The Art of Styling Shelves

February 13, 2017

Photo by I don't know how she does it

The secret to styling shelves lies in the accessories that are about to take the stage. Shelves are the perfect place to display collections — but, most importantly, they are the silent speakers of your home’s personality.

Choosing pieces that conjure up memories from a special moment in life, photos of people or places that are dear to us, or even a great find that makes us feel like we’ve just discovered a treasure, are elements that bring life to our home and tell a story about who we are. Here are some basic tips for making the most of your shelves.

Photo by I don’t know how she does it

Start with the big pieces. If you’re styling more than one shelf, try to put one big element on each one. I started by placing the big vases first.


Photo by I don’t know how she does it

Now bring in framed art or photos. Again, try distributing these among the shelves. You can always layer more than one frame together, but it is easier for the eyes to find balance if you use one as a focal point.


Photo by I don’t know how she does it

Each shelf needs to find balance within itself. Grouping all the large or small elements to one side creates a visual imbalance and will make the wall seem tilted. In my arrangement, you can almost trace a letter Z — starting from the top left side and ending with the bottom right — which helps to create different point of interests. This flow is typically how the human eye moves around a layout.


Photo by I don’t know how she does it

To finish this setting, I added small accessories to fill any obvious blank areas.


Photo by I don’t know how she does it

Always remember to take your time when styling your shelves. Don’t try to rush the process and keep in mind that there’s no perfect way to tackle this project.


GIF by I don’t know how she does it

Just go with your heart and let the soul of your home be part of your display.


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