I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all the ledges in my house! I didn’t know what to do with the one in the reading nook so it’s been blank for three years. But she’s all styled now and ready for her shelfie! Today I’m sharing my favorite things to use on shelves and four tips on how to arrange them.
I put random things up on top of these Ikea Kallax shelves, but decided to start fresh. And that ledge above is where I’ve been stuck. We have so many ledges in our house!
Side note: I did find another great solution in the living room — a series of six snake plants in baskets. And they’re still alive! I’ve been watering them once a month and they’re so happy.
Items to use styling shelves
Books are an obvious choice and I LOVE them. I love reading and learning. I’ve read almost all of these (besides how to conjugate Italian verbs — my Italian is still stagnant and lacking), but I also like buying books when they strike an interest so I’ll always have something new to pick up.
I decided to do faux plants on top of this ledge because it is even taller and I don’t think I need any more snake plants, haha!
This long faux ivy plant up in the corner is faux and comes in long strands. I poked them in this ceramic pot I found at Ross Dress for Less. In fact, I bought about every decor item in this space at Ross Dress for Less. I’m sorry that doesn’t help with links. You’ll have to check out your Ross and see what’s there. Dig around and be patient. Sometimes there’s SO many things I “need” and other times there is absolutely nothing. My favorite new purchase was that wood table ($39) Mr. Snake is sitting on!
I added these rather large baskets on top to fill the space. (And no one has better deals on baskets than Ross!) Baskets are a great way to add in a natural element. We have all white walls and tile, so I’m always looking to add in natural and wood tones to warm up the space.
Frames add interest and create a lovely backdrop. I made this super fast with half a paint roller and leftover paint! See 5 easy art ideas here.
Lights bring in the cozy factor. If you have a large space, consider matching lamps on either side for symmetry.
More styling items
More items to consider when styling shelves:
- candle sticks
- sculptural elements
How to style a shelf
Here are the things I look for when I’m playing around and rearranging items. And by the way, I’m not great at styling, which could mean two things: 1) you are wasting your time reading a post by someone who doesn’t know what she’s talking about 😆 or 2) I can break it down for other shelfie newbies because I’ve had to look at SO many Pinterest photos. This took me weeks to get to where I like it!
Layers always make things more interesting and dimensional. I took these off the adjacent wall and they work great here. (New plans coming next week on my blank wall to the left!)
I think people tend to buy items too small for what they need. And this is for a couple reasons: 1) they usually cost less and 2) it’s easier for stores to ship and stock smaller items. I’m thinking Target right now. I have plenty of things from Target in my house, trust me, but when you look around the store most furniture and home decor are small.
That basket vase thing there (technical term) is almost two feet tall, but look how it carries the space. The frames (from Ikea) are 43 inches tall. My point: Go bigger.
When I was playing around with this space at first I didn’t like it at all, but I finally realized why — too many objects were the same height. (Also to begin with I have too many objects in general. It was too busy.)
So look at this photo and you can see that the basket heights on top go tall, short, tall short.
On top of the bookshelf, I put the lamp up on a pile of books to give it a boost above the plant and basket.
And finally, I narrowed down the colors I wanted. Here I’ve chosen neutrals (black, white, natural and gold) and then let the books and plants be the splash of color.
And here’s what happening at the moment on the other side of this little nook. I have the same Kallax shelf, just turned horizontal and … of course more plants :)
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2 thoughts on “How to style shelves and ledges”
What a beautiful website this is, thank you for this interesting post and the lovely pictures to go with it
Thank you for always sharing your creative ideas.