How To Style Shelves

This last week I had the sheer pleasure of visiting my dear friend Tina’s (@to_mimishousewego) lake house! Wow! Her home is so beautiful and so full of love, I truly didn’t want to leave. 

Tina had asked me to come help her style these big built ins on the second floor landing of her home. She had some decor, but we brought some NEW products from I want to share the process of how I style shelves so that it might help you with your shelves at home. 

The easiest rule of thumb I have for you is this: try not to stack your shelf decor. If you have something tall on the right hand side, then on the next shelf you’ll want the taller item on the left hand side. It’s even better if you put a shelf in between that has no height variation. 

Here’s an example: On the top shelf use tall lanterns on the right hand side with a smaller vignette on the left hand side, like a stack of books with a bowl on top. On the middle shelf use 3 pots all the same height. On the bottom shelf use a large object on the left hand side and a smaller vignette on the right hand side, perhaps some family photos. Consider using risers like the ones we have HERE to add height to smaller items if you need to. 

When you do this, you’ll create something visually pleasing to your eyes. Your eye won’t be drawn to one particular area when you mix up the heights on opposite sides. 

Same rule applies with texture and color. If you use wood pieces, brown tones, etc. on one shelf then on the next shelf make sure that the same color is not stacked on top of the shelf below it. Put a wooden piece on one side of one shelf and on the opposite side of the other shelf. This will make sure your eye isn’t drawn to one side of your shelving. 

When breaking up these patterns try using a shelf with one item or a group of items right in the middle. I mentioned three jugs all the same size, but you could also try using a set of baskets staged in a grouping in the center of the shelf. 

You’ll want to constantly take a step back and see what it is that your eye is drawn to. You want all the colors, heights, and textures to be evenly distributed through the shelving. 

Remember to mix in greenery as well. You’ll want to evenly distribute it through out and try to use the same tones. If you’re using more muted faux florals then stay consistent. If you add a really bright or vivid pop of color in an otherwise muted botanical scheme, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

Just remember to mix the elements evenly. Include items that are important to you and bring you joy. Turn flat items on their side like I did. I turned a basket upright.

I hope this proves helpful to you! Let me know in the comments. xo!

  1. La Donna Sullivan says:

    The shelves look very nice, great info❤❤❤

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