When Luke was first making my wildest dreams come true in our living room, I sat many-a-nights imagining the day that I would be able to style my own built-in shelves. The project was completed around Christmas time of this past year, and I proudly propped my manger scene smack dab in the middle of the shelves. With each season, I’ve managed to round up enough things around the house to style our shelves without spending a small fortune, despite several temptations while browsing the aisles of Target.
Christmas and New Years were no sweat. All the glitter, all the greens, and candles adorned our shelves for the winter months (which last a long time here in Buffalo, in case you were wondering). Then came February and I switched things up a bit by adding some pinks and reds and mini mailboxes for love letters (no love letters were ever placed inside). Spring and Easter brought bunnies, birds, eggs, and fake grass. And then summer came – hallelujah! – and I found myself at a complete shelfie standstill.
One trip to Target, a BloomsyBox flower delivery, and a quiet afternoon later, I managed to bring new life to our living room with summer shelf styling. Since I’ve done this a few times now, I figured I would document the steps I typically take while rearranging. Take a look!
Step 1: Start with a clean slate.
I tend to get overwhelmed thinking of new ways to style our shelves when they’re full of our existing “props.” By emptying everything off the shelves, I am able to start fresh and envision how I want the space to look when I’m done. (I also take this time to browse Pinterest. You can see some of my favorite “shelfie” styles, vignettes, and other living room inspiration here.)
Step 2: Gather your goods.
After the shelves are clear from clutter, I lay everything out in the living room to decide what I want to keep and whether I need to bring any additional items in from our storage totes in the basement. Since our living room is pretty small, I like to stick with a pretty neutral color scheme and only a few pops of color. In this case, I used these stunning bright pink roses from BloomsyBox to add a bit of interest with the green, blue, and natural elements.
Step 3: Work in layers
Rather than tackling the project as a whole, I like to start my styling by working one shelf at a time. During this process, I create individual vignettes, starting simple with larger pieces and adding in small elements and knick knacks as I go. Once one shelf is finished, I work on a diagonal to maintain balance between both sides. For whatever reason, I go from top left –> middle right –> bottom left –> top right –> middle left –> bottom right, stepping back after each shelf to make sure no one area is looking to heavy/cluttered or sparse.
Cute no-napper helper completely optional 😉
And there you have it: Styling built-in shelves in three simple steps. In full disclosure, I typically rearrange everything 8,000 times before I’m completely satisfied, ignoring my husband’s eye rolls as I go. You just can’t rush the process!
House plant: Lowes
Plant mister, vases, golden “&”, geode bookend, wooden dice, golden jack: Target
Silver tray, round mirror: Hobby Lobby
Picture frame: c/o Framebridge
Flowers: c/o BloomsyBox