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5 Helpful Tips for Perfectly Styled Shelves

Apr 2018

Sinkology is proud to present Ashley Carpenter, a homebody, decor obsessed, DIYer that loves fitness, happy people and wants nothing more than to be on the lake soaking up the sun with good people and good music. Ashley runs the blog Joyfully Growing and is here to share some DIY and design projects created for the Sinkology blog that reflect her timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic style.

Looking to perfect your shelf styling skills? Today I am sharing my tips on how to style your shelves like a pro! These tips are a mix of classics as well as a few things I’ve learned over the past few years as I’ve honed in on my shelf décor style.

Use varying heights

Mix up the height of the objects to keep the eyes moving from piece to piece. Use a combination of taller items and lower profile pieces to add interest.

Group items in 3’s (and 2’s!)

The general rule is to create groupings of three. This is because odd numbers are more aesthetically pleasing when it comes to décor – giving a balanced look without being too symmetrical. This is why most vignettes and centerpieces look best with an odd number of items styled together. And it can definitely look good on shelves too…


But I like to challenge that idea when it comes to styling shelves and often pair two items together for an effortless look. This works best with simple items that have two drastically different heights.


You can see in the photo above, each shelf has a grouping of two. The shelf on the left has a singular item (glass sphere) paired with 2 monochromatic items (glass bottle and fox figurine) next to it. The lower shelf has two items centered in the middle. Because these shelves are so small, groupings of 2 kept them from looking too cluttered.


Layer, layer, layer

Layer objects in front of other items to create interest and depth. I love to place items slightly in front of or behind other items to make it look like they are peeking around each other. This keeps the shelves from looking boring and flat. 

Frames also make a great option to achieve a layered look.

Use multiples of the same item

Group multiples of the same items in neat rows or stacked on top of each other to transform what would be a simple item into an artistic display. (This works great for shelves in dining and kitchen areas using copper mugs and bowls doubling as functional décor!)


Bonus:  add clear glass pieces, like the row of wine glasses above, to make the space appear visually ‘lighter’.


Don’t forget the greenery!

If you ever feel like your shelf décor is missing something, double check that you’ve added some greenery! Whether it’s real or faux, greenery helps liven up the space and keeps it from looking stale. It doesn’t have to be too fancy – think wreaths, potted plants or even dried stems poking out of a vintage glass bottle.

I hope these tips helped simplify the process of decorating your shelves!

If you have any additional questions, our Sinkologists are here to help. Contact us or follow us on FacebookPinterest, or Instagram for helpful tips and design ideas.