As part of my office refresh, I restyled my shelving to balance aesthetically pleasing accents and storing items I use daily in an accessible way. Take my tips and list of items below to start or restyle yours today!
If you are focused on restyling items you already have, or the topic specifically, read my post here to take 8 Steps to Restyle Shelves Successfully.
1. Start with a Blank Slate
This may seem obvious, but is an important first step. Even if you have objects you absolutely love, you can hinder the entire styling by placing them too early and not thinking of the bigger picture. So, take it all down! I also lay them all out on one surface to get an easy view of all objects.
2. Functional or Decorative? Or Both?
Depending on the amount of storage in your office, and the need for it, you may need the shelves to hold strictly functional items like files, cameras, printers, etc. Typically, a healthy balance of functional and decorative items helps make your shelves come to life and feel like yours! So, go through your office and pull items that 1. You use frequently and are perhaps an awkward size to store and 2. Are beautiful, personal items to display.
Some of my favorite office shelf items include (many linked below):
- Faux/real plants
- Books – I find really unique vintage books from House of Elements, here
- Storage boxes, baskets, or containers
- Speaker for music
- Decorative objects (figures, scultpures)
- Art/Picture frames
3. Organize by Color/Material
I wouldn’t deem this necessary. However, it looks cleaner and organized if items are either grouped by color/material or distributed a little more strategically depending on your space. Organizing them before placing will give you a better sense of “too much” or “too little”. I like to go in a zig zag as I go down the shelves so that one area is not consumed by wood, for example.
4. Place Larger Items
Placing the larger items before others helps distribute and balance weight. Place larger boxes or baskets on one end, and a larger vase or bowl on the other end, for example. I find it easier to figure out the eye level shelf first, as it is where your eye leads given your height.
6. Surround the Foundation
Now that your foundation is in place, you can easily identify gaps to place decorative objects, plants, books, and more.
7. Height Check
How’s it lookin? At this point, take a step back and seem how much varied height you have. If your objects aren’t varied enough, utilize pedestals or stacked books to create height. Alternatively, bring books to a vertical display. These layers also provide depth next to simple or solid large items. Plants are also a great way to not only add varied height, but width.
8. Feeling Stuck? Personalize.
If your shelves feel too vanilla (in color and style) try to incorporate personal items that bring you joy as you walk by the space. A special framed piece, a sentimental vase, a favorite gifted plate, a plant to tend to – for example. Just one of these can give you that a-ha moment!
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