Shelf Styling 201

You all seemed to really like my Shelf Styling 101 "class" a few weeks back so I decided to give you another round of decorating tips! Welcome to Shelf Styling 201!

Like I said before, decorating isn't a science. However, there are a few rules of thumb I like to stick to when styling shelves in order to achieve a balanced, cohesive, stylish look. Just like last time, I'm going to use one bookcase to demonstrate all of my tips below so you can see them working together to create my final look.

**Please don't take these tips as strict rules, decorating is an art and you have to stick with what looks good and feels right to you. A lot of these tips can be used together and others might contradict at times, it's all a balance. Just enjoy the process and don't be afraid to have fun and experiment with your space!


1. Find your color palette and stick to it!

The best way to make a space look cohesive and well thought out is by having a specific color scheme in mind and sticking to that vision. It doesn't matter if the look you're going for is all neutrals, rainbow, or anything in between. Just don't deviate from it!

Maybe you have a decor piece you REALLY want to display on your shelf, but it's outside your chosen color palette. In this case, alter your shelf so that item is no longer out of place. I had to do this on my own shelves. Red is not a color I work with often outside of the holidays, but many of the special books I wanted to feature on my shelf had vibrant red covers. To make that red belong, I added just a couple touches elsewhere of deep, scarlet. I made sure these items matched the visual vintage style of the other items on my shelf so the only thing that stood out about them was the color. These tiny hints of red made my red books seem much less out of place without me having to fully embrace red as a big, feature color in the rest of my home.


2. Turns out Geometry IS useful!

Remember when you sat in that geometry class in high school and thought "when am I EVER going to use this??"? The time has come! Don't worry, we're not going to calculate anything. But balanced shelf styling relies a lot on lines and angles to tie your design elements together. There are very polished shelves that take this tactic very seriously. I don't think my shelves fall into that pristinely styled category, but I still do use a lot of imaginary shapes as my guide when styling to ensure everything is balanced and has a spot that makes sense. This is kind of hard for me to describe, so I've included a few pictures below to demonstrate what I mean by imaginary angles and shapes.

You can see I rely on a lot of triangles, rectangles and diagonal lines/X's. My usual thought process goes something like, "Ok, I put a basket over here... let me make sure I have a basket (or something of a similar shape/size/color) over here to balance it out.".


3. Stylish Storage

It's always a plus when decor can be functional and I try to make sure the majority of my decor does serve some kind of purpose in our home. One way to create function without sacrificing style is by adding stylish storage spots on your shelves. This also helps to visually group your decor and make everything seem neat and organized. My big sources of storage on this shelf are my blue trunk and my two white wire baskets. Having baskets that aren't so transparent would give me even more storage for the not-so-pretty, everyday items around our home, but these open baskets do give me storage for little random items (tucked in unnoticeable places) that I find myself needing throughout the day like my AirPods, chapstick, etc.