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No Fuss Shelf Styling Tips for Living Room Shelves

Did y’all see the reveal of my DIY tone on tone feature wall with built ins? To say I’m excited that this DIY is over is an understatement. I was racing to complete it before the kiddos got out of school for the summer. Now that the wall is complete, I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips on how I decorated my living room shelves.

tips for shelf styling

It’s easy to look through Pinterest and say, “wow that looks great, I can do that!” But then when it comes to actually re creating the idea you saw, it’s always a little more difficult than you expected.

Tips about styling shelves

First of all, there is no right or wrong way to decorate shelves. There is, however, a few things you can keep in mind to make your shelves look more aesthetically pleasing. That being said, everyone has different taste, so what I think looks great, might not look great to someone else.

It boils down to style and what you like to see on your shelves. Some people like to see more personal elements like picture frames and photo albums, while others like to see decor items.

Personally, I love both. For this post, I’m going to share mainly decor items on my shelves.

Before we begin, let me share my DIY feature wall again.

tone on tone feature wall

How to style shelves with a no fuss shelf styling guide

  • Pick your color scheme with three to four colors (or materials) and stick to it. For my shelves, my color scheme is natural (woven basket, binding in books), white, blues and green.
  • Mix vintage and new elements with different textures. This isn’t necessary, but for my modern farmhouse style, this is what I wanted.
  • Add greenery! Anything green always warms up a room, especially shelves.
  • Sit elements with varying heights next to each other.
  • Keep everything counterbalanced. What I mean is sit a large and tall item next to a shorter item and vise versa.
  • Group elements in threes when grouping a few items together. You will see that I’ve done this in a few places, but not everywhere.
  • Above all, don’t get too “matchy matchy.” In other words, don’t over do any of these elements. You want to create visual interest! When you have A LOT of matching items, it tends to look boring.

I hope this guide to decorating shelves has helped some of you!

Let me show you some specifics about my shelves.

Styled Shelves

I love how this woven basket for my fiddle leaf goes with the braided storage basket on the bottom shelf.

how to style shelves
styled shelf tips
styled shelves

I love those LED library lights! They are the perfect gold/copper color to match with a few other elements like the small candlesticks.

The best part about them; I didn’t have to wire anything. They are battery powered! Also, they are around $30 each, score!

You know I love to share about DIY open shelving. I figured after countless posts about how to DIY a few shelves, I would share how to decorate them too. I hope this helps.

styled shelves
how to styled shelves
styled shelves
styled shelves
styled shelves
styled shelves for DIY feature wall
styled shelves


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  1. Veronica Lee says:

    Awesome project! Pinning this!

  2. I always struggle with styling my shelves. Thanks for the tips! I will definitely try to use them the next time I decorate them.