Open shelving can often feel overwhelming to style. They have the potential to look so effortless and beautiful, but can easily fall flat or unbalanced. Over the years we’ve narrowed it down to some unwritten rules that we follow to make shelf styling less intimidating.
1. Work in Groups
Perhaps our most important tip for organizing your shelves is the grouping. This is a really simple tip to effortlessly keep your shelves feeling balanced. Basically you will want to alternate between odd and even groupings on each shelf. For the narrower shelves in the photo below, we went with groupings of one and two, (longer shelves might require more!)
2. Layering in your groups
Groups can be 1-5 items depending on the size. Stack and layer as much as you can. Books and boxes are great for layering vertically for added height. A photo leaned up against the back of the shelf with vases or bowls in front gives depth. And a grouping of 3 vases that have the same finish but different shapes is great for layering from left to right.
3. Make your groups diverse
Not every bowl, book, or vase is going to look good on your shelf. Choose colours and scale that work well together, and stay away from having one piece that stands out. If you have all light coloured pieces and one black one it could be hard to work it in. Aim to have a couple pieces in each finish or tone so it’s easier to balance and create a beautiful look overall.
Different finishes, shapes and size is essential to a curated look. We typically stick with a variety of pottery, ceramic, wood tones, woven details, and more rustic or earthy finishes.
4. Functional Storage is Possible
Needing functional storage on your shelves sometimes is necessary. TV remotes and wireless routers more often need a place in a family room. Here’s a couple ways to disguise or incorporate those less than beautiful items:
– Boxes can be used to cover pieces like your router or cable box on the bottom shelves
– Baskets or even large vases are useful to hold things like remotes and cords
– Folded or rolled blankets can look beautiful and be easily accessible on your bottom shelf
SHOP THE DECOR PRODUCTS
Terra-cotta Vase with Handles
Decorative Metal Boxes
Charcoal Terra-cotta Planter
Glass Bottle in Seagrass Basket
Large Paper Mache Bowl
Black Ceramic Vase
Paper Mache Footed Bowl
Rattan Wood Display Boxes
Rattan Wrapped Mango Chain
Set of Wood Vases
Terra-cotta Organic Shaped Vase
Distressed Terra-Cotta Vases
Wood Wheel Cog Bookends
Mango Wood Bowls
Reclaimed Wood Chain