Shelf Decor and Styling Tips
Hi guys, I hope that you had a great weekend! I had a fabulous weekend and feel relaxed and recharged. It’s exactly the kind of weekend that I needed to get back in the mood to blog. I also got the gift of a little downtime which I am using to write this post. Before we get to my latest obsession of shelf decor and styling tips, I just want to say “out loud” that I know I have been absent from CT in Style. Maybe one day I will blog about what happened. I will share that my mother and sister both experienced health issues simultaneously. One of my best friends described it as an “emotional tsunami” and she was accurate. Between managing their healthcare and launching Fresh Flower Bar, this blog got neglected.
On a brighter note, things are more stable and I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m grateful for the mental distraction of a new business and of blogging, which feels like a total treat today! It’s not that I don’t want to blog, I just don’t have the bandwidth. Please know that I love this blog and I love blogging and I miss you all so much! I keep trying to figure out ways where I can carve out the time to post twice a week – and I am going to continue to work on that. Until then, I am finding quiet moments where I can write and post about things that I am passionate about. Thanks for being patient with me and for your loyalty, I always appreciate it when you stop in to read a post.
Shelf Decor and Styling Tips
Thanks to COVID-19, most of us are spending a lot more time at home. And it is also springtime. What happens when you have a lot of time at home and the urge to do spring cleaning? We declutter. We simplify. I’m staring at two book shelves completely packed with books that we have already read. A couple years ago, I begged my husband to build me these book shelves and he did. I was excitedly filling them with all the books from around our home before the paint was even properly dry. When I was finished filling them, I didn’t like how it looked. So, I took all the books down and separated them by color and re-shelved them from light to dark. Meh. Slightly better.
My dilemma is that I want beautifully styled shelves filled with decor – and just a few books. There is a constant ping-pong argument in my mind that goes something like “Books are so important, I don’t want a house without books. But, we have already read them all and except for a small collection, we will never read them again. However, the stories are important and the children might want to read them. But the shelves, what about all the pretty shelves!”
Until the argument is resolved, I can still dream. I can pin inspirational images on my Shelf Styling Pinterest Board and blog about all the pretty shelves and write about the do’s and don’ts of shelf styling. I’m sharing top tips for styling book shelves, inspirational images of beautifully styled shelves, and tips on fail safe shelf decor. I’ll even show you a shelf that doesn’t work and why.
Top Tips for Styling Book Shelves
- Use and repeat the same colors, I like using three colors (a metallic can count as a color)
- Group elements in odd numbers, 3 – 5 – 7
- Arrange the items in a triangular shape, or a zigzag pattern
- Incorporate objects that are different heights, and use books to add height
- Layer the items by placing tall, narrow items like pictures in the back and smaller items in front
- Small objects should be included but placed on a stack of books so they are grounded and look like they have a purpose
As you look through each of the images below, you’ll probably notice that several of the tips outlined have been incorporated.
Once you have decided on the shelf style you like, it’s time to fill it with decor. I always recommend “shopping your home” first. Ideally, you want your shelves to be filled with items that are meaningful to you. Once you have gathered all the items, take a close look to see if there is anything you can do to make them coordinate more with all the other items. A new frame for a cherished photograph, a plant in a different vase, or books covered in plain brown paper can tie everything together.
It will be helpful to use the images included in this blog post to learn about how to style your shelves. If you examine these inspirational images, you will notice that the decor is balanced. What I mean by that is that the items have been placed very purposefully to create a layout that is visually pleasing. Let’s take the image below as an example of what not to do:
While I like the coastal theme with the pale blue glass, white elements and gold metallics – all the items are the same height. I do like all the open space around the objects to create lightness, however, it looks flat and a little boring because there isn’t any movement. Your eye just scans straight across horizontally, because everything is even. There are no “high and low” points to force your eye to move up or down.
By contrast, the shelf below has been laid out with objects at varying heights. The spacing of color has also been well executed. This book case draws me in. It makes me want to walk up to it and take a closer look at the contents.
For the botanical lovers. Below is a book shelf that brings in plants. The reason that this shelf works so well is that the plants have been placed in a zigzag shape. Starting at the top shelf: Far left, then far right, then slightly off center, then far left.
If you share of love of books like I do and don’t want to part with them, here is a possible solution…
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. Stay safe and be well!
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