How to Style Your Shelves in 5 Steps

How many of you momma’s out there have your shelves loaded with stuff that you’re trying to keep out of reach from your children?  I have to admit that our office shelves have all of our markers, scissors and a ton of other junk up on that top shelf.

At the end of all projects we do in our family business, we always finish it off by styling the space. Not because they ask for it, but because it’s so much more fun when our clients can come home to a completely new space with furnishes and all.

It’s like getting your hair done: you don’t feel pretty until it’s dried and curled!

The most fun things to style are bookshelves. And lucky for us, we do a lot of built-ins.

For most of us, built-ins are what collect our dust and junk. Including myself, we somehow feel the need to fill our shelves up with our stuff. If you’re like me, it’s probably because we have nowhere else to put this stuff. Our junk always ends up in our office which is loaded with shelves, so it never looks all that great.

With the seasons changing, it’s always fun to freshen up your space. I am no interior designer and I don’t think you need to be one to style in your home. As Joanna Gaines says, “Design isn’t only for those who studied it or who have a knack for it, it can be for anyone who craves making their house a home.”

How to Style Your Shelves in 5 Steps | Twin Cities Moms Blog

If you read my last post, Preparing for a Move with Children, you know we were busy decluttering, staging, and packing up to move. I actually really enjoy the moving part of flipping homes because it’s a chance to clean out our stuff. This past month I’d even swear I’ve been less stressed living in a more clean and collected home.

So today, I want to offer 5 simple tips on how to clear those shelves and create a less stressful space.

1. Make it about You. You’re home, Your Family. Your Style. 

What’s your style? Do you like the old, rustic charm? Or the modern, clean sleek look? Whatever your style is make sure it’s portrayed within your shelves.

I love, love photos so I am always ensuring that the focal points of our shelves are our family photos.

Within this client’s build, we used his grandpa’s painting portrait as the main focal point for above the fireplace. I mean, how adorable is that?!

How to Style Your Shelves in 5 Steps | Twin Cities Moms Blog


2. Less is More

I always start by completely clearing off the shelves before I start styling. Create a blank slate. This helps for you to imagine a new look.

Instead of adding 20 things to one shelf, start by adding in one strong piece and accompanying it by a few little details. I always do that first, and then if I think it needs more I pull in little touches and rearrange.

How to Style Your Shelves in 5 Steps | Twin Cities Moms Blog

3. Layer with Simple Objects

Use books to stack, offset or balance. I love to pull in magazines, books and knick knacks from antique shops. Over the years I have collected a ton of letters and I love layering them up on shelves.

And I love books. I have this weird thing with for every book I read, I have to have a copy. I’ve always dreamed of having a library full of books. But if you’re not a book collector, you can find awesome pretty books for nothing at second hand stores. I actually just found five last week at a second hand store in Elk River, each of them for under $1. And they were pretty.

How to Style Your Shelves in 5 Steps | Twin Cities Moms Blog

4. Shift Weight from Side to Side

As you can see within the pictures, if we had a larger object to the left on one side, for the shelf above we moved it off to the right or even centered. Throughout the entire styling process I am continually stepping back and looking at what we’ve put together to ensure everything is flowing smoothly.

5. Use a Neutral Color Scheme with Pops of Color

I always like to keep the color scheme more neutral. That way we won’t get sick of it within a few years. I like to do the same with decor. I love thrift shopping and every time I come across a subtle piece for under $5, I buy it. I always know I’m going to be able to incorporate it within some space. Then add fun pops of color throughout your shelves.

For this client, I knew I had to use his grandpa’s painting, therefore I knew right away that was going to be the color scheme of the shelves. I kept everything light, white, and pulled out the greens within the photograph- being that was the subtle color within the print.

How to Style Your Shelves in 5 Steps | Twin Cities Moms Blog

And there you have it! 5 simple ways to styling your shelves. Hope you can take a tip or two and freshen up your space for the fall! And make sure to share your projects with us by tagging us on Instagram @twincitiesmomsblog! We love, love to get inspired by the spaces our mommas create!

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