How to Effortlessly Style Shelves

Updated: Jul 17, 2018

Styling shelves is one of my favourite design projects. I consider empty shelves to be a blank canvas and the jumping off point for fabulous design! Here are my steps for creating beautifully curated shelves.


1. Gather everything together

Bring together all your design objects in one place. Items to consider are books (large and small), boxes, frames, vases, candles, sentimental trinkets and treasures from your travels.

Note: You will want to have more objects than you think you need, the more options the better!





2. Place the largest items first

Create stacks of 2-3 coffee table books with lovely spines. This creates visual interest and height. Statement pieces like large vases or sculptural items, are more impactful and can hold their own on a shelf.


3. Place smaller items and create groupings.

Layer in the small decorative objects in the zones you have created with your larger items. Always consider what is surrounding each shelf, there should be diversity in each grouping.


4. Add height and finishing touches

If your shelves are low like mine, consider adding height by placing a table lamp or large floral arrangement on the top shelf.

Once you have your shelves styled, always feel free to switch them up and incorporate new items. It’s a great way to show your design personality and keep things fresh over time!