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Image / Living / Interiors

Styling your shelves is the fun (and totally free) way to refresh your rooms in lockdown


by Megan Burns
06th Feb 2021
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Move over gallery walls, shelf styling is our new favourite way to inject some personality into our home, no drilling required.

Remember when you couldn’t open Instagram without being confronted with a gorgeously curated gallery wall? There’s a reason why we loved this trend so much (and we’re not getting rid of ours anytime soon). As well as adding colour and interest to our walls, gallery walls were perhaps one of the most personal touches we could bring to a space.

The mix of photos, prints and favourite posters was totally individual for each person, and said a lot about who you were. It’s the same reason why people are now turning to shelf styling in lockdown, with the added bonus that you can use objects you already own. 

shelf styling
Hay

Just like a gallery wall, a beautifully-curated shelf will add layered, interesting detail. A display of your favourite objects, whether that’s trinkets passed down through the family, interesting ceramics you picked up abroad, or just some much-loved pieces, can be rearranged again and again to create different looks. Here are some tips if you want to get shelf styling.

Pick a palette, but don’t forget personality 

Co-founder of Rockett St George, Jane Rockett, is something of an expert when it comes to the art of the shelf display, and she says there’s never been a better time to give it a go. “Shelf displays can be curated with trinkets and treasures found around your home, making it the perfect 2021 project for any budget.”

Rockett St George

To keep the look cohesive rather than cluttered, she recommends sticking to a few tones, “creating a calm and relaxing focal point.” 

However, she emphasises that this is a space to express your personality. “My shelves feature old photos, shells from holidays, pottery items my children have made and other bits that conjure up happy memories.”

“Pieces that entertain, make people laugh and turn heads are also genius at taking your styled shelves from great to showstopping.” 

It’s not just for shelves

When it comes to creating displays, shelves are an obvious option, but you can also utilise furniture like glass-fronted cabinets or even vintage display cases. The latter can be great to showcase smaller items that might get lost on a larger shelf, like in the home of illustrator Sally Caulwell shown here. 

shelf styling
Photo: Doreen Kilfeather

Any space is an opportunity for display 

Even a small surface, such as a bedside table, can add personality with a few carefully chosen items. Here, a show stopping lamp combined with a sculptural platter and a delicate bowl turn a normally mundane space into something spectacular. 

shelf styling
Nordic Elements

Mix up the shapes 

Without variety in size and shape, your arrangement will look a little flat, so be sure to vary heights and textures to create a layered feel. Flowers or greenery are also a great way to bring a display to life. For something long-lasting but low-maintenance, try a succulent, or a bunch of dried flowers.

shelf styling
April and the Bear

Featured image: Hübsch

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