Tips & Guide to Open Shelving

Open shelves are a modern, elegant addition to any room. There are so many applications for open shelving other than just a bookcase, their versatility includes dividing spaces, to providing more storage and creating a unique display space it also can act as a tool to provide a light source and enhancing an otherwise featureless wall.

A cleverly designed open shelf unit can be and nearly always is utilized in every space in the house whether it’s in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.  Accessorizing open shelves is a bit of an art form, following certain rules can help, such as grouping in odd numbers, using a variety of heights to form depth and bringing together different textures to create something interesting to the eye. The accessories can be anything from your standard book and vases, plants especially can add that difference with color and vibrance.

Do keep in mind that open shelves need to be dressed thoughtfully and kept free of day-to day clutter so it doesn’t end up disorganized and overwhelming.

Follow these steps to decorate your open shelves in the right way:

  1. Make sure your shelf is tidy and clean.
  2. Add statement pieces but do not make it too busy or crowded.
  3. Make sure to add books to give a library look.
  4. Add candles to provide a cozy atmosphere when needed or include built-in indirect lighting to highlight accessories or design features of the shelves.
  5. Leave space between each piece to show their presence.
  6. Include pictures of family and friends to add your personality to the shelving.

This open shelf that Ele Interior designed below is unique with its lighting and layout, it highlights the statement items and we included a variety of books and vases to complement the color scheme with the rest of the room.

It is designed to protrude slightly whilst being built into the wall so doesn’t feel bulky in the room and has hidden LED lights on each shelf, and the bars of brushed brass metal details to define the spacing making it classy and lush.

The image below shows the open shelving acting as a partition between two spaces. This project required extra light in the living space due to the lack of windows so the openness allowed that and made the space larger creating visibility to the next space to make it feel larger. The black metal finish shifts your focus to the accessories framed within and it adds a bold, sharp element to an otherwise softer neutral design.

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