Shelf Decorating Ideas: How to Style Shelves Like A Pro

SHARE:
Modern shelf decor for minimal living room design

There are tons of ways on how to style shelves, but getting that curated look is harder than it seems. Knowing what to display and where can easily become overwhelming. But with a few insider tips and tricks you’ll be well on your way to beautiful vignettes. So check out our list of the best shelf decorating ideas to get started!

Shelf Decorating Ideas & Quick Tips

You can make your open storage look well designed even if you aren’t quite sure how to decorate shelves. With a few simple, modern shelf decor ideas and tips you will be well on your way to creating magazine-worthy displays.

Start with a Blank Slate 

how to style shelves by decorilla designer drew f

Organized shelf decorating ideas by Decorilla designer, Drew F.


Oftentimes people collect a myriad of things over the years and stack them on their living room shelves. As a result, there is a lack of theme and organization. So, the most important step is to tidy up! Firstly, remove all the shelf decor items and gauge how much space you have. Always, start with a blank canvas and then get into giving a makeover to that shelf. 

Disguise Clutter

baskets as book shelf decor ideas

Baskets as bookshelf decor ideas, by Decorilla designer Casey H. (left) and Pinterest (right).


Once you know the amount of space you are dealing with, you get a fair picture of how to utilize space. The next step is to think about what type of storage ideas you need. Chances are you’ll still have unsightly items that need a place to call home. Baskets and boxes give odds and ends a place to be tucked away while streaming the visual appearance of your shelves. 

Have a Visual Balance 

How to decorate shelves with balance

One of the most important bookshelf decor ideas is to attain a balanced look. However, in no way it means that you must be using the same decor items. Use decor items that are the same in length, volume or color to strike a balance. For instance, a tall lamp on one side of the shelf can be countered using long candles or a vase on the other side. Let your creative juices flow freely and think out of the box!

Need some help bringing your favorite shelf decorating ideas to life? Then, schedule your Free Interior Design Consultation for expert assistance getting started today!

Bathroom Shelf Decor

Customized Storage Solution 

bathroom shelf decor on custom storage solution

Customized bathroom storage and seating by Decorilla designer, Casey H.


Most of the time people forget how simple and effortless bathroom shelf decor can be. Opt for a customized cubby solution that can double as seating. Then, nicely rolled or folded towels are a simple solution that is practical yet gives the look of a nice hotel.

Add a Pinch of Greenery

Bathroom shelf decor with simple accents and green plants

Bathroom shelf decor using plants by Decorilla designer, Sonia C.


For small shelf decorations in the bathroom, including potted plants and succulents can bring a fresh feel. Just a hint of greenery will make your bathroom design look more bright and lively. For extra drama, you can include hanging plants over the shower or even flowers for some fragrance. 

Introduce Texture to the Shelf

Bathroom shelf decor using different textures and elements

The most effective shelf decorating ideas include the use of a variety of textures. For instance, a bamboo basket for towels makes for the perfect boho shelf decor for the bathroom. In addition, you can use wooden trays, glass bottles or maybe some picture frames to bring a personal touch to space. 

Crowdsource your decorating project today and save!
Learn More


Living Room Shelf Ideas

Create a Cohesive Ambiance

Themed-bookshelf-decor-ideas-for-living-room

Themed bookshelf decor ideas for living room by Decorilla designer, Wanda P.


The internet is filled with living room shelf ideas, but keep in mind that every home is different and every wall unit is unique. There is no hard and fast rule on how to decorate shelves. So, the best way is to look around and find pieces that tell the story of your interior design. For instance, if you have a beach house, you can use corals and shells on a wall shelf for the living room. In addition, you can use a glass jar and fill it with sand from all the beaches you visit. 

Include Decor with Varying Shapes 

Wall shelf for living room using quirky decor

Bookshelf decorating is all about inclusivity in terms of color, shape, size and texture. Try to broaden the decor game and bring in objects made with different materials like glass, ceramic, metal, acrylic and so on. Think about books, candles, pictures, art, sentimental pieces, travel collectibles, and everything else that you are proud of!

Create Groupings

Simple-shelf-decorating-ideas-for-living-room-using-neutral-accessories

Simple shelf decorating ideas for living room by Decorilla designer, Ibrahim H.


As a thumb rule in design, grouping in odd numbers is considered the most aesthetic arrangement. For example, you can have two candles along with a picture frame on one shelf. Similarly, a figurine, stacked books, and a decorative bowl can enhance the shelves completely! 

Kitchen Shelf Decor

Create Sections 

Modern-kitchen-shelf-decor-using-minimal-elements

Sectioned kitchen shelf decor by Decorilla designer, Rajna S.


Kitchen shelf decor can become a frenzy if not treated smartly. Therefore, it is essential to break the space up and then work on it. Create visual sections for small shelf decorations for simplicity. Furthermore, you can divide the space according to utility to attain modern shelf decor in the kitchen.  

Introduce Unique Elements

Kitchen shlef decor using unique and funky elements

Have some cookbooks lying around in the kitchen or maybe some hand-me-down utensils? Kitchen shelf decor doesn’t have to be all about bowls and glasses. Have some fun and include quirky elements to have a cool-looking kitchen. For example, you can make a spice rack, add a vintage teapot or even include a glass jar for wine corks. 

Make Your Kitchen Garden  

One of the best shelf decorating ideas for kitchen is using fresh plants

Plants in kitchen shelf decor by Decorilla designer, Shofy D.


Don’t have enough space in the backyard for the kitchen herbs? Make one inside! Shelf decorating ideas for the kitchen that include potted herbs and plants look amazing while also being really convenient. Plant some thyme, basil leaves, or rosemary and bring some freshness along with fragrance to your kitchen.

Bedroom Shelving Ideas

Alternating Book Stacks

Bedroom shelf decorating ideas using stacked books

Simple bedroom shelf decor by Decorilla designer, Aldrin C.


Bookshelf decor ideas shouldn’t be limited to your living room. Having a bookshelf in the bedroom is probably a more practical way of storing and staging books. For some added style, stack the books in similar color tones or even size. There’s also no rule that says all books must be stacked vertically, so make some horizontal piles as well. 

Make it a Memorabilia

Bedroom shelf decor using books and accessories

A bedroom is a personal space and should bring out your personality. Therefore, the best bedroom shelving includes family pictures, travel finds, and personalized accessories. Make the wall unit a reflection of your personal taste and style. 

Keep it Minimal

Bookshelf decor ideas in bedroom using minimal decor

Bookshelf decor ideas in bedroom using minimal decor by Decorilla designer, Ibrahim H.


The best way to start styling shelves is to be selective in what you want to display. You’ don’t have to fill every space. And since the bedroom is a place of relaxation, the less clutter the better. Choose pieces with a cohesive look for an even more tranquil appearance. 

Need more than just shelf decorating ideas?

 If you’re looking for a styled look for your home, but aren’t sure where to begin, then schedule your Free Interior Design Consultation to get started with the finest interior designers today!

online interior design service

[ Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12/13, 14, 15, 16/17, 18, 19, 20]

SHARE: