How to style: a shelf
An open shelf represents an open opportunity to make a style statement in your home.
It’s the perfect space to display all the precious objects you’ve collected throughout the years. But with such an open brief, where do you start? Here are some of our best tips on how to style a shelf.
Play with negative space
It’s difficult to show off your favourite belongings if they’re overstuffed and crowded by several other objects. Be discerning with what you want to display on the shelf and what will be better in storage. Negative space lets your styling stand out.
Go for it: books and magazines
It may not be the most creative use of a shelf but nobody can argue that it’s the perfect place to store books and magazines. Try to find ones with interesting covers and eye-catching spines. Variety is the spice of life, but you can also make a big statement with uniformity – a couple of Vogues won’t look impressive, but a huge back catalogue does!
Mix and match shapes…
Make sure your styling pieces vary in shape and size. Too many round items can look kiddish, but angular shapes can come off as harsh. Strike a happy visual balance between soft and hard pieces, and your shelf styling will be effortless.
… and heights and angles!
Remember that you can also place items on top of each other to give interest, contrast, height. Think a stack of ceramic bowls or a potted plant placed on a pile of books. Put some objects towards the front, some at the back, some vertical, horizontal, or leaned on a diagonal.
Sort items into groups
If everything is looking a little hodgepodge, try grouping accessories together by theme, texture or colour. You can use wicker baskets or trays to keep disparate objects in order, as well as adding some warmth to the space.