5 Steps to Perfectly Styled Shelves with West Elm

One of my favorite ways to freshen up my house is to give the shelves a bit of a new look. Styling shelves can be a bit daunting because it takes a little know how to make them look like more than just stuff sitting on shelves but that little bit of know how is actually a lot easier than you might think.

So when my friends at West Elm asked me to share a few shelf styling tips with you I jumped on the idea. I love sharing tips with you about how to make your home feel pulled together and styling your shelves is one of those final touches that can really add to a space and give you the opportunity to display some pretty or sentimental accessories.
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I’ve never actually thought about what goes into the way I put things on my shelves… until now. This post was really fun because I got to play around with some different ways to display accessories on shelves (which this weirdo could possibly do all day,) but it also forced me to dissect my process down to 5 easy steps that make for perfectly styled shelves so that I could share them with you! Ready to walk through the process with me?  This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.

I’ll show you 2 completely different looks using the same easy steps.

The first thing you’ll need to do is gather some accessories. If you’ve been around for awhile you probably know that West Elm is one of my go to spots for home accessories. I picked up these glass bottles awhile back and love them for their shape and color.

Go ahead and set all of your possible accessories out around you and get ready to play.

Let’s start with how I got this beachy look…

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I knew I wanted to use some of my glass bottles and that set the tone for my color scheme and beachy vibe. Some were beach glass, some textured hobnail bottles, and some colored glass.

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shelf styling tips, tips for styling shelves, how to style shelves, how to accessorize your home, beach decor, sea glass, west elm accessories Then I gathered a few more items from around my home or from my cupboards that went with the color scheme, a few small plants, and a few books.

Once I had my options all laid out I followed these 5 steps to style my shelves.

Step 1: Add Something Horizontal

A great way to add interest to your shelves is to have things going in different directions. Adding something horizontal like a small stack of books (cover them in paper if you want,) a decorative box, or even a tray will give you the horizontal line that you want.

Step 2: Add Something Vertical

This should be the easier part since most of what we would naturally put on a shelf is vertical. Some of my favorite ways to add a vertical line are a framed photo or artwork leaning against the wall, books, or anything taller than it is wide.

Step 3: Add Something Reflective or Sparkly

This could be anything glass or metallic that catches the light. I added my beach glass bottles and my hobnail bottles which acted as both my vertical pieces, reflective pieces, and added some color (which is the next step.)

Step 4: Add color

I kept my color scheme pretty simple but added color in my art work and then with some bright turquoise mugs that I had in my cupboards. The colorful objects are what lead your eye from one spot to another so be sure to have a few pops of whatever color you are using. Varying the shades of the color also adds interest.

Step 5: Add something organic

I think the easiest way to add something organic is to use small plants, but you could easily use wooden objects, or a small basket made from natural materials.

One more tip… be sure to vary the height and shape of the items on your shelves.  You can always add height to objects by stacking books under them.

 

They say practice makes perfect, so let’s do it again this time with a different look.

Let’s do a little bit of glam and keep the color palette completely neutral like this.

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I just recently spent my West Elm gift cards from Christmas on these gold display boxesgold geometric terrariums and polka-dot mini pot and thought this would be the perfect excuse to play with them.

shelf styling tips, how to accessorize a home, styling shelves, west elm accessories, gold home decor You know I love geometric shapes so when I saw these I had to have them!
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For this glam look, I followed the same 5 steps for how to style shelves.  Since the color palette is more neutral this time, that step is sorta gone, but there is still color in the gold and in the plants that gives it just enough to be interesting.

So what do you think?  Ready to give your shelves a new look?  I really hope that these simple tips make it less overwhelming for you!

Once you’ve styled your shelves perfectly with your West Elm accessories be sure to tag #mywestelm on instagram to share your new look!

A big thanks to West Elm for sponsoring this post highlighting their amazing accessories!

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

15 thoughts on “5 Steps to Perfectly Styled Shelves with West Elm

  1. Hi Cory! Just wanted to let you know that several of your photos aren’t working on this post – thought you just might like to fix it 🙂

    ~Kylie

  2. This is awesome thank you so much for sharing

    1. You are welcome Kay! I’m so glad you found the tips helpful!

  3. Emily says:

    Thank you! I am also a Shelf Crammer, so I really appreciate the guidance!
    Side note, thanks for your quick reply to a comment that I left on your post about color palettes!

  4. Lisa says:

    nice tips and loved the animated gifs.
    too bad you have ads that side up and cover up part of your images, it really takes away from the images

  5. Thank you for the styling tips Corey. I love the beautiful pops of blue!

    Val

  6. Great informative post. I tend to cram everything onto my shelves … you have given me food for thought. Thanks for sharing on Sugar Bee Crafts 🙂

  7. jamie says:

    Love the beach shelf display…I’m a fan of bottles..especially ones with wine in them lol!

  8. Nancy Shaw says:

    I love the boxes but my vote is for the casual beachy look!

  9. Loving that gold neutral setup! West Elm for the win!!

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