Do you mean the actual shelf itself or things to put on a shelf? Decorations on the structure of a shelf are usually added molding. As for decorations, it depends on what you have or the look you're trying to achieve. For example, right now I'm adding fall pumpkins, leaves and a 12" black leafless tree with leaf shaped lights to my mantle. As I gather them, I'll also add some pine cones and eventually some green fir branches from a repurposed Christmas tree as we move toward the Christmas season. At that point, I'll remove the fall colors and decorations and change to Christmas ones. I hope that gives you a few ideas. Wishing you the best.
Mantelpieces are in effect, shelves as are bookcases. First develop your "eye" and see how things are arranged in a store like home goods. look through magazines, start collecting items from yard sales or the outdoors. I have a very narrow but long shelf on my porch. Every summer it is decorated differently.
Work with the rule of THREES. clusters of 3 items look best. I have also heard to never decorate a shelf with anything smaller than a cantaloupe.
Do you mean, as in paint or stain or do you mean what to put on it to make it look nice?
What would help make them look good?mine are decorated but very boring just need some ideas to make them pop!
You could edge them with a coloured tape/ribbon/braid or Lace (can be purchased in a roll - plastic) if required. You could use any trim including small bunting type, rope loops, even strings of beads. Was that what you meant? -
Themed items look good - Mix of books/ornaments/photos/old items..........etc
Things that say something about the occupants of the home.....or tell a story!