How to organize your shelves like a decorator.

Architecture, Art, Design, Interiors, Lifestyle / Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Styling your bookshelves, open cabinets, and consoles can be tricky because they need to meet different purposes at the same time. You want them to be esthetically pleasing, you want to show off your art and books, but you also want to include useful items. So here are a few ways to organize your shelves like a decorator followed by some examples.


One thing I actually learned from my mom and not design school is that you don’t need to put everything on display. You can be selective and switch it up every few months. This way you’ll never get bored of your decor items.

When you display too many things in one area, they lose their value to the viewing eye, they just go unnoticed, and therefore your goal isn’t met. So in order to choose wisely, try removing the things that aren’t pretty or meaningful enough to be displayed. These items belong in your drawers. And remember that you can still be nostalgic over something that is placed in your drawer, you just have to be selective with what you want to be seen by everyone at all times.


You can use proportion and scale to either create contrast and accentuate the sizes or to group similar things together.

Accentuating the sizes works when for example you put one large vase in the middle with two small candles one on each side. That way you’re “framing” the middle object and drawing attention to it first.

Grouping is when you select books with similar height and thickness go together as a stack, creating harmonious groups that are visually pleasing and can be used as one item when distributing as follows.


Although this is not the only technique, it is a simple and guaranteed way to get visual coherence when styling almost anything.

When placing your plants, for example, try selecting a multiple of 3 and distributing them on different rows and levels to form an uneven triangle. Repeat this for every type of item you have. In the end, you will notice that your eye is wandering smoothly along the styled area and nothing feels wrong or misplaced.


In order to organize your shelves like a decorator, you usually need a variety of objects. Here are a few ideas that you probably already have at home:

  • Book stacks
  • Art
  • Decorative items like candles, vases, etc..
  • Plants
  • Photo frames
  • Trophies



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *