Shelf Styling: Curated, Collected or Minimal

Whether you’re a fan of the minimalistic approach, prefer a curated look or enjoy the eclectic charm of a collected feel, there are endless possibilities to transform shelves into a statement piece for your home. One of the most important designer tips we can share is this: Styling and accessorizing the home is just as important as purchasing the bigger furniture pieces! When styling intentionally, you add interest and layers for a lived-in look.

This style is all about layering to showcase your personality and function. For those who enjoy a balance between simplicity and personal expression, the curated look offers the perfect blend. This style allows for a medium level of products and styling, providing an opportunity to showcase your personality and interests.

1. Master the art of layering: Similarly to how you can use trays to corral items on a coffee table, you can artfully layer in pieces, like your favorite candle, a bowl or a small keepsake from travel or a gift from a loved one. The idea is to incorporate more functionality into your styling while also putting your more precious pieces on display, like a crystal dish or vase.

2. Create visual harmony: While you have more freedom in the curated approach, it’s essential to maintain a sense of visual harmony. Choose a cohesive color scheme or theme to tie the elements together.

Designer Tip
Play with combining contrasting yet complementary textures. For instance, pairing a woven tray with a smooth ceramic vase can add so much interest. Keep in mind, when looking at a vignette, you want it to feel cohesive with coordinating colors that play well together. When doing a larger vignette like a built-in bookcase, you want your colors and textures to repeat without being too matchy-matchy.

For true individualists who love to surround themselves with memories and meaningful items, the collected look is the ultimate expression of personal style. This heavy level of products and styling allows you to showcase a diverse range of pieces that hold sentimental value.

1. Showcase pieces with history: Infuse your cabinet, shelf or bookcase with pieces that carry stories, whether it’s souvenirs from travels, historically-inspired artwork, family heirlooms or your favorite books. Each item should evoke a sense of nostalgia and personal connection.

2. Mix eras and styles: Don’t be afraid to mix different eras and styles. Think of the piece you’re styling as a canvas for you to blend vintage finds with contemporary pieces seamlessly.

3. Display photos: Incorporate personal photos into the space to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Mix framed photos with other cherished items to create a gallery-like display.

Designer Tip
Styling decor is more of an art than a science. Don’t feel like you have to get it right the first time. Try switching out objects and rearranging them until the space feels balanced.

For those who appreciate simplicity and a clean, uncluttered aesthetic, the minimalist approach to your decor is the way to go. Keep it simple with a small selection of carefully chosen items. Decorative boxes, sleek baskets and a few well-placed vases can add a touch of elegance without overwhelming the space.

1. Choose a neutral palette: Stick to a neutral color palette for a calm and cohesive look. Whites, grays and natural
tones work well to create a serene atmosphere.

2. Limit decorative items: Embrace the less-is-more philosophy by selecting only a few high-quality decorative items. Choose items that bring you joy and serve a purpose.

3. Play with shapes and textures: Despite the limited number of items, introduce visual interest by incorporating different shapes and textures. This can be achieved through the use of geometric vases, textured baskets or sleek, modern boxes.

Scout & Nimble is a retail site and blog that aims to make expert design accessible to all. Follow at

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