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Style Edit

Shelf Styling 101

Whether they’re floating, fixed, or just filled with books, shelves are a great way to elevate any space with items that speak to your interests, experiences, and personality. However, in a world filled with piles of knick-knacks, tchotchkes, and trinkets, it can be a bit hard to build out a shelf without overdoing it. That’s why we’re walking you through our favorite bookshelf styling ideas.

Think about what you already have

The best bookshelf styling ideas often involve items that are already in your home. Think photos from a family vacation, books that have been sitting in your closet, small plants, or even a piece of art. A bookshelf styling inspiration board is great, but it’s great to start your process in a grounded place.

Consider your current space

As much as your shelves should be a focal point in the room, they’re still part of your overall space. For example, you probably wouldn’t walk into a modern, minimalist home and find the shelves full of antique dolls. Part of styling is curating your bookshelf styling inspiration (and your shopping cart) to find the pieces that actually fit into the larger aesthetic of the room.

Play with size and scale

We love minimalist bookshelf styling as much as anyone else, but every item on your shelf can’t be the same size. Try to use the items on the shelf to create levels between each piece, adding depth and dimension that will draw attention. A pair of small vases can add playful shapes that work alongside one another, while also adding height above smaller objects like a catchall tray.

Add color and textures

Whether it’s wood, ceramics, glass, metal, or textiles, your shelves should feature a range of materials and textures. Once you’ve chosen a color scheme, you should choose shelf styling decor that complements your more meaningful pieces. Catchall trays, small bowls, or art prints are all great ways to add color and natural textures to your floating shelf decor.

Create balance and visual interest

Arrange the items on your shelves to create balanced groups with plenty of breathing room in between. The goal isn’t to fill up every inch with shelf styling decor, but to create a larger composition out of different elements. Overall, you want to avoid overcrowding or making it too sparse. Photo Source: @the.northwest.home

Bring out the baskets

Even if you’re not looking to go heavy on patterns or a particular color palette, you can add warmth by putting woven trays or baskets on a shelf. Bringing organic textures and effortless charm, storage shelves baskets can be made from sustainable materials like palm leaves that stand out from the crowd. Not only that, baskets and trays come in a variety of tones and can double as extra storage, making them one of our favorite bookshelf styling ideas.

Go with greenery

Depending on how green your thumb is, you can add a planter with some live (or deceptively faux) plants. Whether it’s a trailing pothos or a cactus that flowers every year, greenery is a wonderful way to add a natural touch to your space through shelf styling decor.

Feeling inspired?

Explore our full collection of accents for your shelves.
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