Posted on by Erin | Earnest Home

Shelf Styling by House of Earnest from House of Earnest on Vimeo.

I had several emails about the shelves I recently styled in my master bedroom, so I wanted to give you guys my step-by-step process for styling shelves! I still think mine are a *tad* piecey and I’d like to add more actual books, but that is something we’ll grow into! The pointers below correspond to the video.  Enjoy!

1. Think about visual weight first: The actual books on the shelves will take up the most solid space, or visual weight.   Placing the books high, but not at the top, leads your eye upwards without making the shelves seem top-heavy.  Balance the amount and placement of the books so that they aren’t too symmetrical, but still relate to the other large placements of books.

*H of E Tip: Anything with a little bit of weight can be used as a book end.  I used candle holders that were pretty and sculptural.

2. Top shelf is too high:  If you’re dealing with a really tall top shelf, small items will get lost and will be invisible when you’re standing below.  Choose items that are very simple, but larger in scale.

3. Functionality:  If there is a purpose for the shelves other than storage or display, consider this early on.  We’re using our shelves as extensions of the bedside tables, so I incorporated our alarm clocks and the appropriate extension cords for lamps and phone chargers.  I also included baskets on the bottom shelves for extra sets of sheets and blankets.

4. Have fun with your things!  After getting some of the visual weight, balance, and functionality right, I played with creating different small vignettes to display some things we’ve collected.  Photos and art in frames, sculptural objects, trinket boxes and unique vessels are all good options.  I even used my husbands collection of antique lightbulbs and cameras!  Just remember to keep colors and sizes balanced.

5. A little variety: If everything is looking really heavy or solid, add something transparent or reflective with a glass or mirrored surface. Mixing various textures adds interest!

6. Be patient:  They don’t have to be totally full and perfect out of the gate.  Live with them and work with them over time.  I’ve left my shelf behind my beside table empty for now.  It competes with the table, so I want to live with the arrangement and be smart about what goes in that spot – or I might just wait until my book collection grows a bit more!

I hope these little pointers help you out on your next styling adventure!

Have an AWESOME Monday!