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  • atouchofholle

How to Style a Shelf Wall

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Ever get stuck on what to put on that living room wall? Here are some tips and tricks to pull off the best #shelfie.

One of my favorite things to do to give my living room a fresh new look is to change up my #Ikea shelves. The best way to keep a cohesive look without adding too much clutter is to keep one standard color palate.

I normally stick with black and white frames and add in a little wood tones to match the live edge bench I have underneath it!

For the Holiday season I added in some pine needle swags. This gives the shelves just enough of a pop of texture and color. I also found some cute little houses in both wood and ceramic in the #Target dollar section. That place always has the best little extras!

I suggest adding a mix of:

Wood Tones - Wood always adds warmth to a room. If you have painted shelves, I suggest use a mix of wood photo frames and other shapes. Don't know where to start? Take a look around the house! I have a lovely Wisconsin State cutting board on my shelf.

Metal - Metal is a great contrast to the standard square frames. I've mixed in both a decorative metal clock, as well as this cool fox design we have. I also have a fun galvanized & up on the top shelf. Metal gives depth that your shelf can lack if you just have a row of photos.

Flowers/Greens - Whether you have a brown or green thumb, adding some sort of greenery is a great option for open shelving. Adding a trailing pothos or an artificial succulent brings warm texture to the wall. Or you can add swags of greenery like I did for winter.

Photos - Personal photos are always a must on my shelves. I like to mix in both black and white and color depending on the mood I'm going for. If you have a lot of color already on your shelf, you may want to go for black and white photos to make sure there isn't too much clashing color. It may make your shelf look cluttered.

Artwork - Artwork does a wonderful job of breaking up text and photos. Right now I have some beautiful art my friend make up for display. Here is where you can frame and put up that water color painting from your daughter or cool leaf print you got from an art show.

Shapes/Sizes - Make sure to mix it up! Stack different sized photo frames in front of one another to give your shelf more depth and to make everything look more connected. If you just line up items one after another they can look too separate. Below you can see the houses and greens are stacked in from on the "Home at last" sign. This helps to bring the look together!

Extra Tips:

Shop in your basement - You can always find good stuff in storage! Before I go out to a store I always look through the home décor bins I haven't opened up in awhile. Don't be afraid to use things that aren't "meant" for a shelf. Look through your home décor bins and sort past the standard photo frames. I've used clocks, cutting boards and cute watering cans for my shelves at some point.

Do a swap with friends - Do you ever have decorations that you really love but they just don't fit your style right now? Styles come in and out over the years (though I'm really hoping low rise jeans stay out, lets be honest) but that doesn't mean you need to keep buying new things! Organize a fun décor swap with friends - everyone brings items that they aren't using anymore and are willing to let go of (and maybe some wine too for good measure) and you all get to "shop" through new-to-you decorations! That way your items are still being put to good use, you're less wasteful than throwing it away, and it's at the great price of FREE for new décor!

Find fun frames and art at thrift shops - I always love stopping at thrift shops for my photo frames. The frames are normally good quality and you can always add a coat of paint to get them the right color!

Group items by color/texture before putting them on the shelf - Before I start throwing things on the shelf, I put "like" things together in a pile and then pick from it to place on the shelf. That way you know what you have and can spread different textures and colors equally and won't clump all the white frames on one side and metal frames on another.

Get stuck? Come back to it later! - Sometimes you put together a shelf and it just doesn't look right, and thanks ok! My best suggestion is to leave it for an hour or two and then come back to it! Or send it to your group of friends and they might be able to see what you can't.

Good luck, and happy decorating!

Until next time, Lauren

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