5 Effortless Ways to Style Your Living Room Shelves


Living room shelves serve two important roles in the interior. Firstly, they’re incredibly practical. Living room shelves give you somewhere handy to store your books, photos, ornaments, and mementos. And secondly, they add a decorative feature to the space by making it easy for you to introduce colour and personality to your walls.


You can enhance the aesthetics of your living room shelves by putting a little extra thought into your shelf design.  Styling your shelves to better suit your interior décor and your lifestyle will help you to get the most from your furnishings and ensure your living room really reflects your personality. To find the perfect shelf style for your home, take a look at our guide on how to decorate open shelves.


1. Choose the perfect shelving

Before you can begin thinking about how to style a shelf in your home, you need to find the shelving unit that’s perfect for your interior. There are lots of things to consider when buying new living room shelves. One of the most important is size. Think about what you’re going to put on your shelves and how big your available wall area is. This should give you a good idea of the size of the unit you need to go for.


Next, you’ll need to decide on a shelving style. Living room shelves come in a great variety of designs, so it should be easy to find a unit that suits your interior décor. If you want to decorate shelves in a living room with a mid-century modern feel, choose a piece with a dark wood or wood/metal finish. For rooms with a more contemporary look, choose a unit made from light timber or other bright materials.


2. Add greenery

Greenery should always be right at the top of your list when it comes to styling your furnishings, and your living room shelves are no exception. Plants with long, hanging leaves look great on shelves as their dangling foliage helps to break up the horizontal stripes of the shelves and soften your living room look. Hanging plants work particularly well when styling shelves with a mid-century modern look, but can also look great in contemporary homes.


Place your hanging plant at the end of your shelves so that the leaves don’t get in the way of other objects on display. And make sure you use a large pot or tray so water doesn’t overflow when you give your plant a drink.


Alternatively, you could place a series of smaller plants on your shelves. Low maintenance plants like cacti and succulents are perfect for this as you won’t need to water, prune or deadhead them on a regular basis. Use feature plant pots to enhance the look of your greenery and then place them in a row along your shelves. Play around with size and shape to create an interesting visual display.


3. Buy some books

Books are one of our favourite shelf styling ideas. As well as being colourful and attractive, a book display allows you to introduce your personality to your living space and show off your interests. Place a few books with their covers facing out to break up the display and draw attention to your favourite tomes. Change up your shelf styling whenever you want a new look by swapping your books around to add different colours and designs to the layout.


4. Keep it simple

It’s easy to put lots of things on shelves in the living room, and overfull, maximalist units can often look fantastic. However, another way to decorate shelving is to keep it simple and let the furniture speak for itself.


Minimally styled shelves can look great in all types of interiors. You can still use books and plants to decorate your shelves but use a few carefully chosen pieces and place them individually on the shelves instead of putting lots of objects close together. This will draw the eye to the books and ornaments you do use and help to ensure your shelving unit has a real impact.


Using bright, colour objects in your chosen accent tone will help to tie your shelves to the rest of your interior décor. Plant pots, books, vases and candles can all be used to add pops of colour to your shelving unit.


5. Mix it up

Though looking up ideas on how to style shelves is a good way to get interior design inspiration, it’s important to remember there are no rules on how to style shelving and the final choice really just comes down to personal preference. If you’re not sure what to put in shelves in your living room, why not mix it up and have a little bit of everything?


Mixing up your books, plants, ornaments and photo frames will give you a unique, eclectic look and help you to stamp your personality on your living room décor.


A fantastic way to brighten up your living room and make your interior more usable, living room shelves will make a great addition to your home. Why not invest in a new shelving unit for your lounge and bring a little extra style to your interior?

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