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Our Guide for Styling Open Shelves

June 03, 2021 2 min read

Our Guide for Styling Open Shelves

Styling open shelves can be tricky! Open shelves are a great way to show off your favourite items (and your personality) in your home. Whether it's a beautiful set of dishes in your kitchen, or the photos of your family in your living room, we're here to help make your shelves stand out!


1. Start with a clean slate

Take everything off your shelves and start fresh! Take note of the different decor items you have on hand, especially the colours, textures and shapes. Ask yourself, what would you like to put back on your shelves? Do you have any outdated items that you don't want to incorporate into your new look? 

2. Pick a palette

Now that you have an idea of the decor you'd like to use, choose a grounding colour! If you're going for a more neutral look, we suggest using muted tones such as beiges, light wood tones and blacks. For a more eclectic look, you can use vibrant colours like blue, yellow, and gold!

Be sure to think about the other colours you have in your space as well. If you are styling shelves in the living room, try to tie in the colours of your pillows or your rug for a cohesive look. For open shelving in the kitchen, try to tie in your cabinet colours, the veining in your counters or your hardware.

3. Add dimension 

Creating dimension and interest sounds daunting, but it's quite easy. All you need is some height! Using vases, trays and items of varying sizes helps to create balance on your shelves. Think about if you had a row of dishes across a shelf in your kitchen, yes it's practical for storage but not very appealing. Now if you place a bowl on top of some of the dishes or stack them beside other smaller pieces, you have some dimension! 

4. Group strategically

Our favourite tip - group things in threes! Why you may ask? It is proven that things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, and memorable than even-numbered arrangements. Try to group items that vary in shapes, such as bowls, vases, and books.

5. Mix textures

Adding texture brings depth into your space. By adding a wood cutting board, woven basket, or some textiles, you bring together different textures that will ensure the look doesn't fall flat. 

Last but not least, have fun with it! Your shelves don't have to be perfect. You can always change things up, add or take away items. Just like your home, your shelf styling will continue to evolve! 


Not sure where to start? Here's some inspiration! 


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