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Styling and Profiling

How to Style Accessories on Shelves (of any kind) by Nancy Lane Interiors

Styling might just be the most confusing aspect of completing a room for most people. What makes sense, what works with what, how much is too much (or too little) when it comes to accessories, how do I make it look like our family actually lives here and not like a store window display? I've heard variations on these questions from clients for years, so I thought it would be helpful {and fun} to make a few styling collections with my favorite retail accessories that could work on shelving or surfaces of any kind! Scroll through for visual ideas and enjoy some tips in case you're trying to style out a new area of your home.

How to Style a Built-in Bookshelf by Nancy Lane Interiors
example of how to style a built in bookshelf unit


1. Vary heights of objects - you can do this by using different sizes of actual objects, using a pedestal or by stacking books underneath something to create height, or using taller plants or branches in a pretty vase to vary heights effectively.

2. Don't be afraid to layer - utilize the depth of a shelf to its full advantage!

3. Go naked....take dust jackets off books! You'd be surprised by how you can change the look of a stack of books or add unexpected pops of color just by removing dust jackets!

4. Display your collectibles, especially when they can be grouped together in bins, bowls, and vases. I personally collect shells from trips to the coast and have put them in antique jars with labels of where they're from. It's a lovely reminder of family vacations gone by.

‌5. Use sentimental pieces including vintage art and family photos (side tip: this is the perfect time to update or refresh your frames). Its worth repeating here; don't be afraid to layer. You can lean a smaller piece against a larger piece for more depth (and height) to your shelving. 6. Use a little greenery....and if you don't have a green thumb, you can use faux! Just look for better looking faux plants - it's worth the investment to get the truest looking plants so you don't have to buy them again!

I always start by removing everything from the shelves or area being styled. I tend to group like items together so that I can easily grab what's needed....books, tall pieces, vases and bowls, etc. It's also a great time to wipe everything down, shelves and décor, before placing items.

For those who appreciate a visual, here's a breakdown of multiple shelving styling below. It's all about groupings, scale, and personal touches!

Shelf Styling Tips by Nancy Lane Interiors
Photo of styled shelf via Studio McGee

Do these tips help? Shoot me a message @nancylaneinteriors if you need some more guidance! We also covered how to style a coffee table a few posts back - click through below for even more styling tips.

If any of the accessories featured above struck a chord with you, I have linked a lot of my favorite retail styling finds below for easy shopping! Happy Wednesday friends - stay cool out there!


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