Styling your shelves is one of the quickest and easiest ways to decorate a room. If a wall in a room is dominated by a book case or built-in shelving, then it’s important to keep those shelves looking styled and organised.
The general rule is ‘less is more’. A fail-proof formula is to combine horizontal objects – such as a tray or stack of books – with vertical objects like vases, a lamp, a picture frame, sculpture or candlesticks, and then tie the look together with a few decorative accessories and ornaments to give character to the space.
To create dimension it’s important to draw the eye along different heights and depths – so mixing up tall items with smaller items, and vertical items with horizontal items.
Since my first shelfie, I have been steadily adding to my collection of objects. They are the things that I inexplicably love, from one-off sculptures to quirky items from my travels and the things I simply can’t leave behind in a shop. They’re dotted around on different surfaces, but most of them are used as accent pieces on my shelves.
The first thing everyone gravitates towards when shelf styling is the obvious; books. But while books make great anchors and fillers, there are so many more fun things to add to a built-in aside from reading material!
Use sculptures, trays, picture frames, and large display objects like decorative ships, (faux) coral, plants or driftwood to fill negative space and provide a backdrop for smaller items like decorative spheres and unusual ornaments.
Remember to keep balance in mind when styling each section of the shelf – always ask yourself if one side feels heavier than another. If your answer is yes, move some of the “heavier” objects around and use books for additional weight and balance.
When styling or hunting for items, keep in mind you’ll want to mix a variety of materials: wood, brass, marble, ceramics, whatever you’re drawn to!
Different surfaces and shapes will achieve depth for a curated look.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, mix, match and move things around to your heart’s content. The best part? Nothing is permanent!
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Decorative accessories, ornaments and details