In the past, I have made some mistakes with my shelf styling that left them feeling cluttered, busy, and boring. With these shelves for my office, I was determined to get it right. Here’s my inspo, resources, and process!
Start with a blank slate. Take everything off of the shelves and clean them. This gives you a clear picture of what you love, and where things should really go as you style your shelves.
Separate stuff from books. And while you’re at it this is the perfect time to sort through your stuff and books and eliminate the items you don’t love. Pay attention to your use of it and connection to it. Does it mean anything to you? Does it bring around feelings of happiness when you see it?
Also, pay attention to color. This is a great time to set a color scheme for your shelf styling. For me I picked out all of my books that were primarily neutral, and then I added in a couple of blue and green books to add pops of color. I separated these books from the rest before I started arranging.
I started by adding black to all four corners. This anchors the shelves and gives your eyes a place to rest. Then, I added my large books and books I wanted to feature, like my interior design books. Add in the rest of your books, stacking some vertically and some horizontally.
Step back and look at your arrangements from a couple of different angles periodically. Things tend to look different at a distance when were taking it all in.
Now, add the stuff. Again, start with bigger items. Honestly, most of your stuff should be a little on the bigger side. Smaller items make things look cluttered. I love potted plants, trays, and art or family photos.
Placing art leaning against the back of the shelf is a great way to create depth and affirm your color palette.
My last tip for your shelf styling is to pay attention to your lifestyle. I am reserving my bottom shelf for baskets that may or may not even house anything. If they do, it will be toys or other unbreakable things because I have two little ones running around my house. My arrangements are going to be simpler and more minimal because that is what functions for my family.
This is probably the most important tip. Your décor and design need to function for your family. It can still look pretty, but first and foremost, make sure it functions and provides value! Stack your books in a way that allows you to get them out to read, utilize baskets for stashing things that you don’t really want to display.
Here are some beautifully styled bookshelves I found around the internet!
Do you love to style shelves or dread it? Let me know in the comments what your biggest problem tends to be or what you love most about it! Just remember – they are always evolving and changing with your life. Whatever you place should be things you love!