shelf styling 101

One of the hardest things to master in decorating is the art of styling shelves. Arranging multiple objects in an artful, eye-pleasing way is just plain tricky!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a visual learner. Not only do I love a good before and after, but I learn so much from seeing the process of how things get from A to B.

So I thought it might be fun to take step-by-step photos to show how I style my shelves. Not that I’m an expert, mind you, but my hope is that someone might find it helpful.

Welcome to shelf styling 101. πŸ™‚

1) Start with a clean space (fairly obvious, but even though I’m using some of the same items from summer I still start from zero).

2) Place the anchor pieces (the tallest, chunkiest objects that will “anchor” the space).

3) Add in the “back row” items.

4) Start layering items. Dimension is key!

5) FillΒ in the holes.

6) Now fill in the gaps.

7) Now fill in the spaces with contrasting pieces.

8) For the finishing touch…add bits of nature. This adds texture and brings it to life!

I love breaking out these deer plates each fall. You might remember them from this table setting tutorial. I found them at Salvation Army in Toronto for $1.99 each!

I hope you’ve found this helpful. Now go style some shelves! πŸ™‚

Enjoy the weekend, friends.

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11 Responses to shelf styling 101

  1. Stacey September 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Beautiful and helpful! I’ll have to take time to work on mine this weekend, for sure. Love the way you incorporated the bits of nature.

  2. Kris September 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow so beautiful. I love the texture. It is all neutral colors but with your lovely arranging it really comes to life. Love it all.

  3. andrea September 8, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    i adore this-absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Debbie refreshrestyle September 8, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Helpful and beautiful πŸ™‚
    Send me those plates when you’re done πŸ˜‰

  5. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions September 8, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    What a beautiful hutch to start with! Love the way you’ve decorated it for Fall!

  6. Laura September 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing how you created it πŸ™‚

  7. Deborah Oakley September 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I love how you do your shelves! I have missed getting your blog emails everyday now that you are a busy school girl! Keep you awesome ideas a comin sista! Love the pine cones!

  8. JaneEllen September 9, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    I’m glad to see my process is an approved method, lol.
    Your hutch is so pretty and you have some very nice “props” to put on your shelves.
    How did you learn to stage your shelves? Trial and error? That’s half the fun don’t you think?
    I don’t have a hutch but use my bakers rack and a little nook in l/r where hubs put some shelves. It was an empty nook so I thought putting shelves in there would be really handy. so glad I did. We have 3 doorways out of our l/r and two windows so not really alot of wall space to decorate beside it being a fairly small l/r. Have to work with what you get, when we down-sized we really did it.

  9. kathy September 9, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    I just did, thank you for the help!

  10. antiquechase September 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I need to forget i ever saw this post. I will not redo my hutch today. I will not redo my hutch today… I will not…

    (inspired …oh so inspiring!!)

  11. Erin September 10, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I find that I purchase things that are all about the same height, and have problems with what to put with what(mixing those natural elements with metal, pottery, etc.). Maybe a tutorial on mixing textures elements etc sometime? I know it all seems simple, but that is my problem, I underthink it! LOL! Have a great week, and this was helpful!

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