• Robin Kee

Shelfie Styling 101

I believe there are three types of people in the world: those that love styling shelves, those that get stressed styling shelves and those that don't care. (Ha...I mean, it's true, right?)

Well around here we care and we love it! But I understand it can be a struggle to figure out how to decorate large built-ins, bookcases and shelves for many people so today we are going to give you some tips, tricks and ideas to make the most of your spaces at home. To help me out, the lovely ladies of Brass Birdie kindly agreed to style some shelves and provide their thought process behind the selections. First, let's take a peek at their beautifully styled shelves.

Shelves styled by Brass Birdie
Shelves styled by Brass Birdie
Shelves styled by Brass Birdie

Allis and Mallory shared their thoughts behind their styling choices for these shelves and they are great tips you can use in your spaces as well.

  • We like to layer pretty trays, baskets or art to create depth.

  • We love using plants to bring in texture and color.

  • We selected items that coordinate in color to create a cohesive look.

  • We used fun bookends to add personality.

  • Decorative containers can be used practically to organize clutter.

The repeating of their finishes like brass really helps tie together this collection of items while still allowing a "collected over time" aesthetic which is always a win in my book. And speaking of books, hardback books are your best friend when styling shelves. They can help you add height and color to your shelves without breaking the bank.

Shelves styled by Brass Birdie

Thank you to Mallory and Allis for sharing their shelfie styling skills and tips! If you'd like to get to know the ladies behind Brass Birdie, visit this month's Meet the Makers blog post and follow them on Instagram to see all their available second hand finds.

Lovely Tip: Don't have a ton of books at home? No problem! Head to your local Goodwill or used bookstore and load up. Select hardback books with spines colors that work with your decor, but keep in mind you can always flip the book around and showcase the pages rather than the spine if that works better for your decor.

Inspired by Brass Birdie and their vintage, unique, second hand finds, I decided to tackle my kitchen shelves (which have been a hot mess lately) with as many thrifted and DIY items as I could. My goal, in addition to using second hand selections, was to create a collection perfect for spring with a little whimsy. Once I spotted this woven basket at an antique mall, I knew I had my color scheme ready to go.

Now I just needed to play with the items I had picked up, do a little bit of DIY, and find the right placement for my pieces. I might enjoy styling shelves, but that doesn't mean it doesn't take time. For the final result, I had to pause working on it, sleep and reassess the next morning. And guess what - stepping away did wonders and helped me view the space with fresh eyes and new ideas.

I love the way it came together. Let's see if you do too!

Lovely Tip: When it isn't working, don't force it. Walk away for a few hours and come back with a fresh perspective. Or you may even return to realize you already love what you've created. Home takes time - give yourself grace.

Similar to Allis and Mallory's styling, I used touches of brass throughout which helps with creating a cohesive look. And y'all, I am so in love with my new geese and elephant friends. Are they not the cutest!? The brass also pops in with the little canister (obsessed), the knob on the wooden box and on our shelf brackets.

I popped the lid off the canister to create a little more movement and depth and you'll never guess what this Goodwill bowl used to look like before I took some left over acrylic paint and baking soda to it. (But if you want to see it before, jump over to Instagram to check it out.)

Again, books are your friends. Above they helped add height by standing them upright while below they helped boost my new geese friends sit up a little prouder.

Above is another little Goodwill find that I painted for a quick update. And the wood beads are added to this thrifted bowl (gosh, I love that color) for extra texture and depth on the top shelf.

Now if you've been around Lovely Lark Living much, you know I am a big fan of local artists so I always try to incorporate at least one piece of art into my shelf styling. I think it adds so much personality and interest plus it can help you with your color scheme selection. This piece is from one of my first ever Lovely Makers, Deeann Reieves.

The box below was found at Goodwill and I had every intention to paint it, but after adding Deeann's artwork to the mix I realized the pink box was actually a perfect fit. Plus it tied into the original inspiration - the basket on the dining table. Perfection and total luck. (But don't look too close because the top definitely still has bunnies on it. Ha!)

Oh, and bonus, I had no idea this little pink box contained two more boxes! It was a sweet surprise and I was able to incorporate one of them into the design as well (but that one got painted).

I love how the basket above (from Brass Birdie!) adds so much texture and echos the wood finish on the small wooden box used on the shelf below. Simply repeating that natural finish (slightly darker than my shelves) really helped to anchor the entire look.

Alright loves, here are my Shelfie Styling 101 Tips/Recap:

  • Find a color scheme - based on artwork or your area rug or simply an item you love and use it throughout the design

  • Repeat finishes - ideally 3 times, but even just twice will help with cohesion

  • Create depth with layers - overlap items and stack them into smaller groupings

  • Add texture - plants and woven elements add interest to your space

  • Walk away - not working? Step away and return with fresh eyes

Questions? Hit me up on Instagram or email me at Robin@lovelylarkliving.com and let me know how I can help!



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