I LOVE styling shelves. I recently spent an entire weekend styling the corner shelf unit in my kitchen to match my new vignettes from my post that I shared a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share the results as well as my 6 rules for perfectly styling shelf units.
#1 Have a unifying aspect for the unit.
For me, my extensive mason jar collection ties my display (and really my entire house…) together. Almost every shelf boasts at least one jar so overall the display is cohesive even though there are other types of items included.
#2 Be functional whenever possible.
Since I have a small house I am big on trying to make most of my décor functional as well as beautiful. I have been going back & forth and back & forth about where to store my cookbooks. I don’t use them all the time so they don’t need to be front and center but I don’t want them hidden away in a cabinet because “out of sight, out of mind” and I WANT to use them more. The bottom shelf became the perfect solution. I can see them but they are out of the way and not taking up valuable counter space.
#3 Mix textures and levels to give the display interest.
A thrift store canvas and tea pot succulent planter add unusual interest to the second biggest shelf in the unit and give contrast to the dominant aqua blue glass of the entire display. Just because it’s a smaller unit doesn’t mean all shelves have to have tons of items crammed in. (Sub-rule – LESS IS MORE).
#4 Add a personal touch.
The jar on the right belonged to Great Grandma Hazel (my homestead inspiration) and the jar on the left holds her silverware. I love keeping items around that have a history – why have them just sitting in a box unused when they can be enjoyed now?
#5 Do something unexpected.
I enjoyed completing this Ball jar cross-stitch from a Country Living pattern but I didn’t like the way I initially framed it so randomly one day I stuck it inside this Mason Jar and ended up really loving how it framed my work. Housed among other mason jars and aqua tinted bottles, the little sampler looks right at home.
#6 Forget what is “in style” and do what makes you happy.
Little farm animal figurines are considered “kitschy” and out of style but I used two on this shelf that used to perch on the windowsill of the farmhouse I grew up in (they weren’t so kitschy in the 90s…) I used to play with these little figurines every morning while I waited for the bus to pick me up for school so they make me smile. At the end of the day it’s my kitchen and I’m the only one I need to impress.