How To Style Sophisticated Shelves

Shelving System B&B Italia

The POWERHOUSE principle of REFINEMENT is shown through shelves that exude order, sophistication and beauty. Elevate your space in a quick and easy way by refining your shelves. Having a refined home that has been edited and curated is the key to leading a refined life. Here is my process for styling sophisticated shelves.

1. Gather your INSPIRATION. See examples of what you like best and keep this front and center throughout your project. Check out my How to Style Shelves Pro Tip Board for more inspiration. It's OK to MIMIC a style you love!

2. THE PRELUDE - Remove everything from your shelves. An entirely blank space is necessary.

3. GATHER everything you wish to feature on your shelves and layout by category. Books with books, candles with candles, art with art, décor with décor. What looks especially great on shelves? Artwork, large "coffee table" books, framed photos, large vases, bowls, objects d'art, sculptures, collections, and candles.

4. See what you've got to work with and now EDIT. Decide upon the common thread you wish to see on your shelves. Remove anything that does not enhance this message. The idea is to create a curated CAPSULE of only the best of the best. You could display books on a certain topic, one collection of art or only use one color throughout. Keep it simple and let your favorite inspiration guide you.

5. Less is MORE. The secret to shelves that scream sophistication is to allow for a lot of WHITE SPACE. Actually, every powerhouse design screams sophistication and refinement when you leave room for white space. Shelves too will appear more sophisticated when there are not a lot of things on them. BE SELECTIVE. Take another look at what you want to put on your shelves and keep paring it back. Even if this is the only shelf in your apartment, it doesn't need to be the workhorse for every book you own. You can use what doesn't make the cut somewhere else. (or better yet donate it)

6. Start EXPERIMENTING. Start by arranging the largest of the items gathered on your shelves. Proportion and scale will be your best friend. Successful shelves display a variety of sizes and the bigger the better. Group décor and books together to make it appear as if they are one unified object. Try books stacked horizontally. Balance the scale by then LAYERING your smallest items last. And keep in mind the white space. It's OK if there are only 3 things on the entire shelf as long as it maintains the proportion.

7. Keep going until it FEELS RIGHT. If you get stuck, take everything off the shelf and try again. Then, when you get to a stopping point, let the shelf rest overnight and assess again in the morning. If you still love it, it's done! Congrats! If not, repeat until you are beaming with such pride you can't wait to take a photo to show everyone on Instagram. YOU DID IT!