It’s Week 3 of the One Room Challenge, and we are talking shelf styling! I finally finished the black built-in I was working on for the basement makeover. So, while this space is primarily the kid zone, I spent time shopping my home to showcase the details behind how to style shelves. I have forbidden anyone to touch it so that I can enjoy for a few days 🙂
In case you need a reminder, this is what we were dealing with in Week 2. I had to empty the shelves, clean them, stain and add a coat of polycrylic–along with patching, sanding & painting the walls & ceiling area in the process.
Because this area is normally used for “kid stuff,” I had this one opportunity to style it the way I wanted. In the future, this area is going to have the re-sized sliding barn door here, in case the clutter gets to be too much for me. Hanging that door is going to be the next project!
The black “Ebony” stain from Varathane looks beautiful! I couldn’t be happier about the contrast it has added down here. It’s making me side-eye the walnut stained french doors on the wine cellar that I *used to* love.
I shopped my home and our storage. (Clearly, I have a problem with collecting home decor.) I arranged and re-arranged to come up with the ideal mix for the shelf as a whole–and for each individual shelf. Want to recreate shelf styling in your own home? Take a look below for ideas…
How to Style Shelves
- Choose books in odd numbers. Colors look best when paired together. I chose shades of red for the left side and greens for the right. The leaning books are multiple sizes. The reds stand out of order, and the greens in height ascending order. Both sets are stopped by greenery, separated by the tray in the middle.
- Style a tray to hold a collection. The tray was chosen specifically for size, shape & color. The tray holds a collection of small glass decor–a set of 3. The tray also acts to separate the books, so it had to be on the smaller size. The round shape contrasts the sharp angles of the books.
- Pair neutrals for balance. In an attempt to not overwhelm the space with color, the next shelf features neutrals. These actually add contrast without color, since the background is the black stain. It’s a perfect combination of softness and modern coloring. The “tidy” book stack is matched with the exact opposite–a neutral pile of blocks. The centerpiece of this trio is an ampersand–one of my personal favorites. Is shelf styling ever complete without one?!?
- Choose items of varying heights. By choosing a collection of bottles, I was able to fill the height of the space. The contrast is the beaded garland that hangs slightly below, surrounding the low-medium height succulent. By using neutrals colors, this set adds visual interest in a subtle way. The curved bottles are kept as a collection in the whitewashed wooden box.
- Vary the shape of items. If you haven’t noticed already, I like to pair opposing shapes. Curves help to soften, while angles add sharp design. This shelf displays two “sets.” One is a trio of round planters, while the other is a tidy book stack.
- Layer objects. Candles, beads, greenery–these are ideal for layering with book stacks. By layering items, you can mix tidy with whimsy, round with angled, neutral with color…the possibilities are endless!
- Bring on the baskets! You can never have too many baskets. After all, has their ever been a more functional decor piece? To begin with, the woven look steals the scene. The coloring fits in beautifully. But, when you need a place to stash toys, clutter, blankets or pillows, there’s just no better way.
What do you think? Are there elements you love to include in your shelf styling that I don’t have listed here? I’d love to hear your ideas! Stay tuned for the upcoming projects on Instagram, and feel free to check out what’s been done in previous weeks.
Week Two: The Black Built-in Bookshelf
Week One: Cozy Basement Makeover Mood Board