shelf styling refresh 101

Before I say anything at all, the photos in this feature should have a dining room table in them, but I sold ours and we are still on the hunt for a new one, so that’s why it’s so empty! 

Something I love to do is to re-style my shelves and various vignettes throughout our home. I do it all the time. It’s like I have home decor ADD. I get restless when I see decor styled one particular way for too long. So you can imagine the anxiety that this giant wall of shelves has brought me. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love built-ins, but that’s a lot of shelves to style and the fact that it’s divided into cubes makes it awkward sometimes. If I’m not careful when styling, the shelves start to look like a grid since it’s a whole bunch of square spaces. Every little cubby needs to be different than it’s neighbor. The struggle is real.

When restyling a shelf, your nightstand, or any type of decor grouping, there’s no need to go out and purchase all new things. You can get a new look by just rearranging. That said, whenever I’m in Homegoods or TJ Maxx and I see a fabulous decor object, I snag it without even thinking. That’s my absolute favorite place to find little treasures for great prices. In fact, probably almost half of the things seen in these photos are from one of those stores!

I always start by removing everything away from a space so that I’m starting with a blank canvas. So I cleared these shelves and thought long and hard about cleaning them (what better time?)…

…but instead I lit a candle, turned on Lorde Pandora (Brandon said it sounded like he was shopping in Urban Outfitters), and got to work.

I always start by working the area as a whole. In other words, I don’t work little section by little section, moving forward when each part is complete. Instead, I add an object here and an object there, all across the entire area. This ensures that there will be cohesion throughout the entire space being styled.

Oh look, there’s the Winster!

And just when you think you’re getting close to being finished…

…things change. Keep moving around decor pieces until you’re satisfied. At this point, it may require a new Pandora station.

Et voilà!

A very subtle change. Just the slightest bit more put together, cohesive, and tidy.

A few final thoughts in this (very elementary) 101 session…

Little gold accents are always a good idea. They are great book-toppers and perfect displayed on their own, as well! I got my brass urchin from a small shop in Beaufort (it was the last one!), but Target has something similar and for a steal.

 Books are a great way to bring in little touches of color without being too, well, colorful. I buy all of my coffee table books from Amazon because you can snag them brand new for 20-50% off of cover price.

Some books like to be stacked horizontally, some like to stand up side by side. Mix it up. On that same note… vary the height of all objects, books or not. It adds dimension.

Stick to a theme. Place objects of similar style, shape, and/or color together in groups of three or five. Oh, and when you find a great blue and white vase, just buy it. Don’t ask questions. Just do it.

Vary the textures of your objects. Create an unexpected element by mixing hard and shiny accessories with rough and natural ones.

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17 Comments

  1. July 24, 2014 / 11:47 am

    Love how you styled everything!! Not sure if I missed this – but where is the shelf from? It's such a great focal point!

    • July 25, 2014 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you! The shelf is attached to the wall and was built when our place was constructed! I know they have similar shelves at ikea -maybe a little smaller?

  2. July 24, 2014 / 8:24 pm

    Love this! Where is that great grey marble slab from in your kitchen!?

    • July 25, 2014 / 2:38 pm

      p.s. but I'm 99% positive they still sell similar ones at Crate & Barrel!

  3. July 24, 2014 / 10:52 pm

    I'm working on trying to "style" my ikea expedit in my home office but still keep it functional and it's definitely not an easy task. I think I'm getting a little closer, but I love your pointers. I will have to go do a little more rearranging now!

    • July 25, 2014 / 2:43 pm

      Thanks, Annie! Good luck with re-styling your shelves. I agree, arranging the cube shelves seems easier than it actually is!

  4. July 26, 2014 / 1:53 pm

    I definitely agree with your comment about blue and white vases! You are getting a great collection so far. I love that you can shop at thrift stores or department store or antique stores and anything you find will always blend perfectly together. They are like the ultimate pattern mixing made easy decor items!

    East Meets South

  5. July 26, 2014 / 8:14 pm

    These are great tips! I just used a lot of these recently to re-vamp the store. We even have one of those gold sea urchins to hang jewelry from! Sticking to a theme, thinking of the area as a whole rather than parts and adding gold accents were all very effective. Texture is definitely something I should think of next time the store gets changed up, thanks!!

  6. July 29, 2014 / 2:43 pm

    Sooooo pretty! I love the styling. You're so talented! Ahhh, I miss being able to have beautiful and breakable things on display. Children change everything. 🙂

  7. July 30, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    Love these styling tips! Going to check out Ikea for shelving- I already have enough stuff to fill the shelves cluttering up little tables throughout our house. The shelves are a beautiful way to better organize it!

  8. August 15, 2014 / 5:37 pm

    Hi! Where did you find your beautiful moss balls?

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