8 Steps to Perfectly Styled Shelves

Styling shelves can sometimes feel overwhelming or can easily just get filled with “stuff.” When it comes to styling shelving try to incorporate items you do actually use. Yes, you’ll want to sprinkle misc decor items throughout but if you actually use some items, like dishes on kitchen shelving… it’ll force you to restyle and actually dust your shelves.

Here’s a quick video of what we did for Beckam’s nursery:

8 Steps to Perfectly Styled Shelves

1. Start with a Blank Slate

The first thing we always do before styling anything is clear everything off. It doesn’t matter if it’s an entire room or just a simple shelf. Getting everything out of the room and off the shelves will give you a whole new outlook. If you leave a couple items in the space you start thinking with that item, when that item might not work for the rest of the items you’re about to bring in.

This is the best way to get a clear mind, keep your options open and start with a fresh pallet.


2. Choose a Color Pallet

Next, choose your color pallet. For Beckam’s nursery we knew we wanted to go with a modern bohemian feel, incorporating natural earthy tones. Most likely, I’ll spend the most time in this space during late nights trying to remain calm, so I wanted to bring a very relaxing tone to the space. Greens, natural browns, whites, and blacks, simple and neutral colors with pops of greens is what we decided to incorporate in this nursery.


For this client’s basement built-in’s we custom built, we knew we wanted to bring in pops of color being the built-in’s were all white with touches of black, being we did black hardware. Our client’s had already purchased blue and white curtains so we knew blue and being green and yellow’s play off of blue so well, we decided our color palette was going to be blue, green, yellow with touches of white, black and brown to pull in the built-in’s and mantle.

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3. Keep it Simple

We tend to think we need so much. I don’t know if it’s the more we move or, the older I’m getting, but I’ve been quickly learning that less is more, especially when it comes to your home decor. Statement pieces set the tone for your space. I always start by collecting a few statement pieces I know I want to incorporate and not get too much grouped together when styling. That is also what instantly overwhelms us when we get too much.


4. Shop your House

A lot of times we think when making over a space that we need to go out and buy all new things.


Here we already had books laying around that we had actually originally got from a 2nd hand store. We just removed the paper coverings and flipped them around.

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You probably own a lot of the perfect things in our home already, you just don’t have them perfectly paired, so you’ve come to dislike those things. So before running out to buy new items, take a look around you home first. Mix old and new.


In the nursery, we took some of Greyson’s old baby books, old toys, and even pictures and frames of when Jamie was a little dude ripping around on his bike. I also had these planters hung in the basement, but I didn’t love that placement. When I hung them here, I felt like they found their perfect home!


For our kitchen, we are constantly swopping things in and out as we use them or as seasons come and go. Bringing clocks and plants into the kitchen from the living room one day while the next moving them into the dining room and brining in new framed printable.

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5. Choose a Focal Point

Depending on how big of a space you’re styling you’ll want to choose one to three statement pieces to draw your eye to.

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I always start with my statement pieces and then find additional objects to layer around them. These pieces can be sentimental, a piece of art, a large vase, you name it! I knew the mirror, bench, large cactus, and brown vases were a few of the options I wanted to incorporate into this space. My great grandpa had built the bench, which I had it sitting in our entry, but it didn’t do much of anything for the space. I now love how it has meaning in our new little guy’s space, and it looks a heck of a lot cuter.


6. Layer Objects

Once you’ve placed your statement pieces, find smaller and medium sized objects to add layers to the decor. Don’t be afraid to find different colors, textures, shapes, and sizes, mix it up! Put items into different depths, stack, and layer. Layer frames on top of frames. Have fun with it! If you have larger framed pieces, rest them up against the wall and stack a few fun smaller objects in front of them.

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7. Shift Weight from Side to Side

Once you’ve layered it up, take a step back and make sure you have shifted your weight from side to side. You want to make sure when your eye looks at your shelving that it flows from one object to the other.

For example in these clients homes, we shopped their house. See those light brown almost mountain looking objects? Originally they had those all clumped together in one spot. But when we broke them apart your eye goes from one over to the right to the other.

You want to make sure everything flows together.

decorating shelves style | construction2style

So on one shelf put a large piece to the far left. Then under that shelf, bring another large piece into the middle and then the shelf under that all the weight to the right. Make sure when you take a step back that you’re eyes flow around and aren’t just stuck on one shelf or object.


8. Keep Moving Things Around

And lastly, move things around. You’ll never have it perfect the first go around. I always like to take a step back and then shift pieces around to make sure I have them exactly where I want them. If you feel like you’ve used too much, remove some pieces. Don’t think you have enough add a thing or two. Let it sit for a couple of days too, and if you don’t move anything in those days, then you probably have created your perfect display.

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And remember, less is more!