Monday, April 16, 2018

Three tips for styling your shelves

Not everyone is obsessed with styling, changing and rearranging their home as much as I am. It is a hobby of mine, and I can feel good about that because everything I do is to make my family and our guests more comfortable here. This is even more important to me since becoming a stay at home mom because it is space I live in pretty much all day every day. A messy house with problem areas and unfinished projects impacts my mood, so I am beyond excited to FINALLY have this cabinet completed and shelving completed in our living area.

I have had the three shelves there almost as long as we have lived here. This has fed my desire to constantly change things since I can rearrange my plants, books, photos and treasures any time the mood strikes. I get a lot of comments on my shelving and styling, so I thought I would share a few tips here.

Side note: I am one lucky girl to have a dad who can make pretty much anything. He does wood work, metal fabrication, and basically anything else I ask him to do. He likes the challenge, and I like my ideas becoming a reality. When I was struggling with this space and unwilling to pay a small fortune for custom cabinetry, he stepped up and knocked it out of the park.

1. Use items that vary in size.

When styling your shelves you want to use items that vary in height. For my shelves I chose my largest pieces first and alternated the height, and in this case, the material.  You want to avoid pieces of the same height right next to each other, and ideally you don't want two items of the exact same height anywhere near each other. After placing my bigger pieces I used a variety of smaller frames and other items to fill in between and ground the larger ones. You can use whatever you have on hand, and if needed, you can use books to elevate smaller pieces. Which leads me to my next tip...

2. Keep the eye moving.

This tip is especially handy when choosing your accent pieces. Once you have the base laid out with your larger pieces, you can be very intentional about what and where you plug in items that will keep the eye moving along. You could do this with several picture frames in the same color, multiple round objects, or like my example, repeating books and plants. Visual artists use this idea often to keep the viewers' eye moving throughout their work. For example, in a painting an artist may use multiples of the same object or repeating pops of the same color spaced in a way that visually balances the piece. It keeps the eye moving throughout the piece instead of getting hung up on one thing. The same goes for styling spaces in your home, such as a gallery wall or a large shelving unit. By repeating similar items you create consistency, and your eye will do the work to connect the dots.

3. Follow a diagonal

This goes right along with the first two tips. Once you have chosen your item/shape/color/size to repeat, placing them in diagonals will help your shelves feel balanced. See how my three plants create a vertical diagonal that moves your eyes down the shelves? Look again, and you will notice the books do the exact same thing. It isn't super obvious at first glance, but it is pleasing to the eye. Again, you could do this with a certain color, shape, size of photo frame, or any repeating feature really!

I hope this made sense. If I am being totally honest, all of this comes second nature to me. I am very visual and things like composition come very easily to me, but friends have pointed out that this isn't the case for everyone. I could go into a lot more detail on color scheme, texture, etc. but I wanted to share the basics of what to do if you are using what you already have like I did. If you have any questions, please send them my way!


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