If we’re being honest with each other, and we are, the truth is that I don’t think I’m very good at “styling” shelves. I actually feel like I’m terrible at it. I typically end up shoving every imaginable anything onto said shelf/ shelves, and hope that it looks cool. I layer a thousand things in hopes that I have cool textures that just “work”. Nope. Sure don’t. They look terrible.
But then I saw this and snapped out of the funk.
So I’ve been practicing the art of styling over the past six or so months, in hopes that I can share some things I’ve learned along the way.
Here we are in the kitchen, and we’re speaking about the shelf J and I bought for a mighty $12 a year and a half ago. First time around, it looked like this.Then a little bit later, it looked like this. And now, after attempting to pay attention to how it’s styled, we have this.
How do we get there?
1. Remove everything. Styling open shelving in the kitchen isn’t necessarily about most-used/ least-used items. It should be, but sometimes, it’s just not done that way. Styling is, honestly, making something pretty for a picture. You may not keep it like that on the daily. For us, though, things get dusty and need to be rotated off the shelves in order to stay clean.
2. SIMPLIFY. This one is hard for me. I like to have everything out where I can see it. Which isn’t exactly a good thing. See here? Rarely used cookbooks, shot glasses my parents bought when they lived in Germany, two plants, a fabric flower… just… stuff. Chilllll, people. Too much stuff isn’t always a good thing.So in the after, I’ve simplified. One less plant, cookbooks are put away, and things just feel a bit less cluttered.3. Decide what needs to stay and what can go. See all those glasses we have? They don’t all need to be on display. I don’t need three aprons on display. I can put one in the cubbies next to the stove, where I actually use it.
4. Choose things that make you happy when you see them. Remember the wedding invitation that my friend had signed by Young House Love? Yeah. One of the most thoughtful presents I’ve ever received. So I love seeing that on the daily.
5. Try to have some kind of relationship between the objects you choose to display. In this case, I’ve chosen to repeat the mustard-yellow color… in the cow, the star, the vase, the apron… even a little bit of yellow in one of the books and on the dish in the center. 6. Look at your space. Like, with a discerning eye. If you have no idea what that means, just sit yourself down in a chair and look. The ideas will come.
7. I’m a big fan of asymmetrical things. BIG. J, on the other hand, is a big fan of symmetry. And in this argument, he would totally win. Symmetry makes a lot more sense (visually), when multiple shelves are involved. When you have a single shelf (say, a mantle), get crazy and go for some asymmetry.
8. Put the things back where they belong. See this picture below? That little lime green hook above the aprons? It’s been there since November. It looks stupid. It should have been put away months ago, but I just got lazy. PUT YOUR JUNK AWAY.
9. Everything doesn’t need to be in people’s faces. Be selective about what you put up there. Kind of like Coco Chanel’s advice to take off the last accessory you just put on?
So in this “finished” photo, I decided it was still too much and removed the Unicorn. (BLASPHEMY.)10. Last of all, this is your dang house and your dang shelf. Do what you want with it. Nobody can tell you what’s going to work best for you and your house. Except for Coco. Or Tim. Either one of them could totally tell me what works best for me and my house. #makeitwork
And linking up with Remodelaholic here!