How to Style Beautiful Shelves

Styling shelves is one of my FAVORITE things to do when decorating. These are the small details that really make your house feel like a home. It’s the area where you can add in your favorite souvenirs or family heirlooms - or like myself - display your most treasured thrifted items!

Shelf styling does get a little tricky though, and it still gives me some trouble. But the good thing is that there really is a basic formula to making any shelf look magazine worthy! I’ve broken down the four basic steps I take when styling a shelf- hopefully this helps you create a gorgeous “shelfie” moment!

p.s. most of the decor in my diagrams is from Amazon! I linked everything below!
*these are affiliate links


STEP ONE: Clear your shelves! I always find it so much easier to start with a blank canvas.


STEP TWO: Add in your bigger decorative items (large vases, art, baskets, etc). Make sure to spread them out versus clustering them all together. You’ll probably end up moving these things around, but it’s nice to get them up first.


STEP THREE: Add in your smaller items and make sure to spread out similar colors (unless you’re creating color coordinated shelves).

See below how there are two bigger light colored vases on opposite corners, the darker colored items aren’t right next to or right above/below each other, etc.


STEP FOUR: Add in any greenery if you have some. This is also the time where I usually step back and make any edits if something feels off. Sometimes you might need to stack items on top of books, or move things around to create varying heights. You should also layer some items in front of the bigger pieces to create depth.

And that’s really all there is to it! Like I said in the beginning, the more you practice at this, the more natural it will come. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you a while to put together something you like- most times it takes me a few tries until I really love it!

If you love the look of my diagrams above, you can shop a ton of these products on Amazon (and at really amazing prices too)!!

I created a tip sheet that you can easily save to Pinterest so you can pull it up whenever you might need to reference it!