Styling shelves...

First of all I really want to thank you for your lovely words on my last post.  That was a difficult one for me to put out there, but writing has always been cathartic for me.  Your responses were so encouraging, and I am hopeful that things will improve in time.

So on to some shelves!

I love to style shelves and always have, but I know it is not something that comes easily to everyone.  I thought I would do a post about how I style shelves and my "formula"... ha!  I don't have a formula, but that sounds so technical doesn't it?

Okay, so first off.  I find a shelf.  Clear everything off.  Then I stare at it.  Eventually after the staring which leads me into thinking about what to fix for dinner, or asking myself if I actually gave the dogs their heart-worm pills on the first of the month... I start moving things around.  I like to think that this is my cardio for the day.  All of that back and forth, put up and pull down has to count for something in the exercise department.  Right??

I do try to follow the "rule" of odd numbers.  3's & 5's being my favourite for shelves and table tops...

I always break up shelves with books.  I know that sounds like a "duh, of course you put books on the shelves"  but I've seen shelves full of knick knacks and it just looks busy and unfocused.  The books help to ground it.

On this particular shelf I broke my rule of odd numbers.  The three books have bindings (sort of) but the fourth book is bare.  I just liked how it balanced out and picked up the neutral tones of the crown.

These shelves show how I like to look at all the shelves as a group, rather than just one shelf alone.  I like that on some I put the books to the left, and something to compliment it on the right.  Then the next shelf has books on the right and something to compliment it on the left.  Some shelves are just all books, while a few are all knick knacks.  As I work I stand back and look at the overall "weight" of the shelves.  Do they look balanced?  Could I take away/add something to the arrangement?  How are the colours grouped or complimenting/competing with each other?  I just play with it until it feels "right" to me.

Our library gave us oodles of shelves, many of which sit empty and I am okay with that.  I think the best way to decorate is over time and it is the only way to truly get a collected look.  My empty shelves are just possibilities of books yet to be read.

So there you have it, my shelf styling strategies.   The rule for shelves is that there is no rule for shelves.  Do what you love, display things that tell your story, and have fun with it.


  1. I bet you are just loving that new space. :)

  2. That is my idea of a fun way to spend an afternoon. :)

  3. I sometimes find shelf styling easy, other times impossible. Yours look perfect!

  4. Great post. I love your shelves. Now I need you to come to my house and fix mine. :)


Thanks so much for popping in. I appreciate all of your lovely comments...Tricia