styling shelves and spaces featured image

Styling Shelves and Spaces

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share some tips that worked for me when styling some shelves and small spaces in my home.

There’s certainly a trick to it! I wanted to share three that I think worked pretty well, and one that I don’t think is quite there yet.

In my area there isn’t really strict quarantine rules anymore (although there should be in my opinion…) so while we can go out and about, I’m not really doing too much of that. Instead, I’ve taken to reorganizing a ton of stuff, and redecorating a bit at home. Here’s what I’ve got so far!

Styling Shelves and Spaces

All of these displays are in my home office, which honestly isn’t getting a ton of use for work lately as I was one of the many people that lot my job during the pandemic. I’m still looking for work, but in my downtime I’ve taken to changing up my space!

The term shelves is pretty self explanatory, but spaces is a bit different. Spaces for this post will be generally areas for display like the surface of a cabinet. I do have a few tips for both though on how to style them and show them off.

Here’s what I’ve got!

My Tips and Tricks

  • Pick an item to be the “feature” of that area.
  • Try to tie all the items together, particularly to the featured item.
  • Don’t overcrowd an area.
  • Try to keep to a similar color palette, particularly if the space overall has a color theme.
  • Mix and match items as much as possible to keep it interesting with textures or height.
  • Move things and play around if something isn’t quite how you want it.
  • Have fun with it! Even if it’s not perfect right away, it’s still fun to figure out what is needed for that area and to try something new.

Frida’s Space

First, I wanted to start with an area that I’ve come to think of as “Frida’s Space”. Frida is my Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, and is quite the decor piece! When I first brought Frida home, I put her in a giant gold pot and then placed her on the floor. I really didn’t think too much of that but after awhile I realized I wanted Frida higher up because she’s still quite small, and the gold pot blended into the brown carpet. Plus, fiddles are toxic to dogs if consumed, and I was puppy sitting for my sister, so I needed her up and higher away, just in case! Frida ended up on top of a cabinet, and became the focal point for the space.

Here’s how it turned out! Frida was originally on the right hand side, but I didn’t really like her there. I moved her to the left hand side and I liked the “staircase” sort of effect that came from that, since the bookshelf is now right next to Frida. I don’t own a lot of green decor pieces that I liked, and the general color scheme I’m going for in the office is gold, white, and pink, so I didn’t want to add in more green. Instead, I focused on the gold from the pot.

I added in the file organizer next. It has gold hardware but white faux leather as well, so it was the perfect transitionary piece. I next added the coasters, as I like to use them as decor when not actively being used, which I though was perfect to tie the white in with the wood of the cabinet too. On those I used a gold and white candle, along with a gold and white mug.

I still felt like i was missing something so I added in a little framed art print of my favorite Disney Princess movie, Beauty and the Beast. The white is really the only color that matches here, but I think it’s enough that it works, and the pink fits the room overall (as well as some of the files that peek out on the organizer) so it’s not totally out of place. Plus it adds a tiny bit more to the space too.

I love how it turned out! I always got annoyed with this surface space because I felt that the surface just collected items too easily previously. I tried to use it to have all my art supplies but it looked messy and random objects would end up mixed in too often. Now that it’s styled, I don’t put random objects on there anymore, thank goodness!

Above the desk shelf

The next area is a shelf I have on the wall above my desk. I really liked how I had it for a long time, but I needed a change. I did leave a few things but changed up a few others.

styling shelves and spaces above the desk shelf

Here it is! I have always had the watercolor painting as the focal point here, which I got in Mexico. I love it! So I knew it had to stay. I also had the white with gold rim cake stand on the left hand side already on here, so I left that too, as well as the white and black bull figure.

I added the little white/gold pot with fake peony flowers onto the cake stand, which I do like together. I added in a copper candle too with a silver lid that I grabbed from another candle. And I also added a burgundy flowers and vase to the right.

I’m not too thrilled with this styling, so this one still needs work! At first I liked the flowers on either side as it felt like it was framing the frame in a way, but I think it just crowds it now that I’ve had time to think about it. I plan to remove both of those due to that. Even though they tie into the painting (which has pink and purple flowers) it’s just not working for me.

I do want to leave the candle, as it’s the one I’m currently using in the office. I plan to move the candle down onto my desk when it’s lit so I remember to blow it out, and since it’ll change it doesn’t really bother me if it doesn’t match exactly. The bull is also staying there because I love him a ton! I’m not quite sure what I’ll add to this shelf, but I do want to keep a sort of Mexican countryside theme to it so I’ll keep an eye out at TJ Maxx or Homegoods, or Mexico when I can travel there again, for something that will fit this shelf.

The desk shelf

I have a little shelf on my desk, which used to hold my printer eons ago, then later my spare monitor, which now sits on some fake books, and then held nothing. I really wanted to add something there as it was similar to the cabinet surface that would just accumulate stuff randomly.

styling shelves and spaces the desk shelf

Here it is! All of this was added to it, as nothing was really here before. I knew I wanted both Calathea plants, Glinda (on the right) and Elphaba (on the left) here. I painted Elphaba’s original pot white but switched her with Glinda’s bigger pot (from TJ Maxx) as she’s quite a bit larger. It just looked a bit strange when the tiny plant had a giant pot and vice versa!

I added the marble/wood cutting board here to tie it back to the coasters I showed earlier. Plus, I liked having it on the glass to keep the glass from getting scratched accidentally later. I added the plants in and I left Glinda on the right because she’s shorter so the light from the window won’t be blocked to Elphaba.

I added two little decor pieces too. I added Chip from Beauty and the Beast, which features white and gold, and ties back to the framed art print from earlier too. I also added a glossy white “@” figure that my mom got me randomly because she said it reminded her of me. So sweet of her! I loved it so I’m glad it gets to be displayed here.

I really like how this one turned out, but I might change this up because I do wish I had a Calathea in my room. We’ll see though!

A little travel area

There was one more cabinet surface that I changed up recently. My dad has a little filing cabinet in the room, which only had a lamp on it. I have a friend who loves to travel and she shared that she has taken to incorporating travel into her decor. I thought dedicating an area to travel would be a great idea!

Sorry the photo is so dark but if I opened that curtain it was way too bright! So this doesn’t tie in super well by color like the others are but it’s all tied together by the travel theme so I’m okay with that.

I started with a framed postcard of a market in Barcelona, that I got from my study abroad program when I signed up to go. I loved studying abroad and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, so I’ve had this postcard framed for a long time. It fit perfectly here! I added in a little glass decor piece of the pyramid in Mexico, Teotihuacan. I’d wanted to go to them for so long, and I brought this back from that day trip. Now I can display it here! Lastly I added in a mug from The Alamo, which I visited when I went to San Antonio last year. I wanted to tie in my trips to Texas but I didn’t really have anything from Houston, which I’ve visited three times now (for my previous work), but the mug works great! I don’t have anything here from New York or Anaheim, which were also trips from last year, but I do have magnets so I might add them to the cabinet at some point.

This might not be the most aesthetic of spaces but it makes me happy anyway so I’m looking forward to adding to it someday when I can travel again!

So those are some of my shelves and spaces! I have a ton of shelves and spaces that are still a hot mess though, so if you enjoyed this let me know and I can share those once I’ve fixed them up too!

Thanks for reading!


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