• M+B Design

Shelf Styling Tips


Choosing items to style a shelf can be daunting, but here at M+B, we want to give you some direction + guidance to take that stress away from you. Making your house #feellikehome should be fun, and this most definitely can be, if you follow these simple tips!


Tip #1: Balance your objects

If you, for example, have a wooden object on one side, find balance on the other side with something else wooden. It DOES NOT have to be the same item, and it DOES NOT have to be on the exact same shelf. This balance effect will visually mirror your pieces, and result in beautifully symmetrical shelves.

Here you can see balance with galvanized items on both shelves but opposite sides. You can also see the mirrored effect of white objects, as well.

These built-ins have multiple examples of balance. The books, the glass items, the picture frames..all balanced out on both sides!


Tip #2: Add Greenery

Never underestimate the power of greenery! Plant life incorporated into a design will do just that- bring LIFE. It's the easiest way to bring in joy to a room that you wouldn't have even realized was missing. You can maximize indoor plants (faux or real!) by placing them inside interesting vases or pots.





Tip #3: Incorporate Art + Photographs

Adding artwork will help you to anchor color back into your room design. If your artwork is colorful, it will pair well on a shelf with something not quite as bold. Photographs will cast a #feelslikehome vibe back into your room, and will no doubt cozy your space right up!


An heirloom family photo brining all the #cozyvibes...


The artwork on these bathroom shelves helped to anchor back in the turquoise accents from the master bedroom.

Tip #4: Include Glassware

This tip is a sneaky one! Here's why. Glass works to make a the surrounding space seem bigger, and so it's a great way to minimize a busy shelf!







Tip #5: Group's of 3

Less is more when it comes to shelves, and groupings of 3's can help you to limit yourself.



Tip #6: Use books to your advantage Books are SUCH a budget friendly addition to any shelf! If you don't own a lot of hardcover books, go to your local thrift store and grab a few! You can style them spine out or pages out, vertically or horizontally, and even use them to pull out an accent color.




Tip #7: Stand Back + Edit

Even as professionals, there is never a style day that comes where we don't change something up in our design on the fly. Stand back and ask yourself, "Does this seem too busy? Too bland?" "Do I need to balance something out, or add in some color?" Sometimes the best thing you can do is embrace some negative (or blank) space, can allow the rest of your shelves to come together perfectly.


M+B Design

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