Whether it’s a built-in piece, bookcase, or shelves framing a fireplace, shelf styling can set the tone for a room, but can also be challenging! Today on the blog, I break down shelf styling into a few easy steps that you can implement in your space.
When styling, focus on balance, layering, and variation. The shelf needs to appear visually balanced and “equal” on each point of the center line. Also make sure you’re laying pieces in front and behind each other while incorporating elements of different heights and sizes.
Here are the steps you can follow when styling your shelves:
Start by placing largest items first. Items should vary in height, visual weight, and overall size.
Use stacking pieces when needed to create interest and add height, such as books, trays, trivets, platforms, and risers.
Photographs and artwork can lean against the back wall or be propped up with an easel.
Create depth by layering items within the shelf and stacking items in front of one other.
Evenly disperse and vary items throughout based on the color and type of item.
Fill in spaces at the end with smaller trinkets and accessories.
Use books by stacking them horizontally or vertically + placing trinkets or accessories on top
Hide unsightly items (that must remain on the shelf) in baskets.
Some of my favorite items to use for styling shelves: old books, framed photos, trays, candles, vases, planters, plants (faux or real), jars, artwork, prints, lanterns, candlesticks/candleholders, bowls, orbs, + baskets.
I hope this helps you when styling your shelving units and I would love to see what you create or your thoughts in the comments below! I also created this helpful graphic for you to reference as you're putting your own shelves together! This will help guide you while shopping or styling your space - feel free to print + share with your friends!