Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thrifty Shelf Stylings

Having shelves to display your treasures sounds awesome, right? Especially when you look at all the gorgeously styled shelves you-know-where (Pinterest, in case you've been in Timbuktu for the last year).

My two Target leaning shelves (bought on sale) worked well in my last house, and I figured it would be just as easy to throw them up in my new house., not exactly. My previous dark brown and terra cotta living room is a little different than my current spring green and light gray color scheme. 

Plus the placement wasn't working so well. Here's what I started with:

They were flanking the entry to the dining room, and it felt heavy. So, they were moved to one side:

Here they sat for about two weeks. And sat. And sat some more. Occasionally, I'd move some stuff around, but they never looked right.

Then, my husband went out of town for the weekend and I totally took advantage of it inspiration struck! The chairs and sofa were on an angle, and so was the tv unit. Never being really happy with having the back of the tv facing into the entry, I moved some stuff around. That's when things started working:

This picture is the truest for showing the Stonington Gray on the walls. In case you were wondering.
YAY! I luv it this way...and so will my hubs eventually. It's still totally good for tv viewing and once the placement was set, I started styling. The first things to go were anything with the aqua color from the breakfast room. It just wasn't working for me.

What worked well for me in the styling process:
  • taking everything off the shelves and having it all available on the floor to pick from
  • grouping in odd numbers - if you look closely most of the stuff is singles or groups of three
  • since I was working with two sets of shelves, I tried to alternate singles on one side to groups of three on the other; and alternate groups of three and singles on the same side (clear as mud, right?) I didn't follow the rules exactly, but was pretty close
  • I like a less cluttered look, so I stuck with a max of three items, but I've seen some beautiful shelves with lots of stuff on them...I just never could get the look right and figured less is more
  • I tried not to have too many small items - seemed cluttered

Much of my stuff was on the smaller side, so I picked this up at a thrift store, specifically for the shape:

At first, I thought this was carved, but it turned out to be painted on. While it's pretty (?) and an interesting shape, I needed it black. 

Spray paint and adding a few skeleton keys gives it a little interest. Much better black, don't you think?

Most of the stuff on these shelves was thrifted, from estate sales, or bought from the clearance aisles.  Almost all of it was something I already had (and there's plenty more where this all came from...probably not something to be proud of...) 

One candlestick, the  stained glass lamp, and the silver incense ball were gifts. My centaur is a souvenir from my trip to Greece. I guess the only things that were full price (and totally worth it!) are the wine corks ;)

This is the only color on the much for 'tying in' my color scheme throughout my rooms!

Having shelves styled like this makes me feel like I'm making progress in making this our home. Plus it's one more thing I can check off the list :)

Do you have trouble styling shelves? Since I have another set of shelves coming up, if any of you have tips - please pass them along!


  1. Bravo!! Nothing like a day all to yourself to get the creative juices flowing. You found the perfect place for your shelves and accessorized them beautifully. Now could you come and arrange my very narrow fireplace mantel? I've been moving things to and fro for about a week now. :@

  2. YAY! it looks perfect now! i love when flanking the tv and helping to blend it in, and love the more natural rustic elements in the styling!

  3. *fist pump* You did it...they look great Jill! LOVE the addition of the keys to that vase?! And while I loved the original detailing I have to agree, black is much better.

  4. BAM! It looks spectacular!

    I'm terrible at styling shevles... well, you know why... dern books.

  5. My hardest thing is creating vignettes. You nailed it, love the basket, and of course the corks!


  6. Perfect!! Love them flanking the tv! Great decision, and I love how you styled them. Classic and clean. You can never go wrong with that :)

  7. Yes, black was the way to go. And the rest looks very house magaziny...;)


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts! I appreciate each and every one of you!

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