I think that one of the most challenging things to decorate in a home is shelves. When you first get new shelves or a new piece of furniture with shelves, all the blank unused space can feel a little overwhelming. How do you even start or know what to do?
I have to admit, decorating shelves is difficult for me. And yes, I know that my blog is about decorating! I enjoy decorating our home, but that doesn’t mean I’m always perfect at it. Decorating takes some thought, some time, and lots of trial and error.
When we first got our shelves for the powder room makeover, I was stumped trying to figure out how to decorate them. I wanted to make them look put together and fit the style of the room. But, I was worried about just throwing a bunch of things together and making the shelves look messy.
The perfectionist in me just wanted to get it right the first time. But, I realized that styling the shelves was going to require me trying things out, moving things around, and adjusting as I go.
So, I went to my decorating stash and started pulling out all kinds of things. I grabbed as many items as I could, put them in a basket, and brought them all into the powder room.
Then, I started decorating. I tried tons of different combinations of items on the shelves and adjusted as I went. Actually seeing the items on the shelves helped me to realize what was working and what was definitely not working.
Eventually, I came up with a styled arrangement that I was happy with. And that’s the finished product you see here. PS: Just know that this took me lots of time and many revisions to get right. You’re only seeing the end result. 🙂
I didn’t have any hard and fast rules for styling my shelves. But along the way, I did notice some essential decorating items that were perfect for styling shelves. All of the items fell into 5 main categories.
Today I wanted to share with you the 5 essential elements of beautifully styled shelves. These elements worked perfectly for my small shelves, but also work for larger scale shelves or built-ins.
5 Essential Elements of Beautifully Styled Shelves
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Glass items are perfect for shelves. Because they are see-through, they don’t add a lot of bulk to your decor. Glass keeps your shelves looking fresh and open.
Vases and jars are great ways to add glass into your shelf decor. They can be used to hold flowers, greenery, or even store small items.
Greens are a great way to add life to your shelf decor. It’s a natural element that brings in some texture and color.
Small faux plants and air plants are easy ways to add greenery to your shelf decor.
Metal items are perfect as accent pieces. They are eye-catching and stand out to create interest in your shelf decor.
Look for small objects or vases to add the metal look to your shelves.
Wood is my favorite type of shelf decoration. It adds a natural, organic texture to a display and brings in a ton of warmth.
Boxes, trays, and small wooden objects are all great ways to bring wood tons into your shelf display.
Fabric is an unexpected element to shelf decor, but in the right situation can add a lot of interest to your display. Fabric items help to soften the display and are a great way to add some texture.
Use fabrics like towels and blankets as shelf decorations where appropriate. They work the best in situations where your shelf is acting as a practical storage solution.
Next time you need to style or decorate some shelves in your home, try using some of these items. Oh, and before I forget — you don’t need to go out and buy all new things. Try shopping your home and seeing what you already have. Sort your decorations into these categories and then use them to start decorating those shelves.
I hope I gave you a little bit of confidence and inspiration for decorating your home. Let me know which one of these 5 elements is your favorite in the comments.
Have a great week!