Decorating Shelves: 7 Tips to Decorate Simply

If you have a lot of items and don't know how to arrange them on your shelves, the following advice could prove very useful to you. We will show you how to decorate shelves simply and originally.
Decorating Shelves: 7 Tips to Decorate Simply

Last update: 25 October, 2018

Decorating shelves can be simple and fun. Often we tend to use these spaces just as a simple storage system, and forget the infinite alternatives that exist to make our walls stand out.

While the principal use for your shelves can be as a place to store items and to place small or medium sized objects, you shouldn’t let that be their sole purpose. You should consider that shelving is also capable of offering a decorative and aesthetic appearance to your home. Shelves can complement your interior decor.

There are a huge variety of shelves, including shelves of different sizes, shapes and colors. You can buy fixed or hanging shelves, wooden, iron  or metal, in white, black, grey, maroon and any other color you like.

We’ll show you some ideas and seven fundamental tips to take into account when you want to decorate shelves in your home.

Decorating shelves with color

It’s very common to have shelves in neutral colors. Together with the other elements that you place on them you can generate an aesthetic atmosphere. Generally, you could use white, black or grey to provide the perfect contrast if you have furniture with bold colors.

If that isn’t the case and you want to add some color, there are various options to give an original touch to your shelves. Here we list some:

Decorate your shelves with paint

You could paint your shelves with a light color. An aged finish could be perfect if your home has vintage decor.

Apply a color to the back of the shelves

On the other hand, you could opt for applying a color to the back of your shelves or on the walls where you’ve hung the shelves. A pastel or vibrant color could be a good option.

Hang wallpaper

If you don’t want to apply a solid color, you could choose wallpaper with an interesting design and stick it on the back of your shelves. Wallpaper with geometric figures is also a nice option. It would give a very original touch to the shelves.

Think simple when decorating shelves

Use frames with phrases or photos

Putting up images or inspiring phrases is an excellent option for decorating shelves in your home. Family photographs, abstract images or motivating phrases could be the feature of your shelves.

What if you have minimalist decor? With this style, you don’t use much color in your living spaces, and mainly use black, white and grey in your decor. You could use images framed in different colors. This would give a slightly different flavor to the shelves and would provide a contrast with the rest of the decor.

This will catch the eye of your guests.

Decorate your shelves with books

There are books in almost all houses. And where are they always located? On shelves. For that reason, one suggestion would be to play around with the placement of your books on the shelves.

Don’t limit yourself to simply arranging the books vertically from one side to the other. This look could appear boring, and eventually you could get tired of it. Instead, there are various different ways of organizing and decorating shelves with books.

You could play around and place one group of books vertically and another group horizontally. Mix up sizes and colors. You could also add an ornament or small photo frame on top of your pile of books.

Green shelves with plants

One element that can’t be missing from your shelves is plants. Use medium sized plants, with big or small leaves. A very attractive option is to have small pot plants of different colors, shapes and sizes with cacti or succulents.

These indoor plants are ideal for decorating shelves. You also have the option of decorating your shelves with small vases of dried flowers.

Color and contrast

As we’ve mentioned above, you can take advantage of colors to generate a contrast in your living space between the items that you have on your shelves. One interesting option could be to have the same color theme running throughout. You could apply the same color range to all the shelves in the room.

You could also paint other elements that you already have in the same colors. This idea will create a visual picture, bringing together everything in the room. In addition, this will provide a harmonious and balanced environment in your home.

Alternate the height of the different objects

If you have a wide variety of different objects, try not to organize them all in a line, or with the same items all together. It’s best if you play around with the heights and sizes of the different objects. Alternating the different items will give the shelves a more dynamic and interesting visual appearance.

Add objects of different heights and sizes when decorating shelves

Group objects and leave spaces

Creating small groups of objects on your shelves will be a great help when decorating. Try to leave significant spaces between each group. This will give a little air to the space and it won’t seem overcrowded.

A good example of this would be to group three jars of different sizes, or four pots in a line. This style will give order to your shelves, producing small sections with character. Go ahead and play with this idea! As a result the shelves will look orderly, but at the same time dynamic. One detail to take into account: try to locate the largest items behind and the smaller ones in front.

In short, decorating shelves can be really fun! You could take out and dust off those old objects, or those that you’ve stored away and don’t know what to do with. Play around and create a beautiful addition to your decor with your shelves.