Most of us know how exhausting it can be to style shelves in your home. It is one of those tasks that take forever to get PERFECT. After much trial and error, I finally found a few techniques that work best for me when I decorate shelving. 


1.     Take Everything off the Shelf

When you begin decorating, make sure you start with a blank canvas. Lay every piece of decor out where you can see it, but make sure there’s nothing on the shelves. This is when you can start brainstorming what you want the shelf to look like. I personally always start with “leaners.” I fill the back spaces of shelves before I run out of room. I’ve had major success by starting out with this piece of advice!

2.     Keep Things Simple

When I used to see a shelf, I’d think, “I need as many items to fill this space as possible.” WRONG! You want to keep things spread out and you want to avoid clutter. In my opinion, less is more in this situation.

3.     Think Out of Your Comfort Zone

You don’t need to think about symmetry, even though I know this may be hard for some of you! Put items that typically wouldn’t go together next to each other, and you’ll be surprised the way the combo can look on a shelf! I love the idea of placing asymmetrical items together because they balance each other out. 

4.     Arrange Books by Color

Make sure you keep things somewhat color coordinated, especially books. This is a way to make the shelf look put together. Don’t get me wrong, I still love mixing up colors, but when it comes to books, try to stay within the same color range! Uniformity with books will help keep everything else orderly, even if you take risks elsewhere. 

5.     Add Tall Objects On the Ends

After I have filled the shelf spaces, I make sure the ends each have a piece of taller decor on them. This helps lengthen the look of the shelving and helps them not look cluttered. I sometimes put tall objects in the middle, but I try to avoid it if I can.

6.     Fill in the Gaps

Finally, fill in the gaps where there are no decor pieces. You will be surprised, but to me, this is the hardest part. I do my best to not move items around too much, but I still focus on trying to fill the open spaces. My tip for you here is: go for it! You might think to yourself, there’s no way this clock would look good there, but, you don’t know unless you try! I can almost guarantee it will look good no matter what! Another tip is to take a break before you make finishing touches. It always helps me to step back and come back to my project later with a fresh eye.

Overall, decorating shelves sounds intimidating, but the more you practice, the better you get! Focus on changing things around for each season or holiday, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro! I used to overthink when decorating shelves, because I was so concerned they wouldn’t turn out! Now shelf styling is one of my favorite things to do!