Style Open Shelves Living Room

How To Style Open Shelves Living Room

Open shelves can be A great addition to any living room. They not only provide storage space but also offer An opportunity to display your favorite decor items and books. However, Styling open shelves can seem daunting, especially if you are unsure about how to go about it. With the right approach And some creative ideas, You can easily turn your open racks into A statement piece in your sitting room. In this article, We will discuss some tips and tricks On how to style open shelves in your living room. From picking the right objects to arranging them in An aesthetically pleasing way, We’ve got you covered!

1. Start by decluttering and organizing shelves

When it comes to styling open shelves in your living room, Decluttering and organizing should be your first step. This is because cluttered and disorganized shelves can make even the most beautiful decorative pieces look messy and unappealing. By taking the time to declutter and organize your shelves, You’ll create a clean canvas that will allow your decorative pieces to shine.

To begin decluttering, start by removing everything from your shelves and sorting items into three piles: Keep, donate/sell, Or throw away. Be honest With yourself about what you need Or want to keep on display. Once you’ve sorted through everything, put back only the items you truly love Or need for functional purposes. 

It’s also important to organize your remaining items in a visually appealing way.

2. Group items by color, texture, and theme

When it comes to styling open shelves in your living room, grouping items by color, texture, And theme can make a significant difference. This technique is not only visually appealing but also helps you efficiently organize your space. By applying this method, You’ll be able to create a cohesive look that’s easy On the eyes.

Start by determining the color scheme for your shelves. You can choose between monochromatic Or complementary colors, depending on your preference. Once you’ve decided on the hues you want to use, gather items Of different textures in those colors. For example, If you’ve chosen blue as your primary color, select objects made of glass or ceramic With varying shades of blue to add depth and interest to your display. 

Finally, Group your items based on their theme Or purpose.

3. Mix and match different heights and sizes

Open racks are a great way to add style And functionality to your living room. Not only can they be used to display decorative items, but also as storage for books and other essentials. However, Styling open shelves can be a challenge as you want them to look cohesive yet not too matchy-matchy. One solution is to mix and match different heights and sizes of items.

When it comes to styling open racks, it’s important to create balance. A common mistake people make is putting all the same size objects together which results in a cluttered and unorganized look. Instead, try mixing tall vases Or picture frames With smaller trinkets like candles or small plants. This will add depth and interest while still maintaining order.

4. Use baskets and bins to corral items

When it comes to styling open racks in your living room, baskets and bins are an excellent way to corral items. While it’s great to display your favorite books or decorative pieces, sometimes it can look cluttered or messy if everything is just sitting out in the open. That’s where baskets and bins come in handy – they not only keep everything organized but also add texture and interest to your decor.

One way to use baskets and bins is by grouping similar items. For example, You could use a basket for all of your throw blankets Or a bin for all of your board games. This not only keeps things Tidy but also makes it easier to find what For when you need it. Additionally, Using different sizes and shapes Of containers can create visual interest on the shelves.

5. Add plants for a natural touch

Adding plants to your living room is A great way to bring life and natural beauty into your space. Plants add a touch Of greenery and have numerous health benefits such as purifying the air and reducing stress levels. In addition, Adding plants to open racks in your sitting room is an excellent way to style them.

When choosing plants for your open shelves in the sitting room, It’s essential to consider factors such as lighting and humidity levels. Some recommended options include the snake plant, spider plant, Or pothos. These plants thrive in low-light conditions And can help improve indoor air quality. Succulents are another popular choice because they require minimal maintenance while providing color and texture.

6. Incorporate artwork and framed photos

When it comes to styling open racks in your living room, incorporating artwork and framed photos is a great idea. Not only does it add a personal touch to the space, But it can also provide A focal point for guests to admire. You can incorporate artwork and framed photos into your open shelving display in several ways.

One approach is to group similarly themed pieces. For example, If you have a collection of landscape photographs, consider arranging them together on one shelf Or a section of shelves. Alternatively, mix and match different types of art and pictures throughout the shelving display for an eclectic look. Another option is to use large statement pieces as anchor points within the display, drawing attention to them with smaller pieces surrounding them. Whatever approach you choose, incorporating artwork and framed photos is sure to elevate your open shelving display in your living room.

7. Use bookends to keep books in place

Bookends are an essential element of any home decor styling, especially when it comes to organizing open shelves in a living room. These small yet significant items not only keep books upright and in place but also add a touch of style and personality to the space. With the right bookends, One can create a cohesive look that complements their home’s overall aesthetic.

One way to use bookends while styling open racks is by selecting ones that match the color scheme Or theme of the room. For example, if your sitting room has a coastal theme, You can choose bookends shaped like seashells or beachy colors like blue and white. Similarly, For a more rustic look, wooden Or metal bookends with distressed finishes will fit perfectly on your shelves.

8. Display decorative plates and bowls

Decorative plates and bowls are A fantastic way to add style, texture, And color to your open shelves in the living room. These versatile pieces come in an array of shapes, sizes, And colors that can suit any décor style. Whether you choose to display them on your own Or use them to hold other decorative items such as candles Or greenery. They will undoubtedly make a statement.

When it comes to styling open racks in the sitting room With decorative plates and bowls, there are several things to consider. First and foremost is the size Of your shelving unit. If you have large shelves, opt for larger plates and bowls that can anchor the space visually. Conversely, If you have smaller shelves, choose smaller pieces that won’t overwhelm the area.

9. Stack books and magazines for interest

Looking for ways to add interest and style to your living room, consider stacking books and magazines on open shelves. Not only does this create visual interest, But it also allows you to showcase your favorite titles.

When it comes to styling your shelves With books And magazines, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, Consider color coordination – grouping books by color can create a cohesive look. Additionally, Mix up the sizes Of the books and magazines you use to create variation in height.

Another idea is to alternate between horizontal and vertical stacks – this adds dimensionality and prevents your shelves from looking too uniform. Finally, Don’t be afraid to play around with placement – experiment with different arrangements until you find what looks best!

10. Add decorative vases and jars

Adding decorative vases and jars is an excellent way to style open shelves in your living room. These stylish items can provide the perfect finishing touch that your sitting room has been missing. Decorative vases come in various shapes, sizes, And colors, making it easy For you to choose ones that perfectly complement your decor.

One way to add decorative vases And jars to your open shelves is by grouping them. You can create a stunning arrangement of different-sized vases Or jars with varying heights and widths. By doing this, you will create visual interest on your open racks while adding character to your living room space.

Another great way to incorporate decorative vases and jars into your sitting room’s open racks is by selecting unique pieces that stand out from the rest Of the decor. For instance, You can choose a metallic vase With intricate detailing or an artful jar with bold patterns Or designs.

11. Use unique objects to create interest

Adding interest to your space can be as simple as using unique objects to style open shelves. With a few creative touches, you can transform plain shelves into an eye-catching display that reflects your personality and style.

Start by selecting objects with different shapes, sizes, and textures. Mix in books, plants, vases, sculptures, or other items that speak to you. Consider grouping similar objects or organizing them by color for a cohesive look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with asymmetry and negative space to create visual interest.

Be mindful of the overall balance when arranging your objects. If one area feels too busy or cluttered, move things around until it feels just right. You want to achieve a harmonious composition that enhances the beauty of each piece while creating an impactful statement as a whole.

12. Create a cohesive color scheme

When it comes to styling open shelves in your living room, One of the most important things to consider is creating A cohesive color scheme. This not only ensures that your shelves look put together, But it also helps tie together the overall look and feel Of your space. 

Here are some tips for creating A cohesive color scheme on your open shelves:

1. Start with a neutral base: Begin by selecting A neutral color as your base, such as white Or gray. This will provide a clean canvas for you to build upon.

2. Choose complementary colors: Look at the colors present in the rest Of your room and choose complementary shades that work well together.

3. Use pops of color: Add pops of bright Or bold colors throughout the shelves to add interest and draw attention.

13. Incorporate different textures and materials

Incorporating different textures and materials is a great way to add depth and interest to your open shelves living room. By mixing up your decor, You can create A visual feast that is both pleasing to the eye and functional. Here are some tips for styling your shelves.

  • Mix up the materials of your objects. For example, consider pairing a wood vase with a metal sculpture or placing a woven basket next to a glass jar. This will add contrast and make each piece stand out more. 
  • Play with texture by including items like fuzzy pillows or knitted blankets on your shelves. These pieces will not only look cozy but also provide tactile interest when touched.

Lastly, Don’t forget about incorporating natural elements like plants or stones into your shelf design.

14. Use lighting to highlight items on shelves

When it comes to styling open shelves in your living room, lighting can be the perfect tool to highlight certain items and create A cozy atmosphere. By strategically placing lights on your shelves, You can draw attention to specific decor pieces or books. Creating an eye-catching display that adds depth And interest to any room.

One way to use lighting on your shelves is by installing LED strip lights underneath each shelf. This creates A beautiful glow that highlights the items On the shelf above while also providing subtle ambient lighting for the room. Another option is to use individual accent lights, such as small table lamps or wall-mounted sconces. Which provides a more focused light source that can be angled toward specific decorative areas.

It’s important to consider both the type Of bulbs used and their color temperature when choosing lighting for your open shelves.

15. Alternate between vertical and horizontal displays

Add a stylish touch to your living room, open shelves can be an excellent way to achieve that. They not only provide ample storage space but also offer opportunities for displaying your favorite items and decor pieces. However, Arranging open racks can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure of how to style them effectively. One idea that can transform the look of your open shelves is alternating between vertical and horizontal displays.

When it comes to styling open shelves in the sitting room, variety is key. By mixing up the display orientation of your items between horizontal and vertical positions. You create visual interest and break up any monotony on the shelf. For instance, try placing books horizontally on one level while stacking them vertically on another level. You could also place framed photos and artwork vertically on some shelves while displaying decorative objects like vases Or bowls horizontally on others.

16. Mix in practical items like storage boxes

Open shelves are gaining popularity in modern living room designs. They provide a sleek and stylish way to display your favorite items while creating an open and airy feel in the room. However, It can be challenging to maintain a tidy look when you have too many items cluttering your shelves.

One practical solution to this problem is incorporating storage boxes into your design. You can use them to store anything from books And magazines to toys and electronics. Not only will they keep your belongings organized, but they also add a touch Of style to your living room decor.

When choosing storage boxes, Opt for ones that match the overall aesthetic of your sitting room. Neutral colors like white Or gray work well if you want a minimalist look, while bold prints Or vibrant hues are perfect for adding some personality to the space.

17. Use shelf dividers to create sections

Open shelves have been the go-to style statement for living rooms of late. The simplicity and elegance Of open racks are what make them so versatile. However, They often run the risk Of cluttering up over time as everything is on display. This is where shelf dividers can come to your rescue.

Shelf dividers can be used to create neat sections within your open shelves. Allowing you to organize items according to categories such as books Or décor pieces. They also provide a visual break between different types of items displayed on the same shelf. With shelf dividers, you no longer have to worry about items falling over Or becoming disorganized as they stay in their designated section.

The beauty Of using shelf dividers is that they not only work well functionally but also add an extra layer Of style to your living room décor.

18. Add decorative objects in odd numbers

When it comes to styling open shelves in your living room, one of the most important principles to keep in mind is adding decorative objects in odd numbers. This technique creates a visually appealing display that draws the eye and adds interest to your space. Looking to create a cozy feel Or add a touch of elegance, Incorporating odd numbers will help you achieve the look you desire.

To start, consider grouping objects in sets of three Or five. For example, Placing three vases of varying sizes on a shelf can create an interesting focal point. Alternatively, arranging five books with decorative bookends can add symmetry and balance to your display. By using odd numbers, You’ll avoid creating an overly symmetrical and static arrangement.

19. Place larger items on lower shelves

When it comes to designing your living room, Open shelves are a great way to add both functionality and style. They allow you to showcase decorative items while also providing storage for everyday essentials. However, Arranging these shelves can be A bit overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where to start. One important tip is to always place larger items on lower shelves.

By placing larger items on lower shelves, You create a balanced look that draws the eye down and creates visual interest throughout the space. It also makes it easier for people to see and appreciate these pieces Without having to strain their necks Or squint at smaller objects placed higher up. This approach also helps create a sense of hierarchy within your collection Of decor items.

Read More: What To Put On Floating Shelves In Living Room

20. Display items that reflect your personality

When it comes to decorating your living room, Open shelves provide A great platform to showcase items that reflect your personality. Your display can range from books, plants, And family photos to quirky souvenirs and vintage collectibles. These shelves offer an opportunity to create a focal point in the room while also allowing you to express your unique style.

To style open shelves in your living room, start by selecting a color scheme that complements the rest Of the space. Consider using neutral colors for your larger items such as books Or vases and adding pops of color With smaller decorative pieces. It’s important not to overcrowd the shelves; instead, use negative space strategically for balance and visual interest. Don’t be afraid to mix textures or styles either – this adds depth and character to your display.


Open shelves in the sitting room can add A touch of elegance And sophistication to your home decor. It also provides ample storage space for displaying your favorite items. To style your open racks, start by grouping items by color Or theme and avoid overcrowding them. Mix and match textures and materials to create an interesting display. Lastly, don’t forget to incorporate plants Or greenery to bring life to your shelves. With these tips, You can easily style open shelves in your living room. And transform them into a beautiful display that showcases your personality and style. So go ahead and experiment With different arrangements until you find the perfect look for your home!

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