Shelf styling is a topic I have touched on before but it’s worthy of a re-visit. I have come to realize that having the right decor at hand is key. Incorporating fundamental items and then applying some easy tips will result in a beautiful display. In this post, I am sharing a round up of decor pieces perfect for shelf styling, and also some tips I follow when arranging.
FIVE KEY ACCESSORIES ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
There is a rule of thumb I follow closely when styling any sort of shelf, whether it is an open shelf or a built-in. Groupings of odd numbered pieces is essential for the sole purpose of natural interest. Three is often the magic number, but not limited to, when it comes to decorating. There are actually five key accessories I call upon regularly, and I believe they work when creating a new space every time. When it comes to shelf styling, thinking outside the box within these five key items can help immensely.
Have I confused you yet?
Click here to see more of how I applied this principal in my warm living room refresh.
Let’s get to the five key items, then I will explain how they can take the stress out of decorating.
- Cozy Throw
- Tray ( table, books, etc.)
Obviously the first two items listed do not apply to shelf styling, so we are left with three 🙂 These are items I use time and time again, but not every time. They are meant to be a guide, so once you have the hang of grouping items such as these together, you will feel confident to merge in other elements.
DECOR PIECES PERFECT FOR SHELF STYLING
Number three on the list is the use of decorative trays. This is where an example of thinking outside the box comes into play. Trays are often used to offer up beverages and appetizers, or house a grouping of pretty decor. When it comes to styling any space, I like to think that a side table, coffee table, or a stack of books mimics that of a tray.
Here are several books that would work well when styling a shelf. Stack them in a group of three or stand them up side by side. Either way, they will coax a second glance.
The use of foliage is just a no-brainer. Plants, whether real or faux, deliver instant warmth and texture. Honestly, they are just really good space fillers. Floral stems alike, can often times be the finishing touch. Luckily for us, plants and blooms, come in a large variety of sizes and colors. When in doubt, plop a plant there 😉
Definitely another tool that can be thrown in just about any vignette; however, I would suggest avoiding built-ins/bookshelves due to improper ventilation. Unless, of course, it’s flameless. Last thing you want is a burn spot on the bottom of shelf above where the candle is sitting. Not to mention, a potential fire hazard. But, as far as open shelving and/or a mantle, go for it!! Candles, whether real or faux, and/or candle holders release a certain ambiance only they can deliver.
Another component I call upon when shelf styling is a good sized vessel. For one thing, they take up a good amount of space 😀 . They will compliment a grouping by adding height and dimension, but are capable of standing alone as well. To make an even greater impact, add some branches for interest.
Wooden Bead Garland
Jewelry for the home is what wooden bead garland is often referred to as. They are available from many different sources and come in a variety of lengths, colors, and different sized beads. Talk about versatile…. drape them just about anywhere!! I have dangled them over the side of a bowl, around the neck of a lamp, across our mantle, along our headboard, in a dough bowl, on a stack of books, around the neck of a vessel, and so on.
THROW IT ALL TOGETHER
Now that I have shared elements that work best for me when shelf styling, I leave you with tips to start! Gather all the items you want to incorporate. Place the larger pieces first, either on their own or as the start to your vignette. Add a stack of books next to the vessel and place a smaller item on top of the books. Using this method, simply repeat as you go along adding in different pieces each time. I hope my photos will guide you. You may not have the exact decorative pieces, just look at the size and shape and find something similar. I do it all the time when trying to mimic a look out of a magazine.
I truly hope I have put your mind at ease when it comes to shelf styling. Find inspiration in the photos I shared and please don’t hesitate in reaching out if I have confused you at all!! You can find even more inspo here.
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Author and photos – Martha Knake
Chief Editor – Emily Schunke