Happy New Year!! I hope you are all having a great start to 2021! I’ve been busy over here putting Christmas away, decluttering, and cleaning my house. I must say, it feels so good to start the year off with a clean and simple look. One space that I started with are my new built-in shelves in my shiplapped media cabinet. I wanted to style them with a collection of items that I love and that showcase my personality. It was so much fun and a bit therapeutic giving them a fresh new look, and it got me thinking that shelf styling should be fun and not stressful like it can be for so many. Today, I am so excited about giving you some ideas and a formula to help you get started on your own shelves. Whether you are decorating a book shelf in your living room or open shelves in your kitchen, you can use this list of items as a guide to perfectly styled shelves. So, let’s get started! Here are my tips on how to decorate shelves!
Shelf Decor Ideas
Whenever I am styling a shelf, there are a few items that I always gather. It’s good to start with a variety of each category so you have different sizes, shapes, and colors to choose from. I usually pick up items here and there while I’m out, but it’s also fun to shop items around my home. My shelf decor categories include books, plants, pictures, vases, bowls, baskets, and some of my favorite knick knack ideas.
While planning out your shelf design, keep in mind that it is important to have items that stand out and make a statement, while other pieces need to be simple and plain to bring balance to your shelves. As you can see on my shelves, I chose similar items on each side to give my shelves a balanced and cohesive look.
The most obvious item to put on your book shelves are of course…books. It is also an item that you probably for sure have around your home. Don’t feel like you need to line your book shelves with only books. Use a few stacked together either laying down or standing up. You can also add in some of your favorite coffee table books to act as risers for other pieces of decor to sit on. I shared a few other ways to decorate with books if you want to check it out. I also added a few of my favorites below!
Knick Knack Ideas
Knick knacks are what I consider to be a fun and interesting touch to your shelves. These items can be anything, but my favorite knick knack items to include on my shelves are wood beads, knots, paper weights, wood balls, small sculptures, or anything that adds a touch of fun to your shelves. You can see some of my favorites below!
Picture and Sign Ideas
Art, framed photos, or even small signs are a great way to take up space while also making them the focal point of a shelf. Anytime I style with a picture, I make sure to pair it with smaller and simple pieces. As you can see below, I added similar abstract art pictures to my shelves. You can see a few more abstract art pictures and other favorites below.
Adding beautiful pottery or vases to your shelf is a great way to bring in some height. It’s also a great way to mix and match some of your favorite pieces in order to create a cohesive look to your shelves. Smaller vases are great for sitting on top of stacks of books , while larger vases can make a statement and simplify and area. Below, you can see a few that I used on my shelves along with some of my other favorites.
I love decorating with bowls because they can serve so many purposes. They can stand alone and look beautiful or you can add plants or beads to them to create layers and dimension. You can see a few that I love below!
Other Shelf Decor Ideas
You can also add in real or faux plants, candlesticks, boxes, baskets, jugs, sculpture, or figurines to your shelves just to name a few. The possibilities are endless. One thing to also keep in mind when you are decorating your shelves is to choose a general color palette. For my shelves, I chose wood tones, whites, creams, grey tones, and a pop of gold. Focus on 2-3 colors and be sure to spread them out to create a cohesive look.
So, I hope this post was helpful and gives you a starting point on how to decorate shelves in your own home!! Don’t forget to have fun with it and play around with different designs until it feels like YOU!