top of page

40 ways to style shelves LIKE A PRO

In the realm of interior design, the art of styling open shelves has become a captivating and practical approach to enhancing home decor.

Beyond being mere storage solutions, open shelves offer an opportunity to showcase your personality, curate collections, and add a touch of sophistication to any room.

Whether you're a minimalist or a collector of unique trinkets, the versatility of open shelves makes them a canvas for creativity.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the world of open shelving, exploring the benefits, styling tips, and inspirational ideas that will help you transform these functional elements into a stunning focal point of your home.

Discover how to strike the perfect balance between form and function as we guide you through the process of incorporating open shelves into your home decor strategy. Let's embark on a journey to elevate your space and turn those shelves into a reflection of your personal style.

How to style a yellow String Pocket

Is String furniture worth the price tag?

One of the best shelving systems out there is made by String. They are a Swedish brand that has been designing this system since 1949. The system comes in its original sizing as well as a more compact version called String Pocket.

The Pocket was designed by Swedish architect Nils Strinning and has been around for more than 60 years. It was designed in 1949 and it's as relevant and desirable today as it was back then. It is part of a shelving system that is at the core of 'Scandinavian design'. The structure is light weight, yet stable. It is simple to assemble and the shelves can be easily repositioned according to your needs (and the height of your items). The side panels keep everything in place and, by adding extra panels and shelves, the combinations are just endless.

Minimalistic in its design, it has a timeless appeal. It comes in a range of colours for the panels and the shelves so whatever your decor, you will be sure to find one in a colour to suit your interiors (and scroll down to find my favourite colour way).

And while minimalistic in its original form, once styled, it can become anything you want. It can be dressed in a bohemian way with art, go masculine or fun with pops of colour in a kid's room. I hope the photos below will be a source of inspiration on styling your shelves!

Using open shelves in the office is smart

Seeing this photo I am thinking that this could work in my home office too! For a similar wall colour try Farrow and Ball Railings (as seen in my study) or Dulux Javelin. Keeping your office supplies tidy and looking good, this is the black and walnut Pocket. Let's call this the Monochrome Office. Accessories from HAY.

Above: Great styling keeping it monochrome by Kate Lavie. A passion for Diptyque candles apparently.

Endless possibilities to style your shelves

Styling shelves and bookcases is an art that allows you to showcase your personality, interests, and design flair. Here are some design tips to help you create visually appealing and well-balanced shelves:

Start with a Clean Slate

Before styling, remove all items from the shelves to start with a clean slate. This will give you a fresh perspective and allow you to reorganize more effectively.

Create Balance

Achieve a balanced look by distributing visual weight evenly. Mix and match different-sized items, placing heavier or larger pieces on one side and balancing them with smaller items on the other.

Use a Variety of Heights

Varying the height of items on the shelves adds visual interest. Combine tall vases, candle holders, or books with shorter decorative elements to create a dynamic look.

Incorporate Greenery

Bring life to your shelves with the addition of plants or flowers. The natural elements add freshness and contribute to a more inviting atmosphere.

Group Similar Items

Arrange similar items together in small groupings. This could include stacking books horizontally or vertically, grouping decorative objects, or organizing items by color.

Add Artwork

Integrate framed artwork or photographs into your shelving arrangement. Lean artwork against the back of the shelves or use it as a backdrop to add depth and interest.

Consider Negative Space

Don't overcrowd the shelves; allow for some empty space to prevent a cluttered look. Negative space helps each item stand out and creates a more visually pleasing composition.

Remember that styling shelves is a fluid process, and you can always experiment with different arrangements until you find a look that resonates with your style and complements your space.

how to style shelves



bottom of page