How to Decorate Open Shelves

(This post was originally posted on Decocrated.com on 3/14/22)

One of the biggest trends in kitchen décor is adding open shelving to your kitchen space. This is a trend I can get behind! My kitchen space is too tiny to do open shelving right in the heart of the kitchen, but to the side of our eating nook, we have a big open space PERFECT for shelves!

A few years ago we added these open shelves, and even though I love them – sometimes they feel difficult to style. Maybe you’ve found yourself in the same boat: you love the shelves, but you just don’t know how to make them look pretty! That’s where I’m here to help. We’re gonna learn how to style your open shelving with three little tips.

Don’t even know where to look for decoration pieces? I love to check my local thrift stores for items to use on my shelves. You’d be surprised what priceless pieces you will find there, and for a fraction of the cost! Another budget-friendly option I like is having a subscription to Decocrated: your interior decorator, in a box! With Decocrated, you get curated home décor shipped right to your door – either seasonally or annually, whichever you prefer! It totally takes the stress out of walking down aisle after aisle, agonizing over what’s trendy and what’s not, what will look good paired together and what won’t. The Decocrated designers take over all that hassle for you!

So let’s get started with our three little tips:

1.   Clean your shelves and pick out some main pieces

I like to start with a clean slate, so empty your shelves and wipe everything down! Once you’ve got bare shelves, pick a few pieces you love and set those aside. Keep in mind: the décor underneath your shelves needs to be considered as well. So in my case, not only am I decorating the shelves – I’m also decorating the dresser underneath, and that style is being considered as well when I start to set up my shelving items.

Once you have your main pieces, spread them out amongst your shelves. Try to start with the larger pieces first, and work your way down to the smaller ones. I added the Spring 2021 Clip Frame with the Summer 2021 Clock from the Decocrated Box’s as a part of my larger pieces. Look for items around your house! It’s always fun to “shop your home” for items you can move around from one room to the other. You’d be surprised what a difference that makes!

2.   Add some smaller items and greenery

I personally love adding greenery to my home, especially for the spring! If your shelves get good lighting, you could add some real plants – or you can find some pretty realistic-looking plants at Target or TJ Maxx. Make sure your greenery is spread out, and intersperse your smaller items between your big pieces and the greenery. I also added smaller items like the Set of Beads from Spring 2022 Decocrated Box. Don’t be scared of blank space! Your shelves don’t have to be filled to the brim. Sometimes a busier shelf just seems cluttered, so don’t pressure yourself to decorate every inch.

3.   Step back, adjust, and pat yourself on the back!

Once you’ve set everything on your shelves, take a step back and see what you think! Don’t be frustrated if you don’t love the setup after your first try. To make your shelves more visually appealing, keep taller items to the far sides of your shelves, and keep them to opposing sides if possible. This way, your eye is drawn from one side of the shelf to the other. Also make sure to break up colors if you have too many of the same colored items (unless you’re only decorating with only white items, gold items, etc.). Need some more inspiration? Check out Decocrated on Pinterest to see how they style their shelves and pair their pieces together! Their neutral seasonal décor looks great all year round, which takes the stress out of having to redo an entire shelf each season if you don’t want to.

Do you have open shelving? What advice would you add to style open shelves? Hope these tips helped take the pressure off your decorating! Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Xoxo.

Jessa Hillmann is a lifestyle blogger that focuses on mental health and daily living. She blogs over at lifestyleofananxiousmom where you can read about anything from her home renovations, to parenting with anxiety. You can also find her on Instagram under the handle @jessahillmann.

2 thoughts on “How to Decorate Open Shelves

    1. Thanks so much for reading! Shelving can sometimes feel challenging at first, but just know – it’s a process, and you can do it!

      Like

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