Eight Steps to Perfect Shelves


As we move into spring, many of us are taking the time to dust off the cobwebs and update our homes. For those who can’t commit to all-out redecoration, getting creative with shelving is a great opportunity to artfully curate your personal space without permanently altering the room. Shelves allow the freedom to update regularly, whenever the mood (or trend) should strike. We’ve compiled a list of decorating tips to help you get your shelves looking their best.


1. Start from scratch

Beginning to think about updating your decor is much easier when you start with a blank canvas. Clear everything off the shelf and brainstorm potential themes (if you’re going for one). This is also the time to consider what you do and don’t want people to see. Get rid of clutter and truly think whether you need an item on display; if not, put it into storage or have a clear out.

Image credit: Domino

2. Use your books

Adding decor to your bookshelves doesn’t necessarily mean reducing space for actual books. In fact, books can be the building blocks that lend structure and continuity to the display. Whether you want to show off your extensive literary collection or just highlight a few of your favourites, your bookshelf can still fulfil its intended role. By placing books both horizontally and vertically you can break up the display and add structural focal points. Need some literary inspiration? Discover some design-led books.


3. Add in images

Once you’ve established your literary foundations, you can begin to bring in other objects to separate and accentuate your display. An easy way to do this is framed images; be they prints or photographs, imagery always adds a personal touch.

Image credit: The Design Chaser

4. Go green

Plants bring life to any room, adding a rejuvenating touch of exterior life to your interior space. Whether you prefer succulents, cacti, ferns, or flowering houseplants, shelved plants add colour and vibrancy, and will draw attention to your display. Aside from their visual impact, houseplants affect your body and mind in ways that can enhance quality of life and make your home a more calming place to live.

Image credit: Domino

6. Incorporate candles

The incorporation of candles and diffusers into your shelf setup is multi-functional. A flickering candle creates a feeling of intimacy and cosiness, adding a touch of hygge to your home. Not only do they contribute aesthetically, however, they also fragrance the surrounding area and even possess healing and calming properties, if chosen carefully.

Image credit: boligmagasinet.dk

6. Tell a colour story

Why not add a pop of colour? It’s easy to bring life to a room by adding some carefully placed bursts of colour – a vibrant clock, for instance, or a decorative plate. What’s more, colour has been proven to affect your mood in varying positive ways – read more here.


7. Add vases

Vases are an easy way to add structure to your shelf display. Large pots act as a focal point and draw the eye in, while vases in varying heights and depths will create an intriguing visual impact. Even little trinket jars and ornamental pots will add a touch of charm.


8. Light it up

Strategically placed lighting will brighten any room up, providing warmth and ambience. Lamps provide an opportunity to liven up your shelf space, as well as drawing attention to your display. There’s no point in creating the perfect shelf to leave it sitting in the dark.


Have you Trouva-fied your shelves? Share your shelfie on Instagram and tag us @wearetrouva and we may feature it!

Fiona Leedham

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