I have spent a while trying to figure out a simple way to explain my process of decorating shelves to you all. It took a while, but I came up with an acronym that might be helpful for you! F.A.B.B.C.A.V. Let me explain…
F.A.B.B.C.A.V explains all the must-haves when shelf decorating:
- F: Frames
- A: Accents
- B: Baskets
- B: Books
- C: Candles
- A: Artificial Plants
- V: Vases
Pictures frames are probably the most obvious thing one would decorate a shelf with and I agree they are necessary in creating the perfect shelf. (I would also include clocks in the frame category because if you are adding them to a shelf they can most likely stand on their own and are flat in shape.)
Too many frames can make your shelves look out of date. One big tip I have is that you do not need to put a personal photo in every frame of your home. Switch it up by adding a scenery image or a printable you can find on Esty like in my DIY Gallery Wall or Master Bedroom Reveal. You can also search Google for “Free Printables” and hundreds of neat prints with pop up.
Figures, bookends and sculptures are included in the accent category for decorating shelves. Accents are needed to create a balanced look and depending on the size and shape, they may be the center point of your shelves.
Baskets can be so useful on shelves to hide ugly things like remotes, cords, and in our home, my husband’s BB gun bullets ha!
This is something people might forget about even though we are decorating shelves AKA bookshelves 🙂 If the outside color/texture of the books don’t go with my style I turn them so that the pages of the book show instead or I add scrapbook paper to hide the ugly colors:
Candles not only smell great but come in lots of different shapes and sizes. I love using them as fillers or as the main attractions:
A. Artificial Plants
Now if you have real plants you want to incorporate in your shelves go for it, but most of my shelving has little to no sun so I LOVE faux plants. Pops of greenery add so much to shelves and give the space some life:
Vases are probably my favorite things to decorate with just because I think they are beautiful. I love searching at a garage sale for a good vase. A vase can be the center-point of a shelf and is another way to add in some greenery or floral to the space.
Tip 1: Do not try to fill in the entire shelf. Sometimes all a shelf needs is two or three items. Keeping the clutter at bay is key!
Tip 2: Choose a color scheme and use it throughout the shelves. For our living room shelves I knew I want blues, greens, and neutrals. So I looked for decor in those colors.
Tip 3: Don’t get frustrated if the shelves don’t look right instantly. It probably takes me a month to decide my shelves finished 😐 I need to stare at them everyday and then tweak them to where I finally feel they looked finished.
Tip 4: If you feel something is missing, I suggest you try “shopping” in your own home. You might have something tucked away in a hutch or being used somewhere else that would be perfect. I do this ALL the time, plus this will save you money!
Tip 5: If you don’t have many books or need some more books to complete your shelf, go to a thrift store! Most thrift stores have a book section and you might end up finding some books you really like 🙂
Tip 6: Vary the height and textures of objects on each shelf. This will ensure the shelves are not all exactly the same and will create a professional look!
Tip 7: Use sentimental items! I love incorporating sentimental such as my grandma’s vase or a treasured picture. Just because they may not be modern or new doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate them!
I really hope this post was helpful for those of you trying to style your shelves. Remember it takes time to get the look just right!
Shop some shelf decor items below:
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