Style Up a Shelf

Shelving units can become uncoordinated catchalls in the blink of an eye. Read on for tips on how to carefully choose items to display in order to let your collection shine.

What better way to showcase a collection than in a shelving unit? However, anyone who’s ever tried to arrange a cohesive display or themed vignette knows this can be a challenging endeavor. Three homeowners featured in our July 2021 issue share a few of their savvy styling tips and examples to help you focus.

Group “like with like.” Ohio homeowners Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman use a one-time mail sorting box as a display in their dining room. Her collection of spoons and old butter paddles are grouped together for a more powerful decorating punch. Tucking in a blue enamelware plate and a blue bowl brightens up the otherwise monochromatic vignette.

Click here for larger image
Warm up architectural elements. This rustic wall unit in the Pennsylvania home of Kimberly Smith-Johnson brings to mind a scene from a country store. The piece recalls a summer garden when Kimberly arranges greenery, flowers and other natural items in the metal bins. Click here for larger image
Create textural variety. This unique wall vignette in the New Hampshire home of Donna Vizard and Jeff Castle combines items in similar muted colors but a wide range of materials. Pair old books and folded linens of similar sizes in small stacks on a hanging shelf. Antique candle molds and metal oilcans play up the rustic look. Click here for larger image
Edit your items carefully. A shelving unit in the kitchen can corral smaller collectibles such as grain sacks and vintage tins. Presenting them in organized groups allows them to read as a whole and keeps them from looking like clutter. Placing the largest item on the left to the smallest on the right is the most natural to the eye, Kimberly Kaufman says, and gives the vignette a better flow. Click here for larger image

To look inside these homes and gather more inspiration, see the July 2021 issue.

Photographed and Styled by Gridley + Graves

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