Five Styling Tips For Open Shelving

Creating a well-balanced flow on open shelving can be tricky. It is easy to accidentally create a cluttered look if you don’t follow a few rules while decorating. Here are five tips to help style your open shelving for an uncluttered and well-balanced look.

TIP 1:  Find Balance

Incorporating a mix of sizes on the shelves helps to create balance. Too many small items will end up feeling cluttered and junky. By mixing large and small items you fill the space without creating a cluster of clutter. Create balance by curating objects in a variety of sizes and shapes.

TIP 2:  Create Repetition

Yes, you want a variety. But too much variety with texture and color will again end up looking cluttered. Find items that can be repeated such as wicker or wire baskets, wooden accents, a choice of metal, etc. Find an item such as a picture frame in several different sizes and repeat them throughout the shelving. By repeating certain aspects of items throughout you create a cohesive look from top to bottom.

TIP 3:  Three is Not a Crowd

Decorating in threes is aesthetically appealing to the eye. Create vignettes in threes throughout the shelving, making sure you’re mixing sizes. This can be done with items that are completely different in every aspect, or done with the same item in various sizes such as candles.

TIP 4:  Turn It Around

For all you book worms out there who are in a battle between displaying all your beloved novels and wanting a simplistic feel, turn it around. The books of course. By flipping your books to display the pages instead of the binding you can create a minimalistic and cohesive color scheme and utilize the space for books storage.

TIP 5: Think Outside The Box

Don’t be afraid to lay things down or stack things up. By laying books on their side and stacking smaller items on top you can create height and a variance in texture all in one vignette. We love how this image found on Pinterest from Hunker shows books stacked horizontally and has several books flipped backwards. They used several books to create height for plants and in other areas just one book to add balance.

Displaying items on open shelving or in built-ins doesn’t have to be intimidating or complex. Find balance, create repetition, group in threes and think outside the box by using items in non-traditional ways like flipping. Most importantly, be creative and have fun!


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