Lemon Grove Lane

How to style your shelves

How to style your shelves

The shiplap and built-in shelves was a DIY project we completed back in November.  After receiving a number of inquiries regarding styling I decided to recreate the process and share how to style your shelves.  Let’s get started!

Whether you are styling your family room built-ins or open shelves in your kitchen, this process will act as a guide so you can create pretty shelves anywhere in your home.  We will tackle this in two sections: what objects/pieces are best for styling and how to arrange them on your shelves.

What items work best for styling shelves

Before buying anything, take a look around your home and gather items that might work on your shelves. Place all of the items you’ve collected on a table or in the center of your room. Do you notice a color theme?  Do you like neutrals? Wood? Ceramic? Do you like a pop of red or blue? Choose items that are different sizes to add dimension to your display.

  • Artwork and pictures

Framed art can be purchased on etsy or you can add a few family photos to your shelves. Consider picture height and color, making sure it works with your overall color theme and that the frame fits within the parameters of your shelf.

  • Wood and pottery

I love the warmth of hand thrown pottery and wood on a shelf.  Etsy is a great resource to find pottery and reclaimed wood  pieces. Try placing a glossy or mat vase next to an aged, weathered wood riser to add texture and patina to your shelf. Use small vases or pitches on top of risers or a stack of books.

  • Vases and pitchers

Try placing your vases and pitchers in groups of three and then add a dried floral or foliage. Vases and pitches come in so many different sizes and colors they are an easy go-to styling piece.

  • Books

Because of so many paper-less options these days it seems like we see fewer books on shelves. I do purchase fewer books than I used to but I still enjoy seeing and holding paper.  For my shelves I use a combination of coffee table and antique books that I purchased on etsy for just a few dollars.

shelf styling

  • Something green or dried flowers

I like a nature-inspired home so having something live, green, a single flower or bouquet is something you’ll always see in my home. Plants really do change the mood of a room and they also keep the air you breathe cleaner.  Add a dried floral or small potted plant to your shelf for a pop of fresh color.

How to style your shelves

  • Remove existing items and give the area a good dusting.  Step back and look at your blank canvas and decide choose several items that are similar in tone.  I have collected whites, creams, and rattan for my shelves and have added green in the form of a picture and plant placed on opposite sides.
  • Vary your layout so items aren’t the same size on each shelf.  Try different variations in height by placing a tall item in the center surrounded by two smaller items or try two tall items with a small item in the center.

*You’ll notice we put the switch for our fireplace in a sneaky little spot. I don’t like to see plugs but sometimes you don’t have many options for placement.

  • Last, don’t overcrowd.  My home is small and so less is more is always something I consider when styling.  Leave creative space around your favorite styling pieces.

JavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content.

Share with a friend or PIN for later!

Hopefully you picked up a few tips and and now have a starting point to create a beautiful space in your home.

This post contains affiliate links which means that if you were to make a purchase using one of my links I would receive a small amount of compensation. I only link to products that I personally own, or know and love.


- Leslie

- Leslie

Welcome to Lemon Grove Lane, where I share seasonal recipes and heartfelt home inspiration, all curated to nurture the art of a well-lived life.

Please note: This post may include affiliate links, which contribute to the support of my blog efforts at no extra cost to you.


A Few Favorites

No data was found

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shop on Amazon

you'll also love

Looking for something?