Styling Tips and Tricks for Shelves and Tabletops

Hi friends!  Sorry for the light posting last week but you know how summer goes.  Before we know it, the kids will be back at school and I’ll have all of the distraction-free time I need for projects and posts.   Right now, I hope you are enjoying time with your family and crossing things off of your summer bucket list!

Today I want to share a handy guide for decorating tabletops and shelves because let’s face it, filling those flat surfaces with practical and pretty things can get tricky.styling tips and tricks

Here are some different methods you can try for styling lovely vignettes.

Divide and Conquer

Use this method for decorating coffee tables, side tables, and sofa tables.

If you have a large surface to cover (and your piece of furniture is “floating” in the room) try dividing the surface into smaller sections.  You can achieve this by placing stacked books, trays, and large decorating accessories side by side.  Add more interest with different heights of smaller accessories on top.sofa table styling

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Tell a Color Story

Great for bookshelves and built ins.

A really fun way to display books is to color block them.  First, remove dust jackets from hardbound books, then divide into color categories. Use pretty baskets or bins to hold paperbacks that have seen better days.   Mix in pictures and decorating accessories but leave “breathing” room. bookcase styling

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The Rule of Thirds

When you are completely stuck with a bookcase.

Try using the space in thirds.  1/3 books, 1/3 pictures, and 1/3 decorating objects.  Place each part (books, pictures, and decorating objects) in a zigzag pattern from top to bottom to keep the eye moving. bookcase styling

Tips for Styling a Bookcase

Grid Layout

A cleaner, more modern approach to filling a bookcase with decor.

Divide each shelf into 2-3 sections.  Place a large object (picture frame, plant, vase, basket, a pair candle holders) to define the shelf sections. This will give the appearance of a grid layout.  Add in a handful of smaller accessories for added layers and interest. bookcase styling

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Monochromatic and Chic

Tell a story with one color.

Use decorating objects in the same color for a fresh vignette.  Make sure to use accessories in various heights and widths.  dresser styling

Create a Stylish Dresser Vignette 

Opposites Attract

Great for dark pieces of furniture.

Don’t let dark accessories get lost on dark furniture.  When decorating a black or dark stained table top, use light accessories for an appealing contrast in color.  Follow the “divide and conquer” method for styling.

desk top styling

His and Hers – How to Style Different Bedside Tables

Tall, Wide, and Sculptural

When in doubt with any tabletop or shelf decorating, try this no fail method.

Group horizontal objects with vertical objects, and add in something sculptural. coffee table styling

Style Your Coffee Table

Have fun playing with different arrangements.  If you are unsure of an outcome, leave it for a few days, and then see if it needs tweaking.  The more you start playing around with styling, the easier it becomes!

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