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5 tips on creating a practical & pretty shelf

5 tips on creating a practical & pretty shelf

The rise of the shelfie – namely a picture of someone’s artfully adorned shelf – has driven many of us to wonder how these people manage it and assume that the rest of their home must look like this. (It probably doesn’t). These perfect images are often enough to send you into a spiral of self-doubt that such a handsome shelf could ever exist in your house. Well, there’s no need to doubt your shelf-dressing abilities any longer, my friends. I’m sharing my top tips for styling your shelf in ways that are practical, pretty and mood-boosting.


1 Make it practical
For shelves in the kitchen, utility or other high traffic areas, keep to hand the things you use daily. For us, it’s chopping boards, bowls, salt & pepper grinders, herbs etc. If you only store the things you use every day, they won’t get dusty. Pop a plant or two into the mix to add a living element. Practical can – and should! – be pretty too.

2 Choose a mood
There are a couple of ways to choose a mood. It could be a colour scheme with one specific colour leading the way such as whites, greens, or blue & whites – it depends what you have to put on your shelf and the décor in the rest of the room. Alternatively, the mood could be the influenced by prints or artwork you have; or it could be a style you love whether that’s utilitarian, boho, tribal, Scandi, etc. Focus on that one mood and choosing what to put on your shelf will come more naturally.


3 Avoid being symmetrical
Avoid creating symmetry on your shelf and you’ll have a much more natural display. Use items of different heights, shapes, textures and colours to achieve a really interesting, layered result.


4 Stack things to create height
If you’ve got something to put on your shelf that you really love, but it’s just too small or short and looks out of place, stack it on top of something else. Books laid horizontally are great stacking bases and lend interest as they are.


5 Clear the clutter you don’t use
As a big advocate of living with less stuff, I’m a fan of clearing out the things you don’t use or love. Shelves are often the dumping ground for miscellaneous odds & ends so have a good clear-out. That doesn’t mean you need to go all minimal! A busy shelf packed with things can be wonderful when each of those things has meaning or is useful to you. Depending on the space you have to play with, baskets and storage jars on your shelf can also house the odds & ends as they appear. Just be sure to regularly empty them and put things back where they belong or get rid of them.


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