I often get the urge to switch things around in our house and our builtin bookcases in our living room is my favorite place to do this. I know decorating open shelving could be very overwhelming as far as figuring out what to display and how, so I wanted to share a few tips I’ve learned over the years to make the process a little easier and less daunting. I would say the best advice overall is to have fun with it! Don’t expect to get it all on the first try. There really is no right or wrong formula. For me, this takes days of moving pieces, stepping back, sitting with it, and adjusting them the next day until the balance feels rights.
TIP 1: Shop your house for decor items, baskets, picture frames, plants, books, clocks, candle sticks, homemade pieces, collected items from antique shops or thrift stores. You’d be surprised how much you probably already own that would work great when grouped together.
TIP 2: Try and group together what you’ve gathered into a color scheme. Neutrals are always great, but then you can add in hints of blues or greens. Or maybe in the fall you do warmer burgundy’s and deeper colors.
TIP 3: Start with your largest pieces which are considered to have the most visual weight and place them on either the top or bottom shelves to anchor the space.
Tip 4: Layer in your decor pieces with books and pictures frames of photos or artwork. I like adding in pieces that are modern and smooth next to things that are vintage or “collected” to balance out the two.
Tip 5: Use baskets, wood, linen frames, fabrics to bring in visual “texture” to the shelf which makes it more interesting.
Tip 6: Add in plants (faux or real) to soften the space.
Tip 7: Vary the height of the decor pieces. Often decorators talk about creating a visual “triangle” with their pieces on the shelves. Do this by stacking items on boxes or books.