June 3, 2020

Because We All Have a Little More Time at Home

Shelf Styling 101

In the midst of a project installation, after all the rugs and furniture have been placed, our team’s next big task involves styling the entire home. We handle everything from organizing a client’s bar to placing flower arrangements, because every little detail counts when making a house a home.

From my conversations with friends, I’ve realized that basic styling is one of the most common home decorating struggles, and we’re here to help! Shall we start with those pesky empty shelves? Read on for Shelf Styling 101.

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Location, Location, Location

The first thing to consider when styling your shelves is in what room are they? Whether they’re in your living room, library, kitchen, or even your bathroom, their location will help determine what items will look best. In a library, for instance, a large majority of the shelves will likely be occupied by books, so choose decorative items such as bookends and urns that will fill in extra space. In a kitchen, copper pots, spices, and simple coffee mugs can look elegant alongside cookbooks and traditional decorative items.

Marie Flanigan Interiors - Shelf Styling 101

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Bring the Personality

Our enjoyment of a space increases when we’re surrounded by pieces we love, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t incorporate some of your favorite personal items into your shelves. Small works of art, framed photos, and family heirlooms can all bring depth and personality to your arrangement. If you feel like you’re lacking styling pieces, hit up your favorite home retailers online, or arrange a COVID-friendly curbside pickup of your items. You can even order sets of books by color and subject from Half Price Books and Books by the Yard!

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Balance It Out

When creating an arrangement, you must consider the visual weight of each item to create a balanced look and feel. This can be created by incorporating pieces that are different colors, sizes, and textures. For instance, a large white item takes up less visual space than something tall and dark, so placing the two items together creates balance. The same is true for balancing textural items with those that are smooth.

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors; Styling by Donna Talley

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Listen to Coco

Coco Chanel said it best: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” This mantra should also be applied when decorating your shelves. The truth is, you probably have too many items crammed together, creating visual chaos. Often, less is more, and there’s nothing wrong with letting one or two items really shine! Give them space.

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Take Your Time

Most importantly, don’t feel pressured to commit to an arrangement on the first attempt! If you have multiple shelves, try decorating one at a time, and walk away if you get overwhelmed. You can always come back tomorrow and edit.

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Ready to fill those shelves? Shop some of our favorite decorative items below!

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