How To: Shelf Styling

Bookshelves are a huge focal point in a room and if you just randomly throw in things, it can quickly look like a cluttered mess. Create a functional and balanced display by spotlighting your favorite things with these 5 tips from Studio McGee.

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First, gather everything you might might want to use. Have a variety of books, framed photos or art, baskets, boxes, trays and sculptural objects, plants, vases.

Second, place your items that take up the most amount of space – large vases, trays, boxes, and groups of books. Stack larger books 2-4 high, lean some books vertical, use bookends for smaller reading books. Use your large items to anchor everything else. They'll be what catches the eye. 

Third, add frames and framed artwork next.  Add frames and artwork next. You can layer them and smaller frames can go on a stack of books or in a tray.

Fourth, create groupings with your vases and objects and start playing around with placement in the shelves. Think about height. Step back and distribute the heights of vases and objects. Vary height and style some groupings of 2 and other groupings of 3. This will help things to not feel gridded.  

Fifth, find balance and tinker until it's perfect. Think about the material and color and where it is placed- gold/metal, wood, ceramic, glass. For example, if you have a few gold objects you'll want to spread them out so that your gold objects are styled right above each other. You want the styling to fill the space but not feel too heavy, so don't be afraid to add an item or remove something until it feels balanced. Use a plant or two will bring some life to the wall.

Follow these tips and create an eye-catching focal point with a freshly styled bookcase.