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Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips

Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips | Ideas and examples that anyone can do no matter what the budget!Things looked a little sad around here after the Christmas decorations were removed and all the color disappeared. The bookshelves in our living room looked especially forlorn. I ignored them for as long as I could, but a few days ago I could look at them no longer and spiffed them up a bit. I kept the base, which is my collection of ironstone. I added a tiny bit of blue and gold for some color. After some trial and error, it all came together. I thought I would share my take on styling bookshelves…even though it’s been done a million times by every blogger in the world. There are five things I always do that work every time, so let’s take a look…

Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips | Ideas and examples that anyone can do no matter what the budget!

Use books, easels or pedestals as risers.

One of the easiest ways to add interest to bookshelves is to stagger the height of your pieces. You don’t have to stagger every shelf but it helps to vary the height on one or two shelves. This is a layering technique that comes in handy anywhere. In the pic above, the top and bottom shelves have staggered heights. The middle shelves are somewhat even. I used two stacks of books to raise up two pitchers that would have otherwise been too short. 

Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips | Ideas and examples that anyone can do no matter what the budget!

Lean and layer frames, plates or platters for interest.

Continuing the idea of staggering heights, it’s fun to lean framed pictures or plates. Again, layer them a little. Place a plate behind a pitcher or layer two frames that are different sizes. It helps to have plate grooves on your shelves which I do not..so if I lean a plate I have to put something in front of it to prevent a crash. 

Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips | Ideas and examples that anyone can do no matter what the budget!

Create Symmetry. 

Symmetry is when a center point is flanked on either side by identical objects. Symmetry is something that lets your eye rest easily. You don’t need it everywhere, but a little bit here and there pulls your decor together. 

Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips | Ideas and examples that anyone can do no matter what the budget!My two banks of bookshelves flank the big window in our living room. There’s a sofa in front of the window. The bookshelves are identical except for the fact that on the right I added a television. I thought long and hard about this but in the end I knew the room had to be functional and livable. I created symmetry on the top shelves by using like items on both sides. I also repeated the frames on both sides. Even though they are not an exact match, it still works. If you are working with just one set of shelves, create your symmetry within by flanking a taller piece with smaller, matching pieces. 

shelf styling with tv

Stick with two or three colors: a neutral and one or two accent colors.

Keeping the contents of your shelves to one or two color families makes for a cohesive look. A neutral can be white or ivory, as in the case of my ironstone. It can be silver or gold. If you are working with books, you can achieve this look by turning the bindings around. I know this is a very odd and trendy concept, but it does help keep the look calm and neutral. As a rule, I tend to stay away from trends but this one is sort of fun. (Just my opinion!)

Shelf Styling: 5 Easy Tips | Ideas and examples that anyone can do no matter what the budget!

Group like items together.

This sort of goes hand-in-hand with decorating with your collections. Whether it be books, family photos, ironstone or anything else, keeping like items together makes a bigger impact. 

Vintage ladder with antique linens: grain sacks, quilts and tea towels.

I hope you got a new idea or a little inspiration from your visit today. For those of you who stick around to the end of my posts, I want to chat a minute about the ads on my site. Ad revenue is an unpredictable thing. There is no way to plan ahead because the ad revenue depends on site visitors, pageviews and ad clicks. I am blessed to have my ads managed by an amazing company called AdThrive. They take care of everything for me so all I have to do is create content. They’ve made a few positive changes that hopefully will bring in a little more money and I’m in the beginning phase of trying out the new ads. If things look a bit different, or if ads appear in new places, I hope you understand. I realized a few years ago that I could not depend on ad revenue as my only means of income. I have pursued other options so I am not dependent solely on the ads…however I also feel like I need to take advantage of this opportunity to maximize my earnings. I will not be running the ads that appear on images. I have worked too dang hard on my photography for that! I also declined the wide, sticky ad that runs along the bottom of your screen. Let me know if anything really bugs you or if you get annoyed. I hope that doesn’t happen but if it does, I really want to know.

Thanks for hanging in there…see you soon!

ann signature with bird

Click the images below for more inspiration!

How to Decorate with Collections from On Sutton Place

Decorating with Trays | Tips and tricks from On Sutton Place

How to Refresh a Small Entry | Tips from On Sutton Place