The blank canvas of empty shelves can seem overwhelming! We asked some of our designers for their top tips to share with you.


Clear the canvas and take stock

The first step is to create a blank canvas for yourself. Give your shelves a good dust then the work can begin!

Milena: "Take all your items that you want to use, split them into groups, by size, colour and type."


Start with the larger items

Start with larger items you want to add to your shelves. Position them equally balanced across the shelves to provide the frame work. 

shelf styling

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

Layer in a variety of shapes and sizes

Now you can begin to layer in the smaller items across the shelves into the gaps left by the larger items.

Rosie: "My top tip is using a lot of different shapes and heights. By layering up a smaller shapes with a larger shape, it creates that variety and stops it looking flat."

shelf styling tips

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

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Create contrast

Ricky: “Mixing up your objects introduces the opportunity for different materials, textures and colours."

Contrast is the secret ingredient to any beautiful room design and your shelves are not exception. Contrast can be through using different colours and patterns but it can also be the types of materials you use. For example, sitting a brass ornament next to a white ceramic vase can make each item sing in their own way.

If you're still building a collection of trinkets, plants are a wonderful way to add contrast in colour and texture to a shelf.

Books are also wonderful at adding colour to an otherwise plain looking display.

use contrasting colours when styling shelves

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

Use odd numbers

Rosie: "Another great tip is using odd numbers, so using either 3, 5 or 7. It’s just more pleasing on the eye as it has to move around.”

use off numbers when styling shelves

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

Personalise your shelves

Think of your shelves as an exhibition of you! They should bring back lovely memories and make you smile whenever you look at them. 

Lucy: "When styling your shelves, don’t forget to personalise them. So add that family photo, or that little trinket that you’ve collected from your travels.”

personalise your shelves

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

Disguise clutter

As well as being beautiful, your shelves will also need to be practical. Try to give those useful bits and bobs that you need regular access to a home each so that they don't end up floating on the shelves gathering dust.

Ricky: "Baskets, boxes, trays, anything like that, really helps to organise clutter and keeps things organised."

organise clutter on your shelves

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

Leave space

So you've hit your groove and you're enjoying adding all your lovely mementos and trinkets to your shelves? Stop! You can have too much of a good thing and there is a very fine line between 'curated' and 'cluttered'!

Milena: "When styling your shelves, it’s really important not to over crowd them. Use the negative space, so the empty space in between the objects to put more importance to something you really like.”

don't overcrowd shelving

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

Stand back and edit!

Lucy: "Finally, remember to stand back, admire your work and don’t be afraid to go in and edit it if it doesn’t quite look right.

Image Credit: My Bespoke Room

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