How to Style A Shelf Like A Boss

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This is what our wall looked like for the first few months we lived at our house.  Pretty Lame.


I bought a few vases from CB2 and popped some callas into them and called it a day.  Or three years.  Double lame.

I guess I wasn’t the only one that noticed this sad, sad wall in my house because my in-laws bought us a sweet ladder shelf for this very spot.  So the issue of the lame wall was solved because now I had something to put there, but now I have to find stuff to fill the shelves with.  I am no pro.  By any means of decoration.  However I did however feel a certain sense of accomplishment when I actually liked the way I styled my new shelves.  Here are a few guidelines that helped me along the way.

Choose a color scheme.  I peeked at my pinterest boards to see if there was a common color palette I tend to gravitate to.  Turns out I really love neutrals with a pop of refreshing green.   Keeping the colors somewhat limited, you create a sense of unity in the overall look.  Objects that don’t necessarily “go together” will look right if they fall into the chosen color family.

choose objects and photos that follow a similar color palette


Layer shorter things in front of taller things. This creates a sense of depth.  Also, I just like the layered look.  It adds a bit of complexity.  Just like layering a tank under a belted cardigan, it tends to look more though out and complete.

Layer objects in front of each other to create depth

Use books to serve as pedestals for smaller objects.  Varying the height of the items on your shelves creates interest.  You can find cheap books at tag sales.  Group them by color, size, spine facing out or in.  Work those books baby!  They’re the most underused items for shelf arrangements.

use books as a pedestal for smaller objects


Start with the largest items first.  Try to disperse them evenly.  Next add in the medium sized pieces, followed by the smallest.  Keep messing around with the placement of your objects until you’re satisfied.


How to style a shelf like a boss

How do you style your shelves at home?  Got any good pointers?  Share them here 🙂

Click here to view this before and after post on how to pair down your wardrobe and maximize closet space:

Small Closet Organization

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22 thoughts on “How to Style A Shelf Like A Boss

  1. Hello Mindy,
    You’ve done an amazing job with the shelf! Thank you for your tips!
    Mindy, I also noticed that you’re a fan of Pinterest and used to link your projects to the Pinterest Challenge @ Bower Power. Would you be interested in linking your recent Pinterest-inspired projects on my blog OksanaPlusHobbies?
    Here is the Link Party which is going on right now:
    Thank you so very much. I’m your newest follower.
    oksana recently posted..{Project Pinterest}:Link Party #2 + Giveaway (Галерея {Project Pinterest} №2 и Розыгрыш)My Profile

  2. Pingback: Friday Finds

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