Do you ever wonder where to start when decorating open shelves or a bookcase? This post is for you! 8 items to use for simple shelf styling coming your way!
Before we get started on our shelf decor ideas, I want to mention that if you have source questions about anything you see that isn’t linked at the bottom, you can shop my home here.
Also, the built-in bookshelves I’m sharing today are an IKEA hack. You can find that tutorial here: IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack – Wall Of Built-ins
(Note- this post is written based on a post I wrote almost 2 years ago. I updated it with new items & sources!)
I love to use books when styling my shelves. For the most part, I use home decor books stacked in groupings vertically & horizontally throughout my shelves. Almost all of the books I use for styling on my shelves can be found on Amazon. We keep the rest of our books stored behind closed cabinet doors.
That being said, I have seen shelves styled beautifully full of books. Room For Tuesday has a great blog post all about that here: 10 tips for shelf styling with lots of books
I also love to use decorative objects like candles, candle holders, bead garlands, and wood and marble objects throughout my shelves.
Decorative objects are the perfect things to use as a bookend to prop up books or place on top of a couple of books for some added interest & height. I’ve even stacked a decorative object on top of a lidded box.
A candle, or a grouping of candles, stacked next to an art print, or on top of a stack of books, is a no-fail way to add interest to your shelves as well.
3. vases & pots
Vases & pots are one of my very favorite things to use when decorating my shelves.
I love to fill them with faux or real greenery or flowers or style them empty. Or, a mix of both, as shown above.
They are such a great item to have on hand because they are often substantial and can fill so much space. I also like the smaller ones for stacking on books.
Next, let’s talk about decorating shelves with artwork & personal photos.
I think this is my favorite part of my shelves. I love the artwork because I can inexpensively change out the prints each season for a completely new look!
And, our shelves are where we display all of our family photos, so I love adding to them each year while keeping older photos too!
Note- if I buy a digital print, I always get them printed at Mpix.com – giclée print on their fine art paper.
Boxes are another great way to add interest to your shelves or bookcases. I love to style them stacked on top of books, like in the photo below, or place one in front of leaning artwork or books, like above.
Use boxes with different materials, like wood, rattan, brass & ceramic.
Greenery and/or flowers are really how your shelves come to life!
During the spring and summer months, I will bring fresh flowers in, but during the rest of the year, I rely solely on faux greenery!
I love to place them in baskets, pots & vases. And for the smaller ones, I like to prop them up on top of books, like shown above.
You can see in this older shot of my den above all of the different types of fresh & faux greenery & flowers you can use on your shelves.
Tip- place coasters inside your larger baskets for the faux plant to stand on. It will appear more substantial. The plant in the vase on the far left above is quite small, I just have it propped up on several coasters.
Baskets are another fantastic item to have on hand for your shelf styling.
They are great for storing items inside that you don’t want out on display, and they are also great for displaying empty, like below.
And as I mentioned, they are fun for styling as a vase for your faux greenery too, like above.
Tip- vary the sizes and shapes of your baskets throughout your shelves!
The last item I love to have on hand for styling my shelves is decorative bowls.
I like to style them empty, like the bowl above, or style them with wood beads or decorative items. (At Christmas, I like to fill bowls with ornaments.)
Tip-think outside the box! A small bowl makes a perfect bookend!