I moved into my condo almost two years ago. And while decorating and making a house feel like a home is no easy feat, I’m happy to say that I’m 95% done. The only remaining thing? Styling my shelves! I admit, I left this for last because it was overwhelming and I simply didn’t know where to start. I Pinterest-ed hard and consulted with my favourite interior designer here in Vancouver, and after much trial and error and weeks of searching high and low for the perfect items, I did it!
My biggest learning was to design with balance in mind. My theme was white and gold, and at the beginning, I went overboard placing ONLY white and/or gold items. But eventually I realized from colour to texture, height to price, and regardless of if you were decorating one or fifty shelves, balance is THE biggest element when designing and styling your shelves.
With that in mind, wanted to share my three tips with you on how to style the perfect shelfie:
Consider white (or negative space) in and around your shelves, and make sure there’s a balance of white space to decor. In my particular case, the wall was so big and I only had room for a couple of shelves. It would have looked too crowded to add a third shelf so instead, I used the white space around the shelves to my advantage. I used removable vinyl decals to add some interest around the edges, corners and the harder lines. I placed more of the decals around the sides and the top half of the wall, to balance the heavy wood of my desk and all the clutter the I typically have sprawled on it. I also made sure I placed short items next to taller ones, and wider ones next to skinnier ones so that the negative space in and around the items would be as equally as exciting as the decor itself.
Unless you’re going with a particular theme (i.e. nautical or cottage) then avoid overloading your shelves with one particular element. Instead, pick your favourite elements and sprinkle them in with neutral coloured tones. I carried on the white and gold theme from my shelves and brackets by incorporating gold knick knacks and a white frame. I then complemented them with neutral coloured accessories — the books, bag, wooden elements and vase — and then added a complementary bright pop of colour with the pink carnations. Overall, there’s nothing too overwhelming and no one colour or texture stands out more than the other. Don’t be afraid of mixing and matching colour with texture and pattern, but if you’re looking for a handy cheat sheet, look no further.
By the time I finished furnishing most of my apartment, my budget was shot. Many believe that in order to make a place look good, you have to spend a lot of money, but that’s not true! Yes, admittedly, I did end up buying a couple of new decor pieces but I also used items I already owned, like my bag — who said bags can’t be art?! — and found a lot of great items second hand, including the styling books.* With the variety and mix of high and low, nobody will ever realize how much or little you actually spent, they’ll be too busy ooh-ing and aah-ing over your amazing #shelfie.
That’s it! Have any questions or want to share some amazing tips of your own? Leave them in the Comments below.
*Pssst! if you’re looking for a hardcover styling books, head to Value Village or The Salvation Army for the best deals in town!
About the Author
Ana is a content creator and social media marketer. What started as a place to share tips and tricks on digital marketing gradually evolved into a lifestyle journal and blog. Today she shares stories ranging from style guides, travel itineraries, life musings and recipe ideas from her modern millennial perspective. Bringing over 5 years of marketing experience from both agency and client-side, she works as a team with her photographer partner to create exciting, compelling content for both personal and commercial use. You can find out more about Ana on her blog.