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Goodwill Home Décor Expert - Merri Cvetan

Merri Cvetan

My weekly column for Amazing Goodwill and my design blog, Design Coach, are about all things design, living a stylish life and entertaining (like setting a great table). I share DIY projects, decorating and design tips, as well as ideas and secrets.

If you have a specific question for Merri, feel free to email her at askmerri@goodwillsew.com.

Learn more about Merri here and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest!



Six Secrets to Styling a Shelf

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jan 29, 2015 2:11:00 PM

Six Secrets to Styling a ShelfNow that all the holiday decorations are taken down, it’s time to freshen up the house. If you’re anything like me, you have to pack away a few things to make room for Christmas decorations. In January you can start fresh. Bring back your collections, only this time put them out in a different way.

There are a few simple secrets to creating a beautifully-styled shelf, mantle or table top.

Secret #1: Collections on display do not have to be the same or even similar items. Find a common theme that links each to the other.

I have a tall shelf that I change frequently. I gathered several things that I really like, but seem to have no or little relationship to each other. Each item is made from a different medium; however, they share a similar color or finish.

Six Secrets to Styling a ShelfSecret #2: Start with the biggest piece.

This vintage cabinet with off-white paint, not only had physical weight, but visual weight as well. I tend to start “styling” at the left.

Six Secrets to Styling a ShelfSecret #3: Add different textures.

I found this wood spindle at a flea market in Paris. It’s well-worn and rich in history. The color is very similar to the cabinet, but the rough finish and chipped paint offer an interesting texture.

Secret #4: Add contrast.

Six Secrets to Styling a ShelfThe only item that really needed to be on this shelf is the clock. Although this one is new, it has a charming vintage look. The face color is similar to the other two pieces, but the base and numbers are bronze creating a nice contrast.

Six Secrets to Styling a ShelfSecret #5: Make sure each item is a different height.

Every piece should be a different height. If necessary, set an item on a book to raise it up. The French enamel lunch box is in the same color family, but with a gloss finish. The handle is same color as the clock. (See how they all work together?)

Secret #6: Display odd number of items.

Six Secrets to Styling a ShelfI’ve said it many, many times. A display with an odd number of items simply looks better than an even number. I added a vintage bronze bank in the shape of the US Capitol. (It’s shorter, but it’s in a color similar to the clock).

So my seemingly mismatched group of items becomes a charming collection when I follow these simple six steps!

Topics: interior design, shelf styling, shelves, Merri Cvetan