Home Design and Build

Shelf Styling Advice – Style Up A Shelf With Pro Tips

Open shelves are a quick and easy way to add a trendy and diverse sense to any area. However, looking up at your large empty shelves might make you feel like a painter staring at an empty canvas or a writer considering a blank page. For many homeowners, the concept of shelf styling is intimidating, to put it mildly. And it is frequently challenging for them to know where to begin in terms of their own style. Before styling up their empty shelves, homeowners may have several questions, such as “How can I organize things to appear good?” How should I organize my items? Should I organize the items by size or by color?
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“Shelf decorating can create a vibrant and welcoming home décor. Empty shelves indicate a lack of interest in certain areas of your home. Styling shelves may also be beneficial; for example, you can install multifunctional decorations on shelves in certain spaces to serve practical functions.”

However, homeowners don’t realize that designing open shelves can be an intriguing design project in and of itself, as you must carefully arrange the patterns and the spacing between the pieces to create a layered and sophisticated vibe in the room.

It’s an ideal approach to incorporate your individuality and style into the design and décor and make seasonal modifications. So, our home design and build experts are here to give you some exclusive pro suggestions to help you conquer your shelf decorating nightmares and give your home a powerful, pulled-together look.

Consider the following basic shelf styling tips if you want to add visual appeal to your shelves:

Explore The Utility: Each area in your home has a particular function, and the shelves in those rooms should reflect that. Decorative dishes, bowls, and the like can be stored on shelves in your dining area, while candles and key chains might be stored side by side on a shelf near your doorway. A bathroom shelf may accommodate both decorative items and toiletries, whereas a home office shelf can house family portraits or ancestral pencil sharpeners.

Make Things Right: Depending on your design style, you may like more or less on your shelves, but you should avoid having too much dead space or clutter. You may still utilize decorations on relatively open shelves, but you may want to use the same materials sparingly on a more cluttered shelf

Consider Color Scheme: Anything you put on your shelves should complement the paint color pallet of the shelves and the space as a whole. Color clashes may be distracting and unappealing to the eye. Consult a color wheel or other resources to find out which colors go together with one another.

Steps To Style up Your Open Shelves:

Step 1: Learn how to layer

A more visually beautiful arrangement has various sizes, shapes, textures, and colors that all function in harmony and balance throughout the shelves. A traditional layered shelf begins in the rear with a frame, plate, or another shallow object. To provide depth, place things in front. Because our eyes naturally seek for comparable elements together, so strive to present complementing shapes together for more effect.

Step 2: Understand the importance of balance in shelf styling

Because shelves have a lot of empty space to occupy, balance and visual weight are important factors in doing it right. Make sure your shelves aren’t overcrowded, but if you go too sparse, your décor will seem lost in an empty cube. Large sculpture pieces may undoubtedly stand alone when arranging shelves. However, smaller sculptural things should be grouped in pairs or act as an accent item to a vignette or stack of books. Your shelves should be symmetrical as well.

Step 3: Make a gallery wall without hanging Images

A shelf of images and pictures may look gorgeous and is an excellent way to be versatile with your artwork. It enables you to move things around and, if you want to alter things up, it’s simple to switch photographs. Style the painting by using a variety of sizes and overlapping the frames to give the exhibit a casual and spontaneous vibe. The thin ledges are great for this type of arrangement since they resemble a gallery wall but lack the hooks.

Step 4: Bring out your inner librarian

If you have books, be sure you have enough space to keep them. Thinking about the arrangement will not only make it simpler to discover a certain book, but it will also make the collection more visually appealing. You may also arrange your books by color on a single shelf. However, be mindful of overdoing it with a huge collection since it might make it difficult to find the book you’re looking for

Step 5: Maintain a varied and personal style

Display inherited knickknacks, quirky collections, and images you cherish on your bookcases to reflect you and your family. A display of personal items will add warmth and charm to the space. Make your presentation more casual to give the shelves a more natural appearance.

Step 6: Go for a minimal appearance

The simplicity of minimalist styling, on the other hand, may work well. To tie the design together softly, choose things that mimic the forms and colors of other furniture and décor in the area

Clean white lines and the absence of unnecessary adornment might help you attain a Scandinavian atmosphere. You may soften the effect by using leafy plants

Step 7: Keep open shelves clear of debris

If your shelves are in the shape of a room divider, keep the goods on show to a minimum. This will keep the environment feeling bright, airy, and tidy. Divider shelves came into their own in the mid 20th century when open-plan living rooms became popular, so select some pieces from that era to mimic the design. You may easily design your old teak divider with a few well-chosen pieces.

Step 8: Include artwork

Artwork is an often-overlooked addition that looks great on a shelf. It adds personality and allows you to exhibit your design ideas. Simply put a piece up, or hang bigger pieces over the molding’s cross-section for a more “library” aesthetic. The artwork also attracts the eye to the rear of the shelf, allowing for a more visually layered, depth-filled effect. When designing shelves, keep in mind that artwork takes up numerous shelf space. Therefore, it is better for bigger shelves (instead of crowding large shelves with too many small objects).

Step 9: Incorporate style

So you’ve gathered your entire shelf styling necessities! However, this is only half the fight! The last step is to easily mix all shelf styling tips mentioned above together for a new and unified appearance. Combine texture, size, and tone, but stick to a single color palette or style. The honest answer to making a shelf seem flawless is to spend the time styling and editing until everything is in place!

Some additional shelf styling ideas:

Plants: Plants are the trendy option opted by homeowners these days. They are also an excellent way to bring life into your home design! Generally having one plant for every four shelves you are styling is the great way to bring nature to your home.

Candleholders: You may choose between standard candle holders and unusual, interesting ones. They are an excellent accent to any shelf design, regardless of style.

Texture: To bring texture to your shelf, search for interesting woven baskets, wooden prayer beads, and small boxes.

Books: Without a doubt! Many homeowners choose to store books in the same color scheme as the rest of the room; you can do the same! Books may be an excellent complement to an open shelf.

Vases: Vases do not have to be used only when there is anything to fill them with. Sometimes an empty vase is preferable to one filled with flowers. It’s significant and substantial, yet it offers your eyes a break.

Images, Art Prints, And Photographs: These three items are ideal for sprucing up your dull and uninspiring open shelves.

Risers: Risers are an excellent method to add dimension to your shelf décor. They’re also fantastic for layering.


Finally, enjoy and have fun with the complete process of shelf styling. Let your imagination and creativity run wild while decorating your shelf and eventually surprise your guests with the sophisticated shelf décor and arrangement.  It takes effort to style up a shelf, but our shelf styling ideas will help you give it a new and coherent look.  Decorate shelves like an expert with the shelf styling tips shared above!

Remember that how you style your shelves reflects your personality. With this shelf styling advice, you can also follow your instincts and show off what you enjoy.  So, start sprucing up your open shelves to give your complete home a chic look!

Stay tuned with Homednb’s blog page to get more interesting and inspiring styling advice to style up every nook of your home!