top of page
  • Writer's pictureSummer

How to style open shelves

1. Start with bigger pieces and style asymmetrically

There is definitely a place for symmetry in design-in fact a lot of good design tactics are to use symmetry. However, to get a more organic and carefree look you’ll want to stagger items and create spatial differences between them. I like to start with my larger pieces and to make sure that they don’t line up right on top of or next to each other.

2. Create interest with height and different shapes

Adding items with interesting shapes like circles or items with softer edges can bring bring a more natural and balanced look to your shelf styling. You can also stack books on top of each other and add an item on top of it like I did with the beads for some character and height.

3. Avoid placing similar textures and tones next to each other to create contrast

While I love a good monochromatic look it can go too far if you place similar textures and tones next to each other because they can blend together too much. To avoid this, diversify where you space things out so that each texture and tone has its one place to shine!

4. Adjust until it feels right!

Adjust, adjust adjust! Step back and take in your work. This part is really the finishing touch to good styling. When you take the time to step back and observe you can make a big difference by adjusting something even a half an inch over. Beginning any project can be intimidating if you don’t know how or where to start. We see so much perfection out there that it can feel impossible to achieve a certain look. Collecting all of these pieces took time and it was a process for me. I’m sure these office shelves will continue to evolve as my style changes but that’s ok. Don’t be afraid if it’s not perfect right away and remember to have fun with it, they are your shelves!

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page