Image of lounge with shelving in alcoves, walls are a pale pink with fireplace in centre and mirror above fireplace

Shelf styling is one of my most favourite things to do when styling a space. I include mantel and coffee table styling within this, many of the same concepts and tips can be used in all of these areas.

Shelf styling can instantly elevate a space and it can be a really easy thing to do if you follow a couple of simple tips and tricks. 

You don’t have to spend a fortune on styling your space, you can shop your home, find inspiration in your local charity shop, mix old and new and of course pick up lots of goodies from your favourite shops, whether that is online, high street or even better your local small businesses.

Pick One or Two Colours

The first tip is to pick one or two colours for each space and then add in some metallic or wooden tones. Plants or foliage are also always great for adding extra texture, height or interest in the space.

Try to encorporate elements of different height, a tall vase, lamps or candle sticks work well. Books are also great props to use. They can add height if stacked and interest if leant at an angle.

You can choose the spines of the books in your favourite colours to match the display, remove the sleeve or even turn the books around if you want a more neutral look.

Image of console table in hallway with baskets underneath for storage and a round mirror  hanging above it.  On the table are candles, a lamp and ornaments
Blue shelving with lots of books prints and ornaments.  In front of shelves are pink sofas and table by Lisa Dawson

Candles and candle holders are a fantastic option for either adding height, interest or texture. They now come in so many colours, options and shapes that you really are spoilt for choice. They obviously also have the added bonus of making the room smell fantastic as well!

Pictures, prints or artwork can be fixed to the wall or even propped up which makes it easy to change up the space simply and quickly, particularly useful if you get bored with a space easily.

@_lisa_dawson_ is the queen of shelf styling so do pop over and have a look at her account. She loves to change her shelves and artwork frequently so is great for inspiration.

Divide each shelf into three

I have shared some photos of my lounge shelves which I have styled in two different ways – I’ve kept it initially fairly neutral using some pops of pink and green.

I have divided each shelf into 3 and then worked on giving balance to the space using a mix of pieces.

Pale Pink shelving split into 3 sections with ornaments
Pale pink shelving with blue and brass ornaments displayed in 3s

The second picture shows a different colour palette with the addition of blue and brass elements. The blue and brass elements were sourced for a recent project where the clients were really starting from scratch with only a couple of pieces. The brass elements lend a sophisticated feel to the space and look lovely against the warm green tones.

Evolution of book shelves

The last pictures show the evolution of some book shelves in a holiday cottage project. Some shelves were removed to give a more asymmetrical feel and allow more space for larger pieces such as vases and art work.

These pieces were a mixture of charity shop finds, high street purchases and local artists.

The back of the shelves were colour blocked in the colours of sea glass to tie in with the identity and name of the cottage.

It’s always important to remember to choose pieces that you love, it’s always lovely to use pieces that have some meaning, whether they remind you of a special place, person or time or just make you smile!

If you need any ideas or inspiration to help with the styling of your space please get in touch and I’d be happy to offer some advice!

Catrin x


Shelving with sage green background
Shelving with sage green background