5 tips to styling your shelves

One thing this house has is storage. This home came with a large built in bookshelf in the living room area. My first thought was to take it down. They were a wood cherry tone and took the entire wall. They are massive. Brandon wanted to keep them. So I decided to paint them thinking it would add a bit of style to them and maybe become an accent piece in our space. I decided to go with a navy blue/ grey tone. And let me tell you, finding the right shade of navy blue is a task on its own. But once we were done painting them (took about 3weeks), it was time to style them up. That was when a little panic set in. How was I supposed to come up with enough accessories to fill up all of these shelves? Plus I didn’t have the budget to go blow $100 on little trinkets at Tjmaxx. The next best solution was to sort through what I already had. I pull all of my favorite pieces I had collected through out the years and started setting them all out to get a good feel for them. There was a lot of Gold, Brass, Copper and white tones. So I decided to begin with a color palette. Keep reading to learn my 5 tips to styling your shelves!

Tip 1. Create a color palette

I think that narrowing down the colors to 2-3 shades helps to narrow down pieces and create a more cohesive look. It will also help when you go out shopping for extra things. For example I chose Gold/White/Green as my primary colors. So when I went out shopping and spotted a piece that I thought I could add to my shelves, I thought about my color palette and if I have enough of that specific color already. It is important to really think about what piece we want to bring in and spend our money on, instead of mindless buying things that you will not use or don’t really like.

Tip 2. Large Frames

Another thing I like is photographs and art work. I wanted to add things that meant a lot to me. Adding personal photos will personalize the space. Having larger scale photos or art work will create a more dimensional look. Make sure you measure your shelves width and height. That will help you with sizing. Stick to your color palette when purchasing frames. Black and White photos will always fit into any decor.

Tip 3. Books

What are bookshelves without any books? Books help to prop frames, candles or little trinkets. It helps create more height by adding dimension to a flat space and helps to layer items in a vignette. But before you go off to buy random books, look for some you may already own. Taking the sleeves off usually exposes a nice cover. I added books I have collected through the years, books I’ve enjoyed, a few vintage finds, and photo albums.

Tip 4. Large scale pieces

In order to create a styled look, we need to layer large scale pieces (ex. Large frames, art work, sculptures, vases). Following the rule of three, you can add one large pierce, one medium piece and one small piece to a shelf to create a visually appealing set up. It’s all about layering.

And finally…

Tip 5. Greenery

Dont be afraid to add some greenery. I love plants so much that the color green was added to my color palette. I knew I wanted to add some plants to the shelves. Plants and greenery bring life to a space. You don’t have to invest in real plants if you don’t have a green thumb (although there are some plants that are hard to kill). You can find little faux potted plants just about anywhere. You can use faux branches and stems to layer on shelves or add them to your vases.

I hope you find these tips helpful. I know how overwhelming it can be to decorate a new space. Give your self some time, find inspiration and get to it! I believe in you! 😊


Book Shelves were painted in Benjamin Moore Naval


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