Inspiration Wednesday: Shelf Styling

Hi! Happy Wednesday my bloggy friends!

I finally managed to put up our floating shelves in our guest bath (more on that excruciating task later). Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what to put on them and how to make it look interesting. So for this week’s IW (Inspiration Wednesday), I’ve rounded up some nicely-styled bookshelves and some tips on styling your own shelves.

Create a backdrop: Dress up the back of your bookcase. Paint it or cover it with wallpaper, fabric or wrapping paper. Do you have a bunch of white objects to display on your shelves? Pick a dark color for your backdrop to make them pop. Or try a paint color a couple shades darker than your wall color for some extra punch.

Layer it up: Layer your objects from back to front. Put taller items in the back and work your way forward with smaller objects.


Variety, the spice of life: Vary the height and shape of your objects . Picture frames, books, baskets, collectibles, candlesticks, tall vases, or short curvy bowls make for a nice variety.

Keep it simple: Make sure you don’t try to cram too much stuff in, making it feel cluttered. Let everything have some space to breathe.

Limit your colors: Keep your items within the same color or 2-3 colors. If you’ve got several different items in the same color, display them on the same set of shelves to create a unified look. Or pick a few different colors, then mix them up evenly on the shelves. For example, if you’ve got a white object in the upper right corner, you should put another white object in the center of the shelf below and another on the left side of the shelf below that, so that they alternate.

Books: Stack books next to each other as well as on top of each other, and arrange them from large to small.

What are your tips for styling shelves? What do you like to display on them?

For more tips on how to style your shelves check out these articles:

Analysis of a Well-Styled Bookcase by Centsational Girl

Decorating Tips for Shelves and Bookcases by HGTV 

How to Decorate Shelves by Home Stories A to Z

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