I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my shelves ever since we moved in to our little home. There’s like.. 4 shelves, each side of our fireplace..takes up the entire length of the wall.. and I was n o t equipped to style them out with the items we brought from our apartment. We didn’t have too many shelves there.. maybe 2 that we put up ourselves above and below our tv. Other than that, nada. Clean clear space. Now I could’ve gone to HomeGoods and purchased some fun little knickknacks to fill the space, but my mind and my budget was on other things.. like the art on the wall in the music room.. or the larger pieces of furniture that we then needed almost immediately.. a bed.. TV stand, record stand.. 2 large tables, 10 chairs, a couch..rugs everywhere. It was all so much. So my pretty shelves just stayed.. O K. Until now. I finally started adding little by little, cute frames and magazine cut outs, knickknacks and books, plants, other things that were just sitting in a box in our garage, and I made it all work.
My shelves, after almost a year in our home, are the envy of every other shelf in my home. With $3 clearance books from Half Priced Books, and perfectly hued ceramic vases from HomeGoods, beautiful brass frames from Pottery Barn with my favorite shot of my favorite mominlaw and my favorite guy, plants in vintage crystal decanters from my favorite mom, and just the right amount of mismatch make this one heck of a #shelfie.
My most recent acquisitions were the books and the vases, because I just can’t walk away from a good deal, and R just shakes his head when we walk in to HG, because I can’t walk out without something. He’s becoming appreciative of my thriftiness though, because I mean look at his office, I did some w o r k. And I got our shelves downstairs doneski with less than $75. No kidding.
I’ve read online for years about creating triangles in your shelves, so it’s more visually pleasing, and I never understood that. I felt like my shelves were fine at our apartment.. but was I wrong? I don’t think I even made an effort to make any kind of “triangles” in any of the shelves I styled out.. It was until I had 4 straight up and down staring me in the face that I realized what the triangular fuss was about. In the middle of taking everything off and restarting about.. 12 times in the last year, I took a step back and I could have 3 shelves look really good, I mean really good, but the rest just felt incomplete and generally just looked like poo next to the other pretty shelves. I started to try to balance out my pretty shelves with other pretty elements, but in different spots so that the pretty would flow all the way down. Does that make sense?
Okay, so if I had one shelf that had books on the left and a plant on the right, but the shelf above had picture frames to the left and nothing notable on the right, that seems off-balance, right? You betcha. It would drive you crazy staring at it and trying to come up with how to fix it. Unless you go with the rule of triangles.
The rule of triangles is simple. You want to start with the larger showcase items, at least I do, and stagger them down your shelves, starting on one shelf will stump you, so try to think of the shelves as one large unit instead of 4 separate units, it will alleviate the clutter probs. I start to fill with the taller items next, and try to add height where there isn’t any on the existing shelves. If you don’t have enough tall knickknacks, try incorporating standing books, or stack smaller items on the books to create more height. I utilized a slender decanter on top of my books to add just the right amount for my third shelf, and standing books opposite my picture backdrop to add height on my second shelf. Now fill and cluster your candles, smaller frames, and objects to add dimension and flare to your shelves.
I don’t mind anything to a T. So my base shelves are up top, because they add a little more height, and it gives me 3 shelves to really enhance the eye’s POV when standing in front of them. I don’t always style in odd numbers, because sometimes I just don’t have anything else to add or I’m happy with how it looks. So I’m a rule breaker and a rule follower all in the same gal.
I also don’t believe you can have too many plants in the same room. I’m a plant lady till I die, and the more plants the better.
Of course with the newest addition of my tapestry, my living room really feels complete. I sit in it and I catch myself staring at all the little elements that make up our life on display and I’m just overwhelmed with thankfulness. Thankful to R for letting me follow my passion and encouraging me to do what I feel, and also taking a backseat on design suggestions, and thankful for our life together.
Oh! And did I mention? I think I’ve finally talked R into getting a little pupper brother for our Fish. We can’t wait to find our perfect little Chips. Fish and Chips, get it? We’re hoping to find a fluffy tri colored cardi corgi before summer, because we’re impatient.
Until then, I’ll be sitting in my favorite spot scowering the internet for a good broccoli cheddar soup recipe and impatiently waiting on R to get home.