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8 Steps to the Perfect Shelves

Find yourself asking how to curate your shelves and style a bookcase? Our 8 tips have you covered.

If you find yourself looking to up your shelfie game, fear not. Styling kitchen essentials in a small space, kitting out the bookcase in your living room or creating a more bespoke storage in your bedroom doesn’t have to be difficult.

For the minimalists, a de-cluttered bookshelf will draw attention to the curated objects you choose to exhibit. For something more rustic, create your own shelves using upcycled crates or planks of wood and decorate them with useful items such as crockery and glassware.

Wall or freestanding, make the most of that extra space with our 8 shelf styling ideas.

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1. Symmetry

Break up your wall with two side by side shelving units. In the kitchen, consider using one shelf for pantry goods and the other for plates and bowls so that everything is in easy reach. For living spaces, one shelf can be for books and the other for artwork and a statement vase. Symmetrical shelving is a great option if you live in a smaller space as it will create the illusion of a bigger room.

2. Cocktail Hour

Delight guests with a dedicated shelving space that acts as a mini bar. Showcase your glassware, cocktail shakers and favourite tipples and mixers all in one place and be ready to start the party when guests arrive. Just one question - shaken or stirred?

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3. Let There Be Light

Shelving is the perfect place to add mood lighting to your living area or bedroom. Forget large fussy floor lamps, create a cosy warm glow with a smart lamp. Its height on a shelf will light the entire room without taking up any floor space. If you’re constantly rearranging your shelves, consider a battery powered lamp that can be moved around.

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4. Alcoves

Maximise every nook and cranny by adding storage to those alcoves. It’s rare that we move into a property that has completely square rooms. An alcove is the perfect spot for a free standing bookshelf, a leaning ladder style shelving system or some DIY built in shelves to store kids’ toys, photo frames or other decorative objects.

5. The Great Exhibition

Our eye is naturally drawn to shelving when we enter a room as it tends to sit higher up the wall. Consider using shelves to create a gallery of well-thought out decor, incorporating art prints, vases and candles to showcase your personality. Pay close attention to shelves that are higher up and choose complimentary colours that are eye-catching but still fit with the theme of the room.

6. Cosy Corners

Every room has corners, right? A corner shelving unit is the perfect way to maximise space and open up the rest of the room. Whether you opt for a free-standing storage unit beside the sofa or fitted kitchen shelves to store your herbs and spices, try not to waste the space that a corner offers.

7. Standalone Shelving

The beauty of standalone shelving is that you can stack it, place it side by side or lean it against a wall to maximise your space and offer as much or little storage as you need. With freestanding bookshelves, you can cover the entire wall to make your spare room into a library of sorts. Genre labelling, optional.

8. Book Worms

For smart bookshelves, play around with the placement. Having some books standing spine first, some laid flat and some with the front cover facing forward will create a gallery of sorts. Pop into your local bookshop for inspiration. Similarly, alphabetising or organising by colour to create a rainbow across your shelving will not only look eye-catching, but will help you find the book you’re looking for much quicker.

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