Do you struggle with putting items together on your own? This is a client’s home that we had been working on in stages. We do one part then we add another piece to the design. Not everyone can go all in and paint, new furniture, rugs, accessories, etc. It’s good to have a game plan on what you want to focus on first and then prioritize. Plus it allows you to save up money for the next project. Our first project that we worked on was updating her bathroom and freshening it up. Then we started tackling the family room which is what I’ll be talking about here.
She had furniture with lots of reds and yellows and wanted a change. She ended up picking a neutral sofa and the accent chair with a great neutral stripe. The new rug brings the colors together and even when she gets ready to paint it will be versatile.
These are the bookcases on either side of her fireplace after she had taken off all the clutter that had accumulated. We all have areas that overwhelm us and this was one of those spaces for her. She would get really anxious just thinking about where to start. The best option in those cases is to clear off everything, sort through what you want to keep, sell, or donate. Decide what to do with it as you are pulling it off the shelf and organize it into boxes or totes.
I’m definitely not the most organized but when it gets to the point of overwhelming me I’ve got to do something. That’s the situation she was in.
If you scroll on down, you can see how I styled these using mostly what she had. She did pick up a few new accessories that she saw including some baskets that I found at Walmart. In order to start styling, you need a blank slate. Here is the before on each of the bookcases.
Here are a few of the new accessories that we used. She already had a lot of items including lots of frames to work with. It just needed a cohesive feel to tie both of the bookcases together.
My first tip in styling shelves is to layer in your larger pieces. On this side, I used a mirror she had and moved up the shelves according to the size. You need a substantial piece to draw your eye in and then you can style around. The thing you have to remember in this situation is what you do to one side…you do to the other.
You can see them side by side here below. I carried the larger frame over here to the other side in about the same spot as the mirror on the left. When I do these I think of them as a whole even though they are separate. I added the baskets and larger vases in next. I wanted to keep a couple on one side and add the other one to the right. Baskets are a great way to store the “non pretty” things we all have and adds in lots of texture.
The next pieces I used was to break up the gold accents she had bought and you can see close ups of those in the photos below. Whatever color you use it needs to flow throughout each side so your eye is drawn up and around and then over to the other bookcase. Books were added to give a little height and were everything is not on the same level. A touch of greenery will do wonders for the overall look and gives the styling life.
Here are a few of the things that she added to her collectibles.
The set of 3 baskets were a great deal at Walmart and they are linked here. <affiliate link> I love using baskets on shelves because it hides all the stuff.
The link for the modern vases in the first picture https://rstyle.me/+sr_novcvkAyWLy5MnLK8ZA <affiliate link>
I hope this helped with styling shelves and seeing how you don’t have to update your room all at once. I wish I had the before pictures so you could see how drastic of a change we made it. Even though we didn’t paint, but did small things over time that made a huge impact.
Take it one step at at time and do what you can to make it yours!