We all have that side table, nightstand, or coffee table that we can’t quite figure out how to style. It needs to be functional, but also beautiful and contribute to the style of the space. This week on the blog, I decided to do a spin-off of Easy Shelf Styling Basics to give you some styling tips and a helpful printable guide for side tables and coffee tables.Read More
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.Read More
Join me for an informative workshop demonstrating the basics of styling bookshelves, coffee tables, side tables, and more! All attendees will get access to our online guide full of tips, tricks, and graphics so you can take your new-found knowledge home and continue to practice and perfect your styling!
Attendees can also take 10% off all Gathered Mercantile purchases before or after workshop - we will be demonstrating with a lot of items from the shop that will be available for purchase if you want to imitate the same look!
I've been dying to share this design project ever since the install a few weeks ago! The finishing touches are what made the biggest difference in this space and I think the end product perfectly emulates this couple's style and vision for the space. I was also lucky to start with a pretty clean slate and had some great base pieces to work off of (the couch, ottoman, and built-ins). Take a look at some of the before photos below:
We added some more furniture pieces like the leather recliner, baluster style sofa table, and mirrored accent table to fill the room better and make the layout feel complete. I also restyled the built-in bookshelves and added quite a few new framed photos and prints, more books, + small accessories. To fill the large open window on the left side, we added a long oil rubbed bronze rod filled with several gray wool curtains from West Elm. I created some custom Kentucky map wall art to fill the large, empty wall above the couch and the barnwood frames perfectly tie the rustic, modern, and industrial elements of the room all together.
The overall color scheme of the space is neutral but with a few pops of green and blue (like these glass bottles, greenery stems, and lots of plants). I tried to tie in lots of distressed wood, recycled glass, and industrial metals to give the space that refined farmhouse feel but also lots of texture and warmth. The styling of the sofa table behind the couch did stump me at first because I'm so used to just placing lamps on these to anchor each side. Due to the location in the middle of the room, there was no way to plug in lamps without having a cord strewn across the walking space. So I went on the hunt for something tall to add some height here and the glass bottles ended up being the perfect choice (found these at HomeGoods and Hobby Lobby)! Since they are clear, they also don't block your sight lines into the living room or the natural light coming in from the windows. I placed some faux stems inside them to add color and they will last forever without wilting or watering! The super simple combination of the white pillar candles on the oval tray in the center ended up being one of our favorite elements of the entire space too. Adding a cluster of candles like this is such an easy way to make any tray, crate, or dish into a chic arrangement.
Above you can see a closer look at some of the frames and prints I chose to fill in the built-ins. They had lots of new pictures to frame since they just got married a few months ago, and I wanted to layer lots of different styles and sizes of frames to add dimension on these shelves. We also added a few Kentucky/equestrian themed prints from my shop to break up all the photos and add some unique character.
When we first met, this couple mentioned getting some type of map art to fill this wall and they really liked the idea of the divided style with multiple frames. I was able to enlarge an old Kentucky map and then divide it between four 16 x 20 barnwood frames from Hobby Lobby (the larger sizes are only available in-store but I linked some of the smaller sizes at the end of this post). I was thrilled to find these frames because they are all unique and completely made from reclaimed wood from barns and farm fencing across the U.S. I love the texture and warmth the frames add to the room and they fill the open space above the couch perfectly.
The couple also chose this mirrored side table from Ballard and I love the character it adds to the room, especially with all the mixed metals in the space. Once again, I wasn't able to use a lamp here due to it being in the center of the room, so I added some height and color with a tall pillar candle, plant, and an antique book to accessorize the table. I also added some antiqued mirrored frames to the built-ins to pull that old-world antique style throughout the room a bit.
Another favorite accessory would be this giant wood tray I picked up at HomeGoods. It is the perfect size for this oversized leather ottoman and I love that it has the industrial metal handles too. A plant and old book add a pop of color in the center of the room and make the sitting area feel complete + cozy.
I just love the timeless, cozy, and refined feel of this space and I know that this couple will be able to enjoy it for years to come. They chose so many pieces of the highest quality that will last forever, and the neutral color scheme will allow them to add in pops of color whenever they want to. It is amazing how much of a difference a few accessories and finishing touches can make to a room (which is why that's probably my favorite part of the entire design process)! I have linked most of the furniture and accessories that I used in this space at the end of this post for you to shop, but if you have questions about anything I didn't mention, just ask! If you would like more information on any of our design services, just head to our Design page and fill out the inquiry form there.
I'm excited to debut our first "how-to" video thanks to Sarah E Dunn Photo + Design! One of the questions I get asked about most often when decorating is how to style shelves so that they are both functional and beautiful. Bathroom shelves or closets are often overlooked when it comes to decorating and organization and can easily get piled up with clutter. I like to keep all the necessities close at hand in our bathroom but there are some tricks to displaying all these items so that they still look chic + organized! Check out our easy to follow video below for step by step instructions on styling your own bathroom shelves like a pro!
There's nothing more exciting than designing a space completely from scratch and surprising one of my clients with the completed look! This client wanted all new holiday decor for her mantle and trusted me completely to put together a design that she would love. I was inspired by the rest of her living room to keep the design simple + modern with lots of neutrals that would seamlessly blend in to the rest of her decor.
I was able to find most of the decorations at my favorite place, Target, which always has the best selection of unique, modern Christmas decor. I love the mix of more rustic materials (woodgrain, fresh greenery, and white-wash) with super glitzy and glam elements (like her starburst mirror, glittered trees, and mirrored snowflake garland). My favorite feature is the super modern layered garland: I topped a fresh pine garland (from Trader Joe's) with two different unique garlands from Target. I chose some simple wool and faux fur stockings too which I tucked into the garland off to one side.
I filled the rest of the mantle with a mixture of different mini trees, a distressed wood wreath, and white-washed deer. I usually play around with these arrangements to try to find the perfect balance on each side. On the ledge below the mantle I placed a gold metal basket filled with a boxwood wreath (also from Trader Joe's), another deer, and small tree off to one side. I love to use baskets on fireplace ledges to help them look less bare. You can fill them a mixture of firewood, blankets, pinecones, or greenery. I also added a few little touches to the shelves beside the fireplace to keep the eye moving across the space (all those items are from Michael's).
I love the neutral color scheme mixed with pops of fresh greenery! The best part is that all of these items are perfect for mixing and matching with so many different color schemes and styles of decor, so she will be able to use them year after year. Stay tuned to see more of my Christmas tree decorating and shelf styling for this same client later next week! In the meantime, you can shop all the items used for this mantle at the end of this post!
Today I had one of my first design appointments for the upcoming holiday season and it happened to be one of my favorite projects: shelf styling! The project was also extra special because it was for another local business owner and blogger, Deanna of Mirabelle Creations. I met Deanna through the Market 301 and she reached out to me about helping to spruce up her bookshelves in her office. This space is used by the entire family and the bookshelves are really the focal piece of the entire room. They also housed all of Deanna's supplies, files, and work materials. The challenge was to keep everything on the shelves contained in this area but make it look clean + organized. This is also the first room you see when you walk in the front door, so we wanted to be sure it looked tidy and had a little Christmas cheer.
Deanna's home is beautiful and she already had a lot of great items to work with. Most of her supplies and papers were contained within baskets or containers, which is key for having nice looking shelves. I added a few more crates and trays and rearranged and straightened her existing organizers.
One key to styling shelves in a work space is to put the least appealing looking items at the bottom and corners. That is the last place your eye will travel and you want to keep your prettiest items at the top and center. Baskets and crates always look better than stacks or piles, it creates a clean look and makes everything seem organized.
Deanna also had a lot of books on these shelves and I loved how she had organized them by color. I kept this theme going but separated them a bit, and stacked them both horizontally and vertically on many of the shelves to create more interest.
Here is the final result! All of Deanna's work supplies are contained on the bottom 3-4 shelves: easy access and everything has a place. I tried to place matching/similar shaped containers side by side for a cleaner look and I mixed in some books with some of them. The most exciting part was adding some holiday trims! When I saw the shelves, I knew instantly I wanted to hang wreaths on the outside on each side of the mirror. Hanging pictures or items on the outsides of your shelves is a great way to add depth and create a focal point.
While shopping for this project, I kept an eye out for smaller items I could mix in easily. I found several little trees, candle holders, and accessories that added a little color + Christmas cheer to the shelves. Our gold spikes are one of my must-haves for shelf styling and I used several on these shelves (stacked on books or alone). These are perfect year 'round and always add a chic touch to any space. I also noticed Deanna had several glass vases/bowls, so I brought some gold ornaments to fill them.
Finally, I always try to layer pieces when styling shelves, so I picked up some holiday-themed framed pictures and signs too. Flat pieces like this can lean on the back of the shelves (and also stack on top of books) and then you can place smaller items in front to create depth and interest.
The finished shelves look completely organized and holiday ready. Every shelf is being used and the entire space is practical and functional, but still beautiful! I love the mix of colors, textures, and timeless style. I've linked all the new items I purchased for this project at the end of this post for you to shop! If you would like more information on our design services or to sign up for our own consultation, click here. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this project for such a sweet family and I hope they enjoy it!