Instant Room Refresh: 9 Shelf Styling Ideas

Instant Room Refresh: 9 Shelf Styling Ideas

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Adrienne Breaux
Nov 18, 2015

Refresh your shelves, and refresh the entire room those shelves live in. Whether for storage, display, or a mix of both, giving your shelves a re-style can resort in a whole new look for your home — and be a great opportunity to dust your shelves (as well as do a little decluttering). Try one of these ideas on your existing shelves today.

1. The neatly cluttered collection

This is perhaps the hardest style to define and to try out. You want a nice full array of items on your shelves, evenly balanced with size, color and visual weight. Include a range of objects from books to vases to art pieces and more. Both group objects next to each other and spread out a few into the mix. Start off with everything spaced evenly, but then add in negative space by clustering certain objects together. Adjust until it feels right.

2. The rows of stacks

Stick to books and instead of lining them all up in a row, create small stacks instead (from largest on the bottom to smallest on top in each stack). Not only does this give a full bookcase a new look, it's also easier to read the spines!

3. The pops of plants

Use bright, vibrant, green, leafy plants to punctuate an array of objects and books on a large shelf. I think this example above also works very well because the objects are mostly in neutral colors, which makes the bright green stick out even more.

4. The art focus

Fill all the shelves with miniature pieces of art, or sandwich two art-filled shelves with one shelf of books with artful spines.

5. The boxes and books balance

If you need some storage on your shelf, go with boxes that are the same color as your wall or shelf background to blend in, and then distract with colorful books throughout the rest of the shelves. This look can go two ways: Keep all the boxes bundled together on one shelf, or sprinkle them around with your other books.

6. The all in a row

Even on utility shelf locations like in the kitchen, you can bring an intentional look of order and style by lining like objects neatly together, like the jars of food above.

7. The single stunner

One perfectly-placed single shelf featuring a line-up of similar colored or shaped objects can really be a beautiful art arrangement itself.

8. The oversize surprise

If you've got room on your shelves, try mixing in a really oversize design element with other shelf objects for an interesting array. Above, a large silver "S" looks dynamic next to a set of low book stacks.

9. The color call-back

Mirror the hue of a boldly colored piece of furniture in your room that the shelves are in by grouping similar colored books, magazines or objects together and placing them on the shelf in a location that will visually balance with the colorful furniture piece.

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