An Easy Tip for Decorating Bookcases and Display Shelving

Stumped for ideas on how to furnish a bare bookcase? In this article, I'll show you my tried-and-true method for always having neatly arranged shelves and bookcases. Absolutely no prior knowledge of interior design is needed.

How to Make Your Shelves and Bookcases Look Amazing...

I've done a lot of shelving and bookcase styling over the years. While the majority of my shelf styling experiences have been at home, I have also helped friends and family members create lovely displays.

The beauty of this method is that it does not necessitate the purchase of any new furnishings. There's also no requirement that you be a seasoned expert in interior design. I’m not

I, and probably you, are not trained interior designers, but we can still make beautiful designer-quality shelves.

In other words, you need a strategy.

I found out the hard way that it's best to have a strategy in place before you begin decorating your shelves. In the very first post I ever made to our blog (when it was still called hmydearblog), I stand and stare at the empty shelves. com, and I didn't know the first thing about decorating) and be so overwhelmed you're on the verge of tears because you don't know where to start

Since I've been blogging for seven years now, I've learned a thing or two about how to get the most out of my time, and one of those things is how to quickly and efficiently decorate a bookcase or floating shelf.

this is a Pinterest Pin for 3 ways to decorate your shelves with one easy trick!

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Identical sectional, rug, coffee table, floating shelves, gold floor lamp, leather and wood arm chairs

An Example of How I Adorn Bookcases -

It's normal to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of decorating shelves. Certainly, that's how I felt when I first attempted to decorate our shelves. It would take me forever to find the right balance and look I was going for when I decorated shelves, and I would often end up in tears trying to figure it out.

However, I have perfected a technique over the years that I use every time I style shelves, and I guarantee that if you try it the next time you decorate, you will have beautifully styled shelves every time.

When I decorate shelves, I focus solely on where I plan to put each item. I'm going to show you how simple it is to achieve three distinct looks for your own shelves by rearranging items already in your home.

Watch my video tutorial on shelf decoration below:

These are some of my favorite online resources for decorative shelving.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Step 1:

It's best practice to begin at the top and work your way down. Put decorations on the top shelf from one end to the other to fill up most of the space there.

Leave some room at the shelf's ends for a more aesthetically pleasing display.

Displaying decorative objects of varying heights is a hallmark of designer shelves. Examine the image down below as an example. I've taken great care to use items of varying heights and depths when decorating the top shelf.

With the consideration of scale and height,

Options for vertical height include taller plants like the snake plant, larger pictures hung either horizontally or vertically, and large decorative objects or candlesticks.

You need to incorporate enough substantial objects so that the shelf doesn't appear to be overrun with small things. The goal is to make the bookcase or shelf look curated and deliberate, not just a dumping ground for pretty things you happen to have lying around.

this is a photo of two floating shelves decorated with an easy shelf styling method Traditional

Step 2:

Having finished with the top shelf, you can move on to the one below. Instead of dispersing the ornamentation along the entire length of this shelf, we're going to divide it into two sections.

This doesn't restrict you to using only one item on either side of the shelf, as shown in the image, though you certainly could if that's your aesthetic preference.

Leaving some white space, or blank space, between two groupings of decorative objects is crucial to achieving a visually pleasing arrangement of those objects.

Our shelves should have a deliberate style, rather than just a random assortment of things thrown on them. We'd like it to look deliberate; the two sets at the base also provide visual relief.

Step 3:

Repeat No matter how many shelves you have in your bookcases or on your floating shelves, this method will work. When you're done with one shelf, simply move on to the next by placing decorations across its width and then dividing that shelf into two sections.

Guidelines for determining whether or not a shelf is properly arranged

this is a photo of two floating shelves with plants and pictures on them and pillows on a sectional Boho

After I finish a project, I like to step back and snap a photo so I can assess whether anything else needs to be done or if any elements can be eliminated.

Taking a picture or even just examining an object through a camera's viewfinder can help you pick out details you might have missed.

Taking a break from decorating and returning to it later can be a huge help.

Types of Interior Decoration

The great thing about this method is that it can be used with any design aesthetic.

I've included a more pared-down version of this style using fewer decorative elements but the same grouping and layering technique for the shelves below.

Just add more farmhouse furniture and accessories and fewer boho or mid-century modern pieces if that's your style.

If you prefer a more contemporary look, you would use less ornamentation, focusing instead on large-scale pieces.

this is a photo of two floating shelves with home decor on them Minimalist

What to Stock Your Shelves With: Advice and Suggestions

I sincerely hope that this article and video were instructive to you. Personalize your home by adding floating shelves or adorning your existing built-in shelving.

In addition to being enjoyable once you've figured out the right formula, doing so can also be very rewarding. It's a simple way to update your space as your interests and preferences shift.

With that in mind, I thought I'd offer some suggestions for practical shelf decoration.

  • There should be more plants, and more plants, and more plants. At present, plants are extremely fashionable. They can also be used to make a design more vibrant. The rule of thumb I use is to have one plant for every three shelves.
  • Texture To add visual interest to your shelves, seek out woven baskets, wooden prayer beads, and small boxes.
  • Homemade candlesticks You can choose from more conventional candlesticks or more whimsical options, such as my tiny brass bunny. They're a wonderful accessory for shelves of any style.
  • Books Of course To me, it's more aesthetically pleasing to have my books match the rest of my decor, but it's not required. When I'm adorning a shelf, I almost always make use of books.
  • Vases Vases can be used at other times besides when they'll hold flowers. It's true that a flowerless vase can be more beautiful than one filled with blooms. The large, structural design provides visual relief.
  • Images, such as paintings and photographs
  • Candles
  • Risers An excellent way to give your shelf decorations more dimension is by using risers. Not only are they comfortable, but they are also great for layering. In our store, Revival Goods, we offer two different types of risers. A small display stool and a circular wooden riser from the 1960s are available.

Save for later use

a fool proof method for shelf styling floating shelves living room decor

Have a look at some of our other related articles

Read this blog post for some of the best places to find floating shelves. Read our guide on how to hang floating shelves correctly! Use these shopping guides as a source of inspiration for all of your interior design projects.

It is always greatly appreciated when readers like yourself take the time to visit the blog.

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