One of the most frequent requests we get when decorating a living room is help with styling built-ins. 📚
And trust us, we get it. 💯
Because as beautiful as they are, it can be a legit struggle to fill in those large empty spaces with pieces that are both meaningful and cohesive! 🤷🏻♀️
While there’s no exact science to styling shelves-
a dozen different stylists will come up with a dozen different looks, all of which will be beautiful in their own way- there ARE a few basic techniques that can help make the process a whole lot easier, and create that calm, cohesive, finished look you’re searching for. 💫
So to that end, here are a few fun tips that we incorporated in our most recent project that can have you styling your shelves like a pro in no time! ✨
First, start with a clean slate by pulling everything you currently have off the shelves.
Next, “shop” the rest of your home, gathering as many items as you can find that are of similar colors, tones, and styles, but varying heights and materials. Be sure to include several pieces of greenery - this will go a long way toward softening the overall look. 🪴🌿
Then- and this is a very important step- if you see that have items gathered that you absolutely know that you know that you KNOW 😉 that they just don’t “go” with the new look you’re going for but you think maybe you can make them work somehow, hear us when we say Get. Rid. Of. Them.
Donate them. Sell them. Bury them in the backyard. Whatever you need to do. 🙈💁🏻♀️😂
But do NOT try to convince yourself that somehow it’s going to work. Because all that’s going to do is lead to a lot of frustration and the “after” feeling a lot like your “before” despite all of your time and effort. 🙅🏻♀️
And we don’t want you to have to go through that. So just trust us on this. 😉😘
Once all that’s done, mentally “separate” each shelf into 2-3 sections, depending on the width, and place a taller object in each section. ⚱️
Fill in with smaller objects, varying your shapes, colors and textures with each grouping, keeping in mind that groups of 2, 3 or 5 pieces typically work best. 📿
Stagger your pieces so that similar colors and shapes are subtly woven throughout the shelves rather than concentrated in small areas.
When styling two sets of shelves flanking a central focal point, keep the two sides similar but not the same. The end result should have them feeling more like “cousins” than “twins.” 💝💖
As you work, stop and step back frequently to see how it’s all coming together. Bring a second person in to look while you place items, or vice versa. Take pictures if you need to. Keep tweaking until it “feels right” to you. This is YOUR home- the goal is for you to love where you live! 🤗
Once all of your current decor pieces have a home,
you may find that you have more than enough decor and don’t need to purchase anything new- which is exactly what happened with the shelves pictured here! 🙌🏼
If you see that you do need more decor, now you’ll have a much better idea of what needs to go where, allowing you to save both time and money by only having to shop for specific items! 💃🏻
If reading this inspired you to employ these shelf-styling tips in your own home please post pics and tag us- we would LOVE to see your work! 🤩
And if reading this instead just confirmed that you’d rather do just about anything else than decorate a shelf 🙅🏻♀️😉😂, we can take care of that for you! 💕