Do you struggle with how to decorate your open shelves or bookcases? Sharing 8 simple steps to easily decorate your shelves.
Before we get started on our how to decorate shelves & bookcases, if you missed it last week, I shared a blog post all about the types of decor I like to use when styling my shelves. You can read that blog post here- 8 Items To Use For Easy Shelf Styling.
Also, my shelves shown below are an IKEA hack! Yep, that’s right. Read all about it here- IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack – Wall Of Built-ins.
Lastly, this method works no matter how big or small your shelves are! You may have to choose smaller items, and you may not have room for multiples of each item, but you can still use this as a blueprint.
Now let’s get shelf styling!
step 1- start with a blank slate
Even if you know you are going to keep an item on the shelf, I like to remove everything, give it a good dusting, and start with a blank slate.
Next, I like to make piles of each type of item I’m going to use. Again, this blog post goes over each of the items I have on hand when I’m styling my shelves- 8 Items To Use For Easy Shelf Styling
step 2- books
I like to start with books- placing them vertically & horizontally throughout the shelves. I also vary the location on each shelf. For instance if I’m laying two books horizontally, I will place them on the opposite side of the shelf for my next stack.
Note: I use books sparingly, and mostly larger home decor books. We have a lot of space behind the doors where we keep the majority of our books. If you want to have more books out, I recommend this blog post by Room For Tuesday- 10 Tips For Shelf Styling With Lots Of Books.
P.S. if you want to know which coffee table books are my faves, you can read all about that here- 16 Of The Best Coffee Table Books & How To Style Them.
step 3- place larger pieces
Next, I like to place my larger items such as oversized vases & baskets. Again, I vary where I’m placing them, and try not to place like-items directly next to each other. Some of these items will get greenery and/or flowers later on in the process.
(enter the kitten)
At this point in my styling, our kitty entered and wanted to join the shelf decor party!
step 4- artwork & family photos
Artwork time! This is the point where the shelves really start to come together! I place my artwork & family photos throughout the shelves. I like to vary the type & color of the frames; however, I do like to stick to a color scheme throughout my shelves with the actual artwork. This does change depending on the season, too. (I love to switch out my prints each season.)
If you are interested in where I get my art, find that blog post here- Where To Buy Artwork For The Home.
step 5- top shelf
At this point, I like to style the top shelves. I feel like it is easier to balance out the overall look of the shelves if I place larger items up top. You don’t want tiny decor to get visually lost up there! So the top is where I keep it pretty simple with more substantial pieces.
step 6- greenery & flowers
Adding the greenery &/or flowers will really bring your shelves to life! During the spring & summer, I will bring in fresh flowers, but the rest of the year I rely on faux greenery! Above, I have used faux stems as well as faux plants. I love to place them in baskets, pots & vases.
Note: if you want to read all about my favorite faux greenery, you can find that blog post here- 19 Of The Best Faux Plants And Branches
Step 7- fill in empty spots with decorative objects
Once you have placed the majority of your decor, you will want to fill in the spots that look empty. You can see from the above photos, some shelves didn’t get anything added, while others had a couple different items added.
I placed vases as bookends on a couple of shelves; a couple of larger vases were added; a box was placed on a stack of books; a wood decorative object was placed on the far shelf.
last step- step back & edit
Lastly, you will want to step back and take a look and then edit anything that doesn’t look right. Take away, switch things around, add things in until it looks balanced. Sometimes less is more!
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to add a comment below!
You can Shop My Home to find sources shown above!
8 Items To Use For Easy Shelf Styling
IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack – Wall Of Built-ins
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