Shelf décor essentials

Shelf décor essentials

Decorating your shelves can be gratifying and a lot of fun, but with a lot of options it can be confusing to know which items to include in your personal display.

Many guides try to give exact methodologies to arranging items with varying heights, shapes and opacities, but we’ve found that shelf styling is more of an art form than a science. The truth is, there is no written down rules on how you are supposed to go about it, but you can play around with items, moving them until you find the perfect spot for them.

With the right components and a bit of playing around, you can find unique ways of creating a beautiful display. Here are our top-shelf decor ideas.


Bowls are a key item to decorating shelves as they provide a horizontal aspect to the arrangement. This is essential to achieving a balanced aesthetic as they counter the vertical direction of any stacked books and other tall items.

Decorative bowls are also a great way to introduce larger objects to anchor the arrangement so that it doesn’t look like a vast collection of small floating objects.


Adding a fresh touch of flowers or greenery really brings your display alive and gives a warm, natural feeling to your room. If your lifestyle is not very conducive to plant care then simply using a chic vase with a few stems is a great solution.

Changing the selection of fresh flowers injects a new point of interest every time, allowing you to have fun playing with accent colours. Even when the vase is empty it is a source of beauty in its own right.


Everyone has those small items that you can’t quite place and these can easily end up cluttering an otherwise beautiful shelf display. Storing them away in an elegant box hides any unwanted mess which could draw attention away from your carefully arranged composition.

This is an essential step for achieving a clean, minimal look without having to rigorously arrange every tiny item in your house. Add to that an interesting texture or an eye-catching touch of metallic, and you’re tapping into shelf decorating gold.

Also Read: Great colour schemes for your home


Candle holders are the perfect solution here as they are functional (yet beautiful!) items but not something that you use on a daily basis. Therefore you won’t disrupt your display too often, but a more natural, homey feeling is created by their presence.

You can either group candlesticks together to create balanced displays with varying heights, or just one standout piece can add the perfect touch to a more minimal composition.


Sculptural objects are the final touch to your shelves to really give them personality and make them stand out as an art collection, rather than merely nicely arranged household objects.

These are the objects which tell a story, much like the books on your shelves and say something about who you are and the home you want to create. Geometric shapes, accent colours and globally-inspired details all incite interest and create a truly unique look.