10 Tips for Decorating Shelves Like a Pro


Colleen Pausley is the writer behind the blog; Life on Kaydeross Creek where she shares unique ideas to decorate your home on a budget, DIY projects, furniture makeovers and thrift store up-cycles. She and her husband have been do-it-yourselfers for 25 years and she believes that creating a warm, inviting home that you LOVE and that reflects who you are can be done on any budget. 

“I LOVE the feeling of getting my hands dirty working on a project and the satisfaction of saying ‘I did that!’
I hope by sharing our projects on the blog you feel inspired to do it, too.” 

Life on Kaydeross Creek has been featured in Country Sampler Farmhouse Magazine, HGTV.com,
The Huffington Post and HouseBeautiful.com.  

You can find Colleen at

Decorate Shelves Like a Pro
Decorate Shelves Like a Pro

Decorating shelves can sometimes seem overwhelming
Here are some tips and tricks
to make it easier and help you 
decorate like a pro

1. Start by clearing off the shelf or shelves and grouping all your things together. 

Pick a theme (like spring/early summer) and have enough things on hand to choose from to be creative but not too much where you will have too many choices and may over think it.

2. Have a color scheme planned out.

Too many colors can overwhelm the eye so keep it to 1-2 and neutrals. What is your inspiration piece for the room? Is it a piece of art you can pull colors from or will you use seasonal colors like pink or yellow. 

3. Place larger items first and then fill in with smaller pieces.

Don’t crowd the space – you need to give the eye a rest as it moves from one thing to another. You can also give your eye a break with one large item. If you are doing just one shelf, start with an anchor piece and although I like to center it most of the time, you can also do something asymmetrical.

4. Vary heights and sizes and layer pieces front to back. 

Use the triangle approach – avoid having multiple pieces the same height in one line across on a shelf (unless it’s one item). When you vary the heights, your eye has something to bounce around to.

5. Group similar items together.

Group similar items together like having all white pitchers in a hutch for a clean look.

6. Use pieces in odd numbers.

It helps establish the triangle and, for some reason, always seems to look better.

7. Mix in textures.

Mix in textures like baskets and faux greens.

8. Use books for height.

I also use them for color, layering and as a site line
to draw your eye around. 

9. Add in artwork or family photos.

Why not hang a picture on the back of the cabinet or bookshelf?

10. Use a "personality piece."

Be sure to use a “personality piece” or something with meaning. Think of it as a conversation piece.  

Most importantly, don’t take it too seriously. There really are no rules. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you should decorate with what makes you happy.

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