Before adding in shelves and placing items on display, establish your needs. Decide whether you’re shelf-styling for décor purposes or to create extra storage space. Ensure to measure the shelves and exactly where you’re planning to put them then divide your décor into 3 categories: large items, collections, small and flat items. However, don’t be afraid to think outside the box within those categories. Include a variety of sizes, shapes, textures, colours, etc. Once all of your items are in the appropriate categories, shop for anything that’s missing.
When starting your shelf-styling, reach for the large items first and arrange them on the bottom shelf. Placing bigger items towards the bottom creates texture, function and also tones down the busyness. From large vases to stackable boxes, distribute your items strategically. Assess the shelf as you style it and try to incorporate layering and tiers as you place your items.
From candlesticks to matching vases, anything that goes together in 2s, 3s or 5s is considered a collection. Layering is especially important within these items as you don’t want the shelf to be mirrored. Try to balance out any large or busy collections with simple items such as stacked boxes. Smaller collections can be placed on decorative trays or even books!
Once you have your large items and collections established on the shelf, start to bring in your smaller items. This includes little plants, shallow bowls, short objects, etc. These items can be placed on top of books or around your larger items to create different elements and textures within each grouping.
Shelf styling is essentially like starting with a blank canvas and creating something fabulous. It takes lots of time and restyling to perfect the layout. Keep stepping back and rearranging things until you feel content with the result and don’t feel pressured to get it all done in one day. Another great way to assess your shelves is by taking photos from different angles and then looking at them with fresh eyes later.
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