear of clients or friends who can't decide what exactly to put on their shelves. It can be a long process of finding just the right items to make it feel like it works together. Sometimes you can't help but go overboard with items for your shelves and then you find that nothing really goes together! 
    We've gathered some of our best tips for avoiding frustration and over spending when it comes to decorating your shelves:
  1. Pick a color theme.
  • Look around your home and see what your color palette you're working with. Take a few pictures of what piece you already have and a few photos of the colors on your wall. When you go shopping, it will be much easier to remember what you already have!
  • If you’re looking to redecorate completely, head over to the paint store to pick up some paint cards to see what colors you like together. We recommend choosing 3-4 colors as your main choices.
  • If you do want to use a lot of color, consider sticking to collecting items that are similar. Here’s a rainbow book shelf that utilizes a lot of color but only one item: books.

modern farmhouse decorating shelves

2. Find items that are different sizes and textures.

  • Items of different height and width create a more interesting flow for the eye.

how to make a beautiful shelfie



3. Start out with what you have.

  • Build upon a few of your favorite pieces. Remember, quality over quantity! Too many items can make it seem overcrowded and cluttered. Plus, items that you truly love and spark joy will keep you enjoying your decorating for much longer. 
  • Gather up the items you plan on using and take a picture of them. Take note of the color, textures, and sizes you have. That way when you're shopping, you can compare how things will look with what you already have.

shelf decorating home

styling a shelf with family photos4. A classic rule of thumb in decorating is to group objects in sets of three or five. Odd numbers are the most pleasing to the eye.

  • It's a scientific fact that groups of three are more appealing to the eye and encourage it to explore more.
  • Try to make items in each group should be different in size: one tall, one medium, and one short item.

how to decorate shelves

sets of three5. Layer it up.

  • Be mindful of height and size when styling in accents. Place bigger pictures and vases towards the back then layer forward with photo frames and smaller accents at the front. Try arranging treasured keepsakes on top of your horizontally stacked books to add dimension to your shelf.

layering items for decorating a shelf

layering shelving decor

6. When in doubt, add plants.

  • Plants come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors that it’s easy to find one that fits your aesthetic. If your shelf isn’t near a window or you don’t have somewhat of a green thumb, faux plants are just as good with no maintenance.
  • Here are some ideas:

plants on shelves

Do you have any tips for decorating your shelves? Drop us a comment below to let us know!
  • Laura Hinkes

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