Styling (and restyling) shelves might just be one of the things our team enjoys most when creating spaces! Mixing up the way you style your shelves is a sure way to change the feel of a space and it allows you to give the spotlight to new and different pieces in your home. Whether it be a change of seasons that has you looking for new ways to style your space, or maybe you've just spent a lot of time inside looking at the same shelves in your home, these tips will have you styling your shelves like a pro in no time!
PHOTO: Carp Project, by Leclair Decor
IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, LOSE IT
The first thing to do when undertaking any kind of styling, is to evaluate what you actually want to include in the space. We know that likely sounded like a pretty obvious first step, but we encourage you to think of your shelves like the prime real estate in your home that you will allocate only to your most treasured and favourite pieces! Your shelves are on display at all times, so be sure to select items that you know you will be happy seeing every day.
DESIGNER TIP: When styling shelves, we often like to start by clearing off our shelves completely - this way you have a blank slate to work with and you can be as creative as possible!
PHOTO: Team Bull Project, by Leclair Decor
Yes, we told you to be selective with what you will be including in your shelf styling, but that doesn't mean you can't choose a wide range of pieces. Though the items will vary based on the room you're styling shelves in, don't feel pressured to pick a rigid 'theme' for your shelf styling... unless of course your theme is 'beautiful things in my home that I want to display!' We tell you this because combining contrasting elements can be really beautiful and add visual interest to a space, whether it be contrast in size, colour, or shape. Play around with these contrasting items of yours until you find a composition of decor that is harmonious and beautiful to you.
DESIGNER TIP: An easy way to create depth and dimension is to mix contrasting elements within each individual shelf/section. Sometimes breaking down a space your working on into multiple sections ends up making the process feel less daunting. It can also help you when you re-evaluate your overall look at the end and allows you to make adjustments to specific sections/shelves as needed!
PHOTO: Baldwin Project, by Leclair Decor
TELL YOUR STORY
Our homes are our sanctuaries. They're the place we feel safe, loved, and where we build and share so many memories with the one's that mean the most to us. Consider using your shelves as a place to tell the story of your home and include pieces that evoke happy memories. It could be including your favourite photos in frames, beautiful pieces you collected while travelling, or pieces of decor that you purchased especially for yourself. Regardless, each of the pieces should play a part in telling a story about your lived experiences and your style, because the way we style our spaces has the ability to say a lot about who we are as individuals!
PHOTO: Overbrooke Project, by Leclair Decor
EMBRACE EMPTY SPACE
As you arrange your items, you may find yourself feeling like you need to fill the shelves entirely, but we're giving you permission to not do that! It all depends on the size of the shelves you're styling, but if you're styling longer shelves (or multiple shelves in one place) you'll definitely want to arrange items in multiple groupings, rather than spreading them out along the length of the shelves. Consider grouping items in the following ways: stacking books with a small sculpture or decorative beads on top, place pairings of different vases together and incorporate florals and greenery, or include art and photos arranged with other decor or keepsakes.
DESIGNER TIP: We typically like to work in groups of three when applying this styling technique. This includes layering heights of objects and items in a pyramid-like way. When you do this, each shelf should have items of three different heights in order to make the design more visually interesting!
PHOTO: Baldwin Project, by Leclair Decor
Before you go, something we would like to point out is that the shelves that you see styled in our projects are very rarely photographed in the way that they were first arranged. Rather, our stylists and designers continuously experiment and play with different compositions, while trusting that styling is a process that should be enjoyed and not rushed through. So, here's your sign to clear off a shelf, pick out some beautiful pieces, and get creative with your styling!