A Guide To Style Your Shelf

9 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Styled Shelf Every Time

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The shelves in your home make a statement, they can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home also give you an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings, these items turn a house into a home.

How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on the shelves in my home but I have never really thought about how I make sure they look complete, I just do it.  In order to make this list, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes.

Let’s start at the beginning so you can create a perfectly styled shelf every time!

Tip #1: First, remove everything from the shelf(s), even if some of the items will be used again. Wipe down the shelves. If they are anything like mine, they could sure use a good clean.

Tip #2: Next, wipe down all the items you removed from the shelf; seems a little silly to put the dust back on your clean shelf!

Tip #3: Now gather additional items and accessories from your home that you can add to your collection.

READY?

>9 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Styled Shelf Every Time.The shelves in your home make a statement, and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on the shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I styled the shelves so they looked complete, I just do it.  In order to make this list for you, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes! Click to read this post. Lisa Designs Life.com

Tip #4: Go ahead and group the items into categories such as books, photos and prints, boxes, plants, and art decorative items. Organizing the objects into groups will make it easier when you start your styling.

Decide on the look you are wanting to create.  Do you want pops of color, neutrals, a minimalist look, or do you already have a theme in the room you want to compliment?  You might find it helpful to read my post the ‘5 Key Items to Create a Perfectly Styled Shelf’ before you begin your styling.

Need a few new decor items?  Go ahead and can check out the Shop4You selection I have put together for you here.

9 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Styled Shelf Every Time.The shelves in your home make a statement, and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on the shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I styled the shelves so they looked complete, I just do it.  In order to make this list for you, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes! Click to read this post. Lisa Designs Life.com

Do come back and read the rest of this guide after you do your shopping and prep work! 

9 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Styled Shelf Every Time.The shelves in your home make a statement, and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on the shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I styled the shelves so they looked complete, I just do it.  In order to make this list for you, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes! Click to read this post. Lisa Designs Life.com

Alright, now that you have everything you need, let’s get this done! Knowing exactly what you need is a major part of the job so you are well on your way to creating a perfectly styled shelf. In order to keep things simple and easy, I will illustrate two different looks on one of my shelves.  After you create your first perfectly styled shelf following these guidelines and tips, I know you will be a pro Shelfie Styler,’ and no I did not say ‘selfie styler.’

In the first shelf example, shown in the top image of this post I went with bright and white. I knew I wanted to use my fave white star object and the purple/pink print in a white frame on the entryway shelf. Since I am in LOVE with pink this summer it seemed like the perfect starting point to compliment the pops of pink added to the living room decor this spring. And it was time to move some things around and change it up. Using a few items from the living room and gathering a few from around our house here is how I put it together.

Tip #5: Use things from around your home, shop for a couple new extra items ensuring you have the 5 Key Items you need to create a whole new perfectly styled shelf.

Referring to the first image at the top of the post. First, I placed the vertical print at the back of the shelf. Place your larger items on the shelf before your smaller items to make sure there is adequate space around them and the shelf doesn’t seem cluttered.

9 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Styled Shelf Every Time.The shelves in your home make a statement, and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on the shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I styled the shelves so they looked complete, I just do it.  In order to make this list for you, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes! Click to read this post. Lisa Designs Life.com

Next up was the pink bottle with LED stars on the right to add another vertical object to the shelf. This draws the eye over to the right towards the smaller items that might otherwise go unnoticed. The white swirly glass votive holder and lavender glitzy essential oils decanter were next. The bottle and the candle provide subtle lighting and soft glow in the entrance and the essential oil keeps it smelling fresh.

In my mind, I pictured my unique or different item, the geometric white star to the right of the print (where the pink glass bottle is), but once I started placing the items I soon realized the white star would be best over to the left. The white frame and white candle holder are balanced by the white star. With this arrangement, the color white is shown across the shelf to unite the style; whereas if I had used the star beside the frame the two would blend together, and there would be no white represented on the left side of the shelf.

You can purchase a geometric star from West Elm >> here.

The shelves in your home make a statement and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home also provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on my shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I put my shelves together, I just do it.  In order to put this list together, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes.

Tip #6: Incorporate one main color across the shelf to give it a unified and balanced look. Limit the shelf or shelving unit objects to 3 colors.

For the horizontal component, I chose books for this shelf style because I have a lot of them in all different colors! Placing them in front of the print I then added my natural or organic item, the white ceramic vase with pink flowers. With any shelf style don’t worry if you end up covering part of the artwork, the items in front give the shelf depth and make it more interesting.

Tip #7: Take a step back and make sure there are different heights represented. For instance, if I had used three books the flowers would be as tall as the frame which would not be visually appealing.

Last but not least, as it is actually bigger than it looks in the photo, I placed the short pink glass vase just a touch in front of the print and filled it with clear and glittery gemstones.

The LED star lit bottle, short pink vase and lavender shiny decanter fulfill the glitzy, light catching category, done deal, the shelf is complete and perfectly styled.

You can definitely tell when you walk in the door that I am addicted to pink and glam this summer!

 

For the second example, I went complete opposite from a white and bright shelf

to a neutral and light shelf.

 

The shelves in your home make a statement and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home also provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on my shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I put my shelves together, I just do it.  In order to put this list together, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes.

 

Now let’s see if I have the 5 Key Items to a perfectly styled shelf, did I miss any?

First, I added the taller items; the vertical items on each side. The bird-cage on the left and the green essential oil diffuser on the right to add height and symmetry. Your eye is drawn all the way from the left to right so you take in the entire ensemble.

I then placed the decorative storage box a tad behind the essential oil diffuser to add depth. Don’t worry if you partially hide a decorative item or print, layering is visually stimulating and an important part of any styled shelf.

The shelves in your home make a statement and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home also provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on my shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I put my shelves together, I just do it.  In order to put this list together, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes.

Then I included the larger horizontal mint green wooden box with creamy yellow flowers as it would take a fair bit of room and I wanted to ensure that I would still have free space on either side of it.  This item is one of the natural/organic items on this shelf, giving it a homey, welcoming feel.

Next, I placed the natural/organic XOXO horizontal sign in front of the bird-cage and wooden flower box. Placing the vertical sign in front of these two items makes them not appear too large, they are easily visible but not dominating the collection of objects.

The shelves in your home make a statement and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home also provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on my shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I put my shelves together, I just do it.  In order to put this list together, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes.

Finally, by placing the two smaller items: the jar with natural rope on the left, and the candle holder with burlap and dangly, glitzy silver heart in the middle I created groups of three on the left and right sides of the shelf.

Tip#8: Group smaller items in 3’s or 5’s, odd-numbered groupings are more natural and appealing. When you see an odd number your eye is forced to move around more which makes the shelf more visually interesting.

The decanter and wooden flower box add a touch mint green to the shelf while maintaining a neutral overall pleasing canvas.

Is there a key unique or interesting object on this shelf?  Do any of the items on this shelf fall into the category? Let me know in the comments below! 

For me and my style, the birdcage is the unique and interesting object.  I do not have any other decor items with birds on them nor do I own any bird cages….but I fell in love with this piece when I saw it at Home Sense.

Tip #9: Your shelf reflects you and your home, use this guide, take what works for you but remember rules were made to be broken.

The most important thing is to have fun while you are creating your perfectly styled shelf!

Check back to sign up for your Shop4You membership! For your convenience, I am currently adding a list of my all time favorite shelves and shelving units with shopping links for you.

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The shelves in your home make a statement and can compliment or deter from your complete home decorating style. The shelves you decorate in your home also provide an opportunity to display some personal items like photos, or sentimental belongings. How do you transform a shelf from a collection of stuff to a pulled together styled shelf? I am constantly rearranging items on my shelves and in my home but I have never really thought about how I put my shelves together, I just do it.  In order to put this list together, I took a step back and broke down the process to share it with you.  So here goes.

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61 responses to “9 Easy Steps to a Perfectly Styled Shelf Every Time

  1. Jen

    Wonderful tips and reminders! Your tip for limiting it to 3 colors is very helpful! That will help gather my objects! Also, “rules were made to be broken” is perfect…some of my shelves house bits of children’s art sculptures that just don’t go but deserve a spot on a shelf. Thanks!

    • Hi Kristen, I am thrilled to hear that the post motivated you to style your shelves. Be sure to send me a quick picture, I would love to see it!

  2. Great tips. I love how you designed the shelf. It could even use a BIGGER item that is twice as tall as the other items, or maybe even more than that. Thanks for sharing.

    • I agree that sometimes one could use a taller item but there is a mirror above my shelf so I have to keep the height in check so I don’t clutter the mirror.

  3. Yulianna

    Great tips, oh I know I need to follow them. Amazing article with perfect photos. Thank you so much for it 🙂

  4. Awesome post with lots of great tips for styling shelves!:) I’ll definitely be thinking of this when I have my own place someday. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. I love this! There’s something about a perfectly styled shelf that is just so satisfying. I love a couple small plants on mine to add a bit of green and freshness. Love all these tips, will have to do a little shelf update 🙂

  6. Some great tips and I love the look of your shelves – especially the neutral light shelf! I’m always rearranging my shelves because I’m never happy with them, I shall be trying your tips to hopefully find an arrangement I finally like! Thank you 🙂

  7. great tips, I personally don’t like any knick knacks that don’t serve a purpose however the items you display are so pretty I think that will be the purpose they serve 🙂

  8. These are great tips! We used a lot of them when decorating tables when I used to cater. I didn’t realize the odd-number thing, but since you mention, I’m looking at my shelves and I grouped things like that without even realizing it!

  9. Awesome tips!! I styled my ‘shelf’ above my fire place when we first moved into my new home but have been thinking of updating it a bit or switching it up for each season. These tips will definitely come in handy!

  10. Great tips thanks! I recently read the famous book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The best thing I got from that was that everything I own should ‘spark joy’ now thanks to this post I can arrange these items better 🙂

  11. Great post! I am the worst for forgetting to simply dust around the items before shooting…I also love you styling tips, I normally stick to the same accessories but I will definitely hunt around the house for things I could include in the background! Samantha xx | samanthadobbin.com

  12. Alexandria

    I’m going to save this to use when I start decorating my shelves at home! Thank you for sharing! Very helpful!

  13. I love the xoxo sign and white star! I’m looking to style my new desk soon and it has a little shelf up top that I’m trying to accessorize! These are great tips for me! 🙂

  14. Nailil

    That’s a great idea – to organize items into categories. Also to remove everything. I am re=decorating and keep having a hard time because I am not starting with a blank canvas. I need to try removing everything and starting from zero.

    Nailil
    http://thirtyminusone.com

  15. Angela Hoyos

    I so need to re-style the shelves in my bedroom. They are messy and so not pretty. I toss everything on my shelves and it’s driving me nuts! I am committed to making them pretty by the end of the month but my problem is keeping them clutter-free after I re-organize! I so agree in the rule of 3s and 5s rule. I am all about blues right now so I will totally rock this colour-theme throughout.

  16. Great tips! My problem is, I don’t have a lot of shelves in the house. But I think I could apply some of these on the cupboard/area above the sink, and the former bookshelf which I turned into a kitchen shelf. These would also be helpful when we finally move to the new house, I plan to make it homier with decor.

  17. Awesome post with great tips! I especially liked the limit to 3 colors tip. It’s something I didn’t really think about. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  18. I like the way you styled the tables/ shelves. You added a few new things to what things you already had around the house and the end product was beautiful each time. That is being very creative

  19. While styling a shelf seems like it’s easy, you have really outlined how in-depth it can be. Styling is a skill, and not everyone has it, so it’s great that posts like this can help them. While I love the styling and interior design, it’s great to still learn more about it, and new tips and tricks.

  20. Clair

    Great tips! I sometimes struggle with trying to figure out what would look best when it comes to the shelving in my house. I have doing arranging items in different heights and texture (books and floral arrangements) to work for me!

  21. It is amazing how a well-styled shelf can positively impact the design of an entire room. I love your tip for grouping items in odd numbers.