Keys to shelf styling and refreshing your spaces

shelf decor, shelf styling

We made it you guys! It’s 2021 and I could not be happier to be writing my first blog post in this brand new year. We left up some of our Christmas decorations until New Years. But, like many of you once the new year hit, I was ready to put it away, declutter and create fresh new spaces.

It’s so odd how the house can feel so empty after removing all the holiday decor. Since I am still brainstorming changes to our spaces for the coming year I thought I would start with something simple. Shelf styling in our great room.

Shelf Styling Tips and Tricks

I have been asked for years to get a blog post together on shelf styling tips and since this is the year of YES, here it is!

Shelf styling can be overwhelming for alot of people. I think alot of the time people aren’t sure where to start, what items look good, compliment one another and do not create a look of clutter.

Start Simple, and pick a color pallet that speaks to you

I have found that starting simple is key. Also picking a color pallet is incredibly helpful. For our great room I have white shelves on either side of a fire place. Because my shelves are white it is important to pick items and decor that provide some contrast. I love blacks, browns and beige.

shelf styling decor

Choose decor that correlates with the season outdoors

For the new year, I still wanted to keep the wintery vibe which is why I kept neutrals but also pulled in some of the browns/terracottas. With each season you can choose decor that correlates with the colors outside. For example in the fall I love adding in earthy tones and in the spring, fresh greens and blues.

coffee table books, shelf styliing

When beginning shelf styling, put all of your decor on the floor and organize it by type

When starting to style your shelves I recommend putting all of your decor on the floor and starting with blank shelves. Organize your decor items by type: for instance all of the books together, vases together, and doo dads together.

If you have shelves that are side by side, I recommend picking a color and adding something of that color in every other shelf. In the photo below you can see I chose something black or dark color in every other shelf on each side. I then contrasted that with neutral accessories.

Find unique pieces that are different shapes and sizes

Vases and bowls are beautiful on their own and can be used to fill spaces. I love finding unique shapes and sizes. Honestly, the more texture the better. Visually appealing pieces that are neutral color are calming to the eye but also break up the space.

Adding dimension

You can add height by placing an object like this linked marble chain on top of stacked books. Coffee table books with neutral bindings are great items to use on your shelves as well. Here is a link to one of my favorites. If you want to put your regular books on your shelves but think the bindings are too bright, I really like turning them the opposite way so you can see the pages rather than the binding.

Pick pieces you love and just get creative with it

Shelf styling does not have to be as scary as you think. My biggest pieces of advice is to just pick pieces you love and start playing around with them. Gather a variety of items such as books, vases, found objects, clocks, book ends and begin playing around with them. Start stacking or layering pieces in front of one another.

Less is more

In my opinion less is more. I don’t really think you can go wrong shelf styling unless it becomes cluttered with too many items. Find a consistent theme and just roll with it. In some ways it can be thought of as art. Find some creativity in it. If you don’t like they way it look often it takes a simply moving object to a different shelf and so on to get the perfect look.

Below you will find links to the new products I got for our shelves. As always thanks for using my links and supporting Kaylahaven. I also have a significant amount of decor linked in my shop page that I have used in my own home and works great for shelf styling. You can find that page here.

shelf styling decor

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