How to Style Open Shelves

2 Materials
30 Minutes

How to hang your open shelving, and even how to make open shelving, can be found in a few of my previous projects! But today, I want to talk about his to style your open shelving! Sometimes, they can end up looking too cluttery, and sometimes they end up being either all for looks, or all for function. While the most important thing is to make sure your love the look, and you're happy, I'm going to walk you through my step by step process of styling open shelving!

First, I always start with a blank canvas. I love to set up the space below the shelves exactly how you like it, so you can work off of the piece as its own focal point. I have my coffee bar styled how I like it, and my shelves bare. I also suggest getting together a pile of possible items you want on the shelves and keep it close by. You'll then pull from the pile for each step.

The first thing I like to out on my shelves, is the biggest piece, and the one I know I will not be happy about leaving off of these shelves. This coffee sign was originally hanging by itself above this space, and I knew I wanted to keep it on the shelves.

Next, I put some useful and cute containers next to the sign. I need items on the lower shelves that are visually light since that sign takes up so much visual space. The clear containers help me with that light visual, and they provide actual useful storage.

On the opposite side, I wanted to again keep things light, and this little creamer was the perfect thing to add from my pile of potential items (that was housed on the table behind me).

The bottom shelf isn't done, but I loved these cannisters, and incorporating the white on this shelf was vital to bring everything together. These cannisters also provide useful storage, and look cute doing it! These items are a little heavier visually, which is great because it balances out the large coffee sign on the shelf below.

The wooden fish and white vase combo on the other side of the top shelf balance this space out, visually and color wise.

The last thing I added was a pop of color with a realistic looking fern. I always try to add some greenery and life into the spaces I style, because it just makes the space pop. Now, this space is balanced visually, with the heaviest items on the middle of the lower shelf and the outsides of the top shelf. This creates a triangle that you can work around and fill in with lighter objects.

And now you're done! You can sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and relax!

Suggested materials:
  • Decor from around my house   (My house)
  • Decor   (My house)
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