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How to Decorate Shelves in Any Room

A great way to personalize your home is to decorate shelves or bookcases with decorative items and memorabilia. Vases, books, sculptures, art, and plants are wonderful items that can incorporate color and texture in the design of a room. Here are some tips from our home experts to help you create a stunning focal point in your living room, bedroom, office, or den!

The Rule of Three

Any interior designer will tell you that the rule of three is important when decorating a bookcase. This rule states that items grouped in odd numbers (3, 5, or 7) are more visually appealing than even numbers. So for example, if you have a collection of vases, try grouping them together in odd numbers. This allows you to create a natural focal point for the group.

The Triangle Method

When looking at the bookcase as a whole, use the triangle method to plan where your groups of items will go. Try to create a “triangle” with the items so that you have more at the base of the bookcase and fewer near the top. Balance decorative items and books and make sure that the general effect points in a triangle. This will help keep the eye-line moving and shifting up, which will help your room feel taller and larger!

Use a Variety of Height

It will be easier to group things using the triangle method of you use a variety of heights in each grouping. For example, if you have three sculptures, you would group them so that the tallest is in the center. Or if you have 5 candles, group them so that none are exactly the same height in each group. 

Add Color

Small accent pieces are great for incorporating fun colors. Plants and succulents (even fake ones) can add rich greens as well as texture, but you can add your favorite colors with unique pieces. Also, you may consider arranging books by color on each shelf to a fun visual effect! We recommend selecting two accent colors per room to go with a more neutral pallet so that you don’t feel overwhelmed!


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