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Shelf Styling – How to Style balanced and cohesive shelves

I will show you how to create balanced cohesive styled shelves with these tips!Open shelving in the living room with baskets and plants on them.

We’ve probably all heard the term shelfie by now and have some serious “Shelf Goals” we want to accomplish. It seems we’re all searching not only for a practical way to use our shelves…but to style them as well.

Open Rustic Shelves

Styling open shelves can be challenging, believe me… I understand. I’ve gone through periods when I was changing my shelving decor every few days asking myself WHY it wasn’t looking right?! After I applied a few concepts when decorating my shelves now I feel as though I can finally accomplish that shelfie look I’ve been longing for.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…
The first rule of thumb when styling an open shelf is to stick to a color palette that will complement your theme. This will give your shelves a more cohesive look. For instance, I have a modern farmhouse look going on, but for my shelves… I went with a more antique Boho look. I used the antique books to tie in with the color of the wood in my ceiling beams.

Balance Your Shelf With Proportion

Secondly, try and use similar shapes and sizes when styling your shelves. This will bring about balance. In my picture, you can see in some spots I have one larger object that takes up the space in one area. In other sections, I try layering smaller decor together with different size pieces to try and proportion the different areas equally. I like to try and imagine a shape within one area of my shelf… a square for instance. Then I use my decor to fill up that shape. Then I replicate that shape on every shelf with my decor, so even though all my decor is different It all balances out.
Lastly, make sure to repeat certain decor pieces such as antique books or plants throughout your shelves so things don’t look random, but instead work together. Repeating these pieces will make things look more cohesive.
Below are more pictures of a pair of shelves in my home. Look at each new angle and see if you can pick out my color palette and theme. Also, See if you notice my repeated decor pieces that make my shelves look more cohesive. And lastly, see if you notice the sizing of my decor pieces and how I’ve layered them to balance each section out.
living room with shelves.
gray couch with shelves in the back.
gray couch with shelves behind couch.
living room with shelves.
gray couch with shelves in the back.

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