Decor Living Room

How to Decorate Shelves in Living Room

Decorating shelves can be one of the most challenging things to decorate. Trying to decide what to put on them, where items should go, playing around with heights, etc. it can all feel overwhelming. The good news is that decorating shelves in a living room doesn’t have to be quite so difficult.

What to Put on Shelves in a Living Room

First, let’s start with some ideas of items that can actually be used to decorate shelves then we’ll dive into how to actually style them. Items to decorate a shelf with depend on the size and sturdiness of the shelf along with what room of the house they are in. For a living room, some basic staple items that are great for decorating shelves are plants, vases, decorative boxes, pictures, books, candles, and decorative bowls. There are definitely more items that could be used to decorate a shelf. Before going out and buying items I encourage you to look around your house. You might be surprised at some of the items you already have that could easily be used for shelf decor.

Decor Items for Shelves

  • Plants – Whether you prefer fake plants or real these make an excellent decor option for shelves. Plants come in so many shapes and sizes you’re sure to find one that will fit the shelf you are decorating. They also do a great job of adding in color and texture.
  • Vases – These are another great way to add in some color to shelves even if it is a neutral color. If you’re sticking with a neutral colors adding decor that’s a different neutral color from the walls and shelf will help to spruce up the room. Vases are great decor pieces by themselves or with some flowers in them.
  • Decorative boxes – This is a great way to subtly add extra storage. Find a beautiful box that fits the shelf and use it for decor. Inside you might be able to store remotes, extra chargers, batteries, kids toys and so much more.
  • Books – Any book can easily make a great decor piece. Some books such as home decor books have a simple neutral color, which looks great on display. If you have other books that maybe don’t match your decor simply turn them so the pages are facing out. This will create a beautiful stack of books showing the white pages off.
  • Candles – They smell great and are a great decor staple. Candles can also add in a little color. In addition, they can help break up the size of different items since there are so many options with candles.
  • Decorative bowls – These are just like the decorative boxes. They look great, but can also function to store items such as keys or remotes.

How to Decorate Living Room Shelves

Now the part that can seem challenging is actually decorating the shelves. If you have just one shelf this can be simpler. The main thing to focus on is mixing up heights, textures, and colors. Basically you don’t want two plants next to each other or all the items on two shelves next to each other all the same color. With just one shelf focus on staggering the heights on items that are on the shelf. This helps to draw the eye up and down and create a nice cohesive look.

When decorating multiple shelves, built-ins, or bookcases recognize it might take some time to get it exactly how you like. First I’d start with spacing items out. Make sure all the books or all the plants aren’t on shelves right next to each other. Putting similar items diagonal from each other is a great option. Then, focus on the color make sure different colored decor is evenly spread out among different shelves. Lastly, check for variations in the heights of the pieces on the shelves. Make sure none of the shelves have items that are all the same height. Playing around with having higher and lower decor items is great. You can also utilize wood risers and stacking items on top of books to help create some taller decor pieces if needed.

I hope these tips helped give you a lot of ideas and guidance on how to decorate shelves in a living room. Remember to have fun with it and don’t be afraid to have to change it up a few times until you like the way it looks. Be sure to follow along on Instagram and/or Pinterest for more home decor tips and inspiration.

Disclaimer: This post contains links that result in me receiving a commission.

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